The Civil War Defenses of Washington, also known as Fort Circle Parks, is the initial seven mile long segment of a hiking and biking trail located in Washington D.C., linking several civil war era fortifications. When completed, the trail system will extend to more than 30 miles, essentially encircling the entire City.
Over the seven miles, a complete survey of existing conditions was conducted and a full report was provided recommending needed signs for the project.
As an inner city project, conditions include major street crossings, many of which were not directly linked and the wayfinding provided mitigation to dangerous situations. Signage types for this initial segment set the standards and included three NPS standards: trailhead, directional and mileage markers.
Over 50 different sign panel layouts were created to orient the user to specific locations on the trail and to other destinations and distances to and from all crossings.
The planning and development of a master wayfinding program is the organizational process of design coupled with the psychological process and understanding how people navigate. It is evaluation and research, the refinement of this gained information into goals and objectives, and then the development of communication and design strategies to reach them.