Connecting town to trail

Do you want visitors to be interested in your town? How about be able to find you?

Turn your trailhead into an invitation to roll into town. Then add the welcoming touches that will guide visitors deeper into your community.

The trailhead is where passers-by might decide to stop off, or where trail-goers might start their adventures (and then return, hopefully hungry.) You need some basics:

  • Parking that’s well-marked, with curb stops
  • Trash cans and recycling bins
  • Bathrooms
  • Water fountains
  • Signage into town
  • Town and trail information 
  • Benches and picnic tables. Bonus: pavilions or a gazebo


key improvements:

To make your trailhead and town truly enticing and cyclist-friendly, you need to add some finishing touches. (If you’ve done your research, you might be able to score some grants.)

For more detailed instructions to get these projects moving in your town, download our free Trail Town guide.

Get the complete guide



Bike racks

Bike racks are simple and relatively inexpensive, but they address cyclists’ immediate needs. Riders who want to explore your town will need a place to secure their bikes. (And when they know their bikes are secure, they can spend more time wandering through your business district, instead of worrying about getting back to their bike.)

Tips: Bike rack best practices 

Fix-it stations

Some riders might only stop into town if there’s a place to make adjustments or minor fixes to their bicycles. A simple fix-it station with hanger arms, an air pump and set of wrenches gives cyclists a convenient place to tune up. It’s also a welcoming sign of good will.

Signs and kiosks

Is the trailhead within sight of the business district? Or does a bridge or hill separate the trailhead from the town? Either way, wayfinding signs can help draw trail-goers in. They can also convey your town’s unique charm, or provide a sense of safety.

Example: GAP Guidelines Manual 

Public art

Intrigue trail travelers with a peek into your local flavor. Even if your town is too far from the trailhead to see, you can make an impression on passersby with a creative touch.

Creating art can also deepen your community’s relationship to the trail. Get public input early and often to build support for creative projects, and market your creativity trail-wide.

Examples: Art on the Passage

Welcome Center

A welcome center can be a helpful, inviting centerpiece to your Trail Town, and steer visitors to your attractions, amenities and businesses. It’s also a big investment, so consider the costs and benefits. Think long-term: how will you staff the center?


Get the complete guide

Want to get things rolling in your town? Download our Trail Town guide for more details and tips.

Get the guide


Connection tips

Get more details in our guide. We share our best practices for signage, bike racks and more— with examples so you can see what works.

Get the guide