Waymarking is the posting of signs – waymarks (sometimes way-mark or way mark) – along a route so that travelers can easily follow the route. The route (also known as a way) can be traveled on foot, on a bicycle, on a horse, in a vehicle or in any mode of transportation. The inuksuk was an early type of waymark. Milestones, common in Europe, are also a form of waymark.
In modern usage, waymarks, whether signs or other devices, typically consist of a specific symbol for that route that is distinct from other nearby routes and that are repeated regularly along the route. These waymarks sometimes follow the route in one direction, or more often allow the route to be followed in both directions. One example is the standardized sign posted along the 49-Mile Scenic Drive in San Francisco, California, which can be joined at any point along the route.
The route in question may be a specific named route, such as the Pennine Way, or may more generally be any public right of way. National Trails in the United Kingdom generally uses an acorn symbol. The National Cycle Network in the UK uses sculptural markers made of cast iron.
Retailers sometimes also use waymarks to draw motorists to the location of their store or car park. Temporary waymarks are used for special events such as charity walks. A similar process is also used by local fairs, fêtes or even firework nights. The signs are typically posters strapped to railings or lamp posts or a standard symbol is used.
Local governments have also adopted waymarking as a method of increasing awareness of local points of interest.
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You will often see waymarks for famous driving routes such as route 66 or pacific coast highway.
Representative samples of waymarks:
Acorn symbol used to guide the route of National Trails in Great Britain
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