Watauga County Maps Project

What Good is a Trail Nobody Can Find?

Destination by Design conducts a place branding exercise

Watauga County is arguably the region’s epicenter for tourism and outdoor recreational amenities. In a place like Watauga County that has numerous trails and outdoor recreational assets, appropriate wayfinding signage and mapping is of the utmost importance. After all, what good is a trail if nobody can find it?

Project Scope

Promotional Map Design & Development


Watauga County TDA

Cycling Route Map

(front and back)

Enabling Adventures

DbD brought an interesting perspective to this project given our familiarity with how to do place branding the right way. We were developing maps that allow visitors and residents to better connect to the place-based assets that make Watauga County unique. Dbd developed four promotional maps of key county and primary outdoor recreational assets:

  1. New River Paddle Trail
  2. Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park
  3. Hiking trails and public lands
  4. Road cycling routes

These maps didn’t previously exist, and promotion of these points of interest in the county via visual elements like mapping and wayfinding signage were largely inadequate. This was the key problem identified by our team on this project.

DbD brought our expertise in design and place branding to the table and developed well-branding, well-designed, and visually appealing maps. Most importantly, the maps were functional and solved a critical issue that had long plagued the Watauga TDA. 

Paddle Trail Route 

(front and back)

A Personal Connection

DbD’s opportunity to work with the Watauga TDA was a unique opportunity for us that allowed us to highlight our broader involvement in related projects throughout the county. DbD has worked on a variety of trail enhancement projects in the county including at Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park and other trails and river access points in the area.

It was our privilege to work on a project in our own backyard that will enhance Watauga County’s ability to promote its rich outdoor tourism assets. Prior to our involvement in this effort, the county lacked an effective way for visitors to enjoy the myriad of trails and recreation assets that the county has to offer. Now, thanks to our collaboration with the Watauga TDA, the county has an inventory of professional and visually appealing maps. These maps were the missing link to the TDA’s promotional strategy for outdoor recreational assets. The county now can promote its expansive trail infrastructure and outdoor assets in a clear and cohesive manner that reaches more potential visitors.


Hiking Trail Public Lands Map

(front and back)

Rocky Knob Map

(front and back)

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