How to Share the Trail
It Starts with kindness & Empathy.
To have the best experience, everyone needs to get along.
It’s that simple!
Pick Up After Fido.
Be prepared to pick up after your pup, and avoid leaving bags on the side of the trail. Six feet or shorter leashes are the norm too.
Act with empathy.
Being empathetic on the trail means understanding that other users have just as much right to be on the trail as you do, even though they use it differently.
Mind the plants.
Protect trailside vegetation – come to a complete stop and step off of the trail to allow other users to pass, rather than just riding/running off of the trail.
When you go out on the trails, have an awareness of your surroundings.
Keep it quiet.
Everyone experiences nature differently, but for many, it’s a peaceful respite from the chaos and noise of life. Feel free to rock on—with headphones.
Know When (& How) to yield.
Guideline exceptions can vary – educate yourself on etiquette and safety. See below for more information.
Protect where you play! No one wants to see garbage or other signs of human intrusion on nature.
Who Has the right of way?
Whether you’re sharing the trails with mountain bikers, equestrians, or fellow hikers,
there are general guidelines for how to share the trail with others.
Source – www.rei.com
Hikers Vs. Bikers
Since mountain bikes are considered more maneuverable than hikers’ legs, bikers are generally expected to yield to hikers on the trail. However, because those mountain bikes often move considerably faster than said legs, it’s usually easier for hikers to yield the right of way -especially if a mountain biker is huffing and puffing up a tough incline. A biker should never expect a hiker to yield, though.
Because mountain bikers move faster, hikers should also be aware of their surroundings on shared trails. Conscientious mountain bikers will call out as they come down steep slopes or blind switchbacks and should also let you know if other bikers are following them.
Hikers VS Horses
As the largest, slowest-to-maneuver, and (usually) least-predictable creatures on the trail, horses get the right of way from hikers and mountain bikers. If you’re sharing the trail with equestrians, give them as wide a berth as possible and make sure not to make abrupt movements as they pass and talk calmly when approaching to avoid startling the animal.
If you’re on a narrow trail and horses are passing, get off the trail on the downhill side as they trot by. Horses are more likely to run uphill than downhill when spooked, and you definitely don’t want to be in the path of a spooked horse.
Hikers Vs Hikers
It seems that many hikers – even experienced ones – may not know or always remember this, but hikers going uphill have the right of way. This is because, in general, hikers heading up an incline have a smaller field of vision and may also be in that “hiking rhythm” zone and not in the mood to break their pace. Often an uphill hiker may let others come downhill while they take a breather, but remember, that’s the uphill hiker’s call.
If you’re about to pass another hiker from behind, a simple “hello” is often the best way to announce your presence. When passing, always stay on the trail to reduce erosion.
Trail etiquette is even more important when you’re hiking in a group. Always hike single-file, never taking up more than half the trail space, and stay on the trail itself. Over time, those off-trail boot prints can badly erode switchbacks and destroy drainage diversions. When a group meets a single hiker, it’s generally preferable for the single hiker to yield and step safely to the side.
front & Backcountry guidelines
Check the status of the place you want to visit for closures, fire restrictions, and weather.
Reservations and permits may be required. Make sure you have the gear you need and a back-up plan.
Be an active part of making the outdoors safe and welcoming for all identities and abilities.
There is space for everyone and countless outdoor activities. Be kind to all who use the outdoors and nature differently.
Respect the land, water, wildlife, and Native communities. Follow the seven Leave No Trace principles.
We all have a responsibility to sustain the places we love. Volunteer, donate, and advocate for the outdoors.
Leave No Trace
Adequate trip planning and preparation helps backcountry travelers accomplish trip goals safely and enjoyably, while simultaneously minimizing damage to the land.
The goal of travel in the outdoors is to move through natural areas while avoiding damage to the land or waterways. Understanding how travel causes impacts is necessary to accomplish this goal. Backcountry travel may involve travel over both trails and off-trail areas.
Proper disposal of waste is important to avoid pollution of water sources, avoid the negative implications of someone else finding it, minimize the possibility of spreading disease and maximize the rate of decomposition.
Allow others a sense of discovery by leaving rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
Some people would not think of camping without a campfire. Yet, the natural appearance of many areas has been degraded by the overuse of fires and an increasing demand for firewood. The development of lightweight efficient camp stoves has encouraged a shift away from the traditional fire for cooking.
Do not disturb wildlife or plants just for a “better look.” Observe wildlife from a distance so they are not scared or forced to flee. While some animals may not seem bothered by your presence, wildlife can be unpredictable. Keeping your distance will also help protect you and your pets.
One of the most important components of outdoor ethics is to maintain courtesy toward other visitors. It helps everyone enjoy their outdoor experience. Many people come to the outdoors to listen to nature. Excessive noise, uncontrolled pets and damaged surroundings take away from the natural appeal of the outdoors.