Whether hiking the Blackbird Island Trail or mountain biking Freund Canyon, observing proper etiquette ensures everyone on the trail will have fun, safely. Trails during the summer can be particularly popular, making proper etiquette all the more important.
In fact, one universal rule of thumb for both bikers and hikers to remember — especially during the busiest summer months — is: “If the lot is full, the trail is full.” Have a second option planned in case your first option is full. This helps prevent overcrowding.
What else makes for proper trail etiquette?
On two wheels:
- Whether on the road or on the trail, always wear a helmet. Avoid open-toed shoes, and carry enough water for your whole ride.
- Those riding uphill always have the right of way.
- Riding a muddy trail can cause permanent damage to the trail.
- Take care to stay on designated trails and roads.
- When riding on the road, observe traffic laws and use hand signals.
On two feet:
- Know where you’re hiking. Trail guidelines can vary. Know before you go, whether a permit to hike a trail is necessary or if you need a parking pass.
- Never venture out on a trail without telling someone where you are planning on hiking, when you plan to begin the hike, and when you expect to return.
- Trailheads can be busy, especially during the summer months. When possible, carpool or use public transit if available.
- Consider public transit or shuttle to cut down the stress of parking.
- Bring the proper gear for the hike. This includes navigation, headlamps, sun protection, first aid, insect repellent, proper clothing and footwear, extra food and water, and more.
- Check the weather before you start, and be prepared for rapidly changing conditions.
- Be careful to pack out everything you bring in, and well, anything anyone else may have left behind that you run across during the hike.