Trail Etiquette

Enjoyable Hiking for All

Before you go Hiking:
- Know your own Physical, Mental and Technical Abilities and your Restrictions. Adjust your plans accordingly. In this way, you can prevent problems that might cause personal injuries or injuries to others.

- Make sure you are well-informed about the trails you will take, the Hiking Terrain Conditions as well as Hiking Weather Conditions. Have a detailed and up to date Hiking Map with you. Check with local authorities for last minute updates and firsthand information.

- Make sure to be well-equipped for your intended hike and Terrain/Weather conditions. Take enough food and drinks for your intended hike. You may also bring more if you want.

- Inform people of your itinerary and your expected time of return. If possible, call those who are not joining you at regular intervals so they know where you are.

- Avoid hiking alone. Hike in a Group consisting of at least two fellow hikers. In case of an accident, one person will then be able to stay with the injured while the other goes for help.

Things to remember when on the Trail:
- People who live in urban environments sometimes seem to forget why they came to a wilderness area to hike: peace and quiet, and great scenery. To enjoy that themselves, and to allow others to, hikers generally adopt a few common sense guidelines.

- 'Pack it in, pack it out' is a long-standing rule among fair-minded hikers. In order to leave the area much as you found it, for the sake of others and your own future enjoyment, you should not leave what you brought. That includes water bottles, trash and other items. If you should stumble on somebody else’s waste, be the better person and take it with you. Organic material, though decomposable, should be buried or taken with you to avoid animal feeding on it. All you should leave are your footsteps.

- Avoid wildlife to the extent they avoid you. Some even more - bears or mountain lions, for instance. Animals are particularly wary during mating seasons and when rearing young. Otherwise docile creatures can become fiercely protective and aggressive when pressed. Some may have diseases that can be spread to humans. Watching is enough. If you want to touch, go to a petting zoo.

- Be environmentally aware. Natural environments that facilitate great Hiking experiences are being threatened enough as it is so do not add to this. Do not damage any flora and fauna that you may encounter.

-Before you head out onto the trails for hiking, equestrian or mountain biking, please check the conditions of the trails to make sure you will not be causing or adding to trail erosion. For more information on how to help us protect our trails from degradation due to erosion please checkout the New England Mountain Bike Association's article on "soft riding", which applies to mountain biking, hiking and equestrian trail users.

- Stay on the trails and do not go wandering off. By using the trails, you ensure that you will not further disturb nature and it will minimize the chances of getting lost.

-If you notice any damage to the trail or trail signs, make sure to note down the exact location and notify the proper authorities. Damaged or destroyed trails or trail signs can cause serious difficulties for other hikers.

- Do not disturb the environment by shouting or playing loud music. People go back to nature for the peace it can offer.

- Make sure you know the local regulations regarding fishing/hunting before you do so. In most cases, you will need a local permit to fish or hunt.

- If you plan to take your dog along for your hikes then make sure to check local regulations and keep your dog on a leash at all times. Also, PLEASEbe courteous and remove your dog's waste from the trail.