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Using trails can be a lot of fun! Whether it be the Cottonwood Creek and Hutto Lake Park Trails here in Hutto, or exploring another park, trails are a great way to get outside and get moving! But it’s important not to forget trail etiquette. Trail etiquette keeps the trails more safe and enjoyable for all to use.
Rails to Trails Conservancy has created a wonderful SHARE THE TRAIL campaign with six tips to keep in mind when using the trails! Below are the tips. Go to their SHARE THE TRAIL page for even more great information! And while you’re at it, TAKE THE PLEDGE to share the trails!
Using safe speeds ensures that all trail users feel comfortable and safe. Having a speed demon fly by on the trail can be unsettling. Be respectful by keeping your speed in check and considering the comfort of others, regardless of your training or time schedule—or need for speed.
Just like driving on the road, slower traffic should stay to the right. When passing, use a bell or quick verbal warning to alert slower traffic to stay in their lane, potentially averting a collision. A friendly heads-up also helps to avoid startling your fellow trail users.
By standing aside, you are enabling others to use the corridor freely without having to weave around static users or make sudden stops. It’s also courteous and shows respect for your fellow trail enthusiasts.
Not all trail users know how to act around pets, and vice versa. Pets should be under control at all times to reduce uncomfortable run-ins and eliminate collisions with others.
Being alert and predictable allows other trail users to calculate what you’re going to do and act accordingly. And by staying alert, you’re showing others that you respect their trail journey, too.
Knowing the rules of your local trail enables you to act in a manner in accordance with everyone else. Being predictable is important; if you’re following the guidelines that everyone else is following, too—everyone’s trail experience will be safer and more enjoyable.