Trail etiquette

Good morning all,

Just doing a friendly reminder about Trail Etiquette.  With most trails we ride on across Ontario, whether you hike, run, ride etc, we need to all remember to be courteous to the other users.  Etiquette isn’t just about having dinner-time manners, or anything like that.  It extends well past and into the forest as well.

Case in point, Trail crossings.  When coming up to a multi-use trail crossing, you should slow down, ring a bell, and just be sure your are known.

The below is the Rules of the trail, this just doesn’t cover the forest you ride in or is your home forest, but this goes across the board.


And for the winter months:

Trail Etiquette is a lot of common sense as well.  At the end of the day, we all want to enjoy the forest and there is no reason why we all can’t.

Below is a snapshot from IMBA’s website with respect to the Trail Etiquette.

IMBA developed these “Rules of the Trail” to promote responsible and courteous conduct on shared-use trails. Keep in mind that conventions for yielding and passing may vary in different locations, or with traffic conditions.

  1. Ride Open Trails: Respect trail and road closures. Ask the appropriate land manager for clarification if you are uncertain about the status of a trail. Do not trespass on private land. Obtain permits or other authorization as required. Be aware that bicycles are not permitted in areas protected as state or federal Wilderness.
  2. Leave No Trace: Be sensitive to the dirt beneath you and the environment around you. Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage than dry ones. When the trail is soft, consider other riding options. This also means staying on existing trails and not creating new ones. Don’t cut switchbacks. Don’t ride around standing water which results in widening the trail. Be sure to pack out at least as much as you pack in. Consider improving the trail experience for those that follow by picking up and removing any litter.
  3. Control Your Bicycle: Inattention for even a moment could put yourself and others at risk. Obey all bicycle speed regulations and recommendations, and ride within your limits. Social conflicts on trails often result when riders are going too fast.
  4. Yield Appropriately: Do your utmost to let your fellow trail users know you’re coming — a friendly greeting or bell ring are good methods. Try to anticipate other trail users as you ride around corners. Mountain bikers should yield to other non-motorized trail users, unless the trail is clearly signed for bike-only travel. Bicyclists traveling downhill should yield to all users headed uphill, unless the trail is clearly signed for one-way or downhill-only traffic. In general, strive to make each pass a safe, controlled and courteous one.
  5. Never Scare Animals: Animals such as horses are easily startled by an unannounced approach, a sudden movement or a loud noise. Give animals enough room and time to adjust to you. When passing horses, dismount from your bike, walk around them on the downhill side of the trail, use special care and follow directions from the horseback riders (ask if uncertain). Running cattle and disturbing wildlife are serious offenses.
  6. Plan Ahead: Know your equipment, your ability and the area in which you are riding and prepare accordingly. Strive to be self-sufficient: keep your equipment in good repair and carry necessary supplies for changes in weather or other conditions. Always wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear.

Next time you are out in the forest just be mindful of your surroundings and make sure you ride, run hike within your limits.