Here are a bunch of tips to make it easier to share the trail with others. Please remember these and try to follow them and pass them on to new hikers:
- Stay on the trail. Do not cut switchbacks or take shortcuts.
- Stay to the right on wider paths.
- Pass on the left.
- When overtaking someone, let them know you are approaching and will be passing on their left. You may hear a biker call out, "On your Left!" as he comes up from behind. That means you should stay to your right.
- Whenever you stop for a view, a rest, or to yield, move off the trail so it is free for others. If you are selecting the spot for a rest, get off on a used area or a durable surface such as a rock, dirt, or snow. Don't just trample off the trail into a nice soft field of grass and flowers.
- Hikers going uphill are working hard and should be given the right of way over hikers coming downhill. Sometimes uphill hikers will prefer to stop and let you pass coming down so they can get a short break. The uphill hiker should get to make the call.
- Greet people you meet. This makes sure they know you are there and is polite. A simple "Howdy" or "Nice Day" is fine
- Hike Quietly. Echos are fun, but keep conversations quiet and enjoy the lack of horns, engines, and city noises. There is such a thing as noise pollution.
- Read trailhead guidelines. There may be specific rules for the trail you are on.
- Pack It In - Pack It Out. I am always amazed to find litter. It just does not make sense that someone spending time to get out into nature would purposely destroy it. I just don't get it.
- Take a Picture. A pretty rock or a bunch of flowers deserve to remain where they are. We have a need for mementos of our adventures, but picture in your mind what the place would look like if the group before you had taken what you are about to put in your pocket.
- Report vandalism. If there is contact information at the trailhead, tell the managing agency of any destruction or management needs you notice.
When meeting a horse:
- When hiking by yourself or a pair, yield to larger groups. It's harder for a group to get off the trail.
- When hiking in a group, hike single file or take no more than half of a wide trail. Make sure everyone in your group understands what actions to take when encountering hikers, bikers, and horses.
- Get off the trail on the downhill side. Horses will tend to bolt uphill when spooked. Also, you waiting on the uphill side looks more like a predator waiting to pounce.
- Greet the rider and ask if you are ok where you are.
- Say hello to the rider and try to strike up a conversation. This will calm the horse and also does wonders for relations between all trail users.
- Stand still while the horses pass.