Proper Trail

Please take just a moment and read this page - it is for the well being of everyone!

As one of the largest user groups it is important for the health and growth of our trail system to be RESPONSIBLE riders. This means knowing proper trail etiquette if we are to coexist peacefully with all the other trail users. If we can work together instead of it being a conflict then State Parks is a lot more open to listening to our needs.


Don't ride on muddy trails. (Tires, hooves or boots!) It is important to keep the trails we have in the best shape possible and respect the work that others have done to create those trails. Riding in the mud puts many, many MANY times the wear and tear on the trail compared to proper conditions.

Stay on the trail  - even to pass.
If you need to go off the trail to pass then you are contributing to the degradation of the trail. STOP to get by each other if needed. PLEASE DO NOT CUT THE TRAIL, get off your bike and walk if needed to get around a technical spot.

Yield to uphill riders, ALL hikers, runners and equestrians. Plain and simple, STOP and pull to the side of the trail to allow them to pass.

Probably the MOST important and potentially dangerous to both users is an encounter with a horse and rider.
Hopefully you are already familiar with the multi-use trail user yield sign.

Remember the three words of wisdom when encountering another trail user, especially an equestrian: SPEAK, STOP, STAND.

The horse is a prey animal.
It is literally hardwired into the horse's brain that his survival depends on a quick escape from predators. A simple case of mistaken identity or even an unfamiliar noise can mean injury or death. As a result, the horse insists on making his own evaluation of approaching objects.

Equestrians will work with a horse to increase the number of objects and situations that the horse can handle comfortably but even the seasoned trail horse will revert to instinct if faced with surprise.

It's the element of a surprise
that throws mountain bikers, equestrians, hikers and all user groups into conflict. Only communication, experience and human discernment can compensate and make the situation a positive one.

Here is what the horse needs in order to separate "mountain biking human" from a "hungry, horse-eating predator":


1. SPEAK in a calm friendly voice. This is EXTREMELY important as this distinguishes you as human, familiar and non-threatening. This is even MORE IMPORTANT if you are approaching a horse and rider from the rear, announce yourself well in advance!

DO NOT BE SILENT in your approach! Your calm voice will let the horse know you are human. If you are silent, the noise of you or your bike could simulate a predator's surprise attack and the horse could react badly. Even a simple "Hello?! How are you today?" will let horse and rider you are approaching.

2. STOP. A predator would crouch and line up the attack. By stopping, you have taken the first step in distinguishing yourself from a predator.

3. STAND to the outer edge of the trail on the downhill side where the horse can pass you with the greatest amount of clearance. No predator in the world would do this.

4. Ask and wait for instructions, never assume that every encounter will unfold in the same way. The rider might ask you to walk slowly toward and pass them or they may want to pass you. Regardless of the plan used, you can add a great deal of comfort to the situation for the horse by calmly talking.

When it comes to dealing with multi-use trail conditions, many user groups and sometimes an un-predictable animal (or human!) behavior it is the responsibility of each trail user to apply good judgment.

Thank you for taking a minute to read about trail procedures and ettiqute. Practicing it will go a LONG WAY in ensuring our user group is included in future multi-use trail plans.