To most outdoorists, sharing the path seems like a no-brainer. It gets a little more complicated on popular trails with multiple methods for travel. Most well managed outdoor spaces employ a common "Yield To" sign to demystify the courtesies of the trail. These guidelines are meant to help encourage situational awareness. The most important thing we need to remember is to be courteous and respectful when encountering others out in the wild. Be nice and say hi!
This is issue No. 3 in the Adventures of Lambert comic series
brought to you by graphic artist Ricardo Soria. Enjoy!
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Share the Trail Sign
In general, horses have the right of way, then hikers, then those pesky mountain bikers. This guideline may vary from trail to trail, so be sure to check signage at the trail head wherever you travel.
Large Groups Have The Right Of Way
Individual hikers should yield to groups. If your group consists of more than 6-8 people however, you should consider breaking into smaller subgroups to create less congestion along the trail. No one wants to wait for thirty plus single file hikers to pass. This can also help reduce impact.
The Uphill Hiker Has The Right Of Way
The downhill hiker should yield to the uphill hiker. This is a courtesy to uphill hikers, since they have a smaller field of vision and it takes more energy to climb than to descend. This is only necessary on narrow "single track" paths.
The Mountain Biker Should Yield To All
Mountain bikers must understand that they are to keep their speed in check and yield to everyone else on the path. this is because Bikers are considered faster and more maneuverable than hikers or horses. this can be less practical with faster moving cyclists and it's better to be safe than right. Pay attention to other trail users to avoid unnecessary injury no matter what your mode of travel is.
All Trail Users Should Yield To Horses
Hikers should yield to horses since horses have a harder time maneuvering on the trail. Talking with the rider as they pass will indicate to the horse (and the rider) that you are not a wild animal.
Practice Situational Awareness - Be Nice & Say HI!
The fact that everyone has different objectives when getting outdoors is an incredible thing and ultimately, these guidelines are meant to help encourage situational awareness. If you go outside with the intention of being right instead of being open to other’s experiences, you're definitely going to run into more problems than those that just want to have a good time. more important than any rule is to be courteous and respectful when encountering others out in the wild. Be nice and say hi!
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Be sure to start a Trail Courtesy conversation with your local land manager. Don't place stickers on public property without permission. #benicesayhi is a great positive message and keep the love flowing!
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