Hiking the Trails

Dos and Don’ts

  • Research the regulations and special concerns for the area you are planning to hike. Hike only along marked routes, especially on farmland.
  • For your safety and to protect soil from erosion do not take shortcuts.
  • Please do not climb fences, use stiles.
  • Pets are best left at home. If you do bring them, keep them on a leash and away from water sources and please clean up after them. Dogs are preferred at the back of the pack.
  • Respect the sound of nature. Avoid loud voices and noise such as mobile phones and radios.
  • Respect the privacy of people living along trails.
  • Be courteous to other hikers. Say hello to fellow hikers as you pass them on the trail.
  • Walk, ride or cycle in single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy. Bike riders yield to both hikers and horseback riders; hikers yield to horseback riders
  • Stay to the right of the trail and pass on the left.
  • If a person is climbing up a hill, they have the right of way if you are climbing down.
  • Visit trails in small groups; split larger parties into smaller groups.
  • Unless you are passing someone on a trail, try to maintain distance between each other.

Minimal impact approach

  • Leave flowers, wood, rocks and plants behind in their rightful place for others to enjoy.
  • Avoid tree damage. Do not break branches or strip bark off trees.
  • Leave the trails cleaner than you found them. Carry out all litter.
  • Fires are not permitted along trails, except in approved campsites.
  • Do not build structures, fire rings, furniture or dig trenches.
  • Schedule your hiking to avoid times of high use. Aim to lessen the impact of human activity on one area.

Ecosystem healthy manners

  • Garbage disposal is an important issue on trails. Pack out all garbage. Do not bury it.
  • Do not assume all waste will biodegrade. Example, orange peels do not decompose easily.
  • Leave your picnic spot cleaner than you found it.
  • Human waste including feminine hygiene products and used toilet tissue should be packed out. But if this is not feasible, dig a ‘cat hole’ about 10 cm deep and burn the toilet paper after, unless there is an extreme fire hazard. Then refill the hole.
  • Take only pictures and fond memories away with you. Leave only a footprint on the path you have respected.