Every trail, park or preserve district can have slightly different
rules and regulations, therefore it's a good idea to check the
information signboard, if available, at the trailhead, park or preserve entrance, or the website
before you leave home.
Here are some general guidelines for trail
safety and courtesy:
Bicyclists yield to hikers and both yield to equestrians. As a hiker,
assume you will be the one to yield, for safety's sake.
When meeting an equestrian on a small trail (i.e. not a fire
road), make verbal contact with the rider from as far away as is
practical. Stop, and step aside to the outside of the trail, if
there is one. Wait for the horse to pass. Don't touch the horse (I
know, it seems a friendly gesture)!
When approaching anyone on the trail, make the other person aware
of you. When you overtake someone from behind, try to make a noise
to let them know you're there before you are on top of them. I've
found a discrete cough to be okay. I've been on the other side of
this more than once with joggers, who come up behind you very
quickly and may startle you. And yield to those ascending a trail on
a grade that you’re descending.
Practice “Leave No
Stay on the trail. Cutting across switchbacks erode hillsides, and make for long
hours of trail maintenance. Unofficial trails make it very confusing
to discern the proper course. To keep your impact minimal, refrain
from gathering any plants, rocks, or other items you may encounter
on the trail (garbage excepted).