The climate of Southwest Idaho lends itself to year round recreation, but it’s important to know how and when to use the trails. Here are some common instances where further trail etiquette may be needed.
This time of year, it’s critical that trail users stay off muddy trails. Turn around if you are leaving tracks. If you encounter sections of mud, ride or walk straight through it rather than walking alongside the trail, as this can cause unnecessary trail widening and harm to vegetation.
Pay close attention to posted signs that indicate where and when dogs must be kept on-leash. This not only prevents pets from interfering with other trail users but helps ensure the safety of native wildlife, particularly nesting birds. Even in controlled, off-leash areas, owners must stay within 30 feet of their dogs at all times. With the privilege of trail use also comes the responsibility to pick up and throw away your pet’s waste. Keep grocery bags on hand for this purpose.
ENCOUNTERING OTHER TRAIL USERS
When it comes to equestrians and pedestrians, mountain bikers must always yield—to hikers, runners and horses. If approaching from behind, slow down and ask to pass. If approaching head-on, rather than riding off trail, yield by stopping completely, keeping one foot on the ground, and allowing others to pass. Downhill riders must always yield to mountain bikers heading uphill.
A little friendliness goes a long way. Whenever possible, slow down when approaching other users, and be sure to greet them. Also, do your part to prevent trail damage and erosion by staying on the trail. Lastly, don’t cut corners and avoid skidding or sliding through corners. Practicing good trail etiquette ensures a better trail system for all parties.
Our friends at Ridge To Rivers put together a great video demonstrating proper etiquette.