People have been using the trails here for a long time, and longtime locals know how to get the most out of their trail experiences. Since they get a lot out of the trails, they want to protect them. They are versed in how to use the the trails sustainably while accommodating the needs of others they meet along the way. They smoothly flow along.
Others, who may be new to the use of our trails, may not be aware that it is important to use the trails in ways that help protect them. They may also need some schooling about how to use the trails in ways that help protect other’s enjoyment of them.
By treading right, or well, you can help keep the trails, and everyone’s experiences on them, in good form.
Here are two key points to keep in mind:
- Use the trails only when they can support your passing without getting all tracked-up. Generally speaking, this means using trails when they are dry, or nearly dry. If a trail is soft and muddy your passing leaves tracks or ruts, which can channel water, which can contribute to the erosion of the trail’s soil into nearby creeks. Tracked up trails need to be repaired too, which is costly and time consuming.
2. Slow down, and yield to others.
I like the example set by some local motorcyclists. Many of them stop when they encounter others out on the trails. They stop, turn off their machines, take off their helmets and say hi. When I’ve encountered them doing this they are often with younger riders who they are mentoring.
Set a good example – be like a local – slow down, say hi. In other words, be considerate of other people’s experiences.
There is more to keeping trails in good shape and respecting others, but I think the above two concepts are a good starting place.