Good Etiquette To Follow On Public Trails
Public trails are great ways to get out of the house, get some exercise, and enjoy the weather at the same time. Step onto a trail and you may hear birds singing, see beautiful trees, and pass walkers and bikers. Often you share a trail with other members of your community.
Whether you are walking, running, biking, or immersed in another activity, there is etiquette to be followed on public trails.
Stick To The Right
Yes, keeping to the right hand side of the trail is considered good etiquette.
Follow the same rules as driving on a road; pass on the right any people who are moving in the opposite direction. Even if the trail is not paved and does not have a yellow line down the middle of it, continue to follow this rule.
Look And Acknowledge
If the trail intersects with a public road and you need to cross the road, there are a few steps for courteous behaviour.
Look both ways (remember being told to do that as a kid?) before crossing the road to get to the next leg of the trail.
If a vehicle on the road appears to be going too fast and does not see you, let the vehicle pass before you cross. Make sure it is safe before you cross; it is not worth endangering yourself to beat the car and save a few minutes of time.
If the vehicle does stop to let you cross, acknowledge the driver with a nod or a wave of your hand. While it is common courtesy for the driver to let trail users pass before driving through the intersection, it is still polite to offer a 'thank-you' with a gesture. No middle-finger involved please.
The simple action of acknowledgement tells the driver you appreciate the pass through and are respectful of one another. This is good etiquette.
Many people walk their dogs on trails. The dogs have a great environment to explore nature and come across other dogs and people along the route. What a treat!
Etiquette regarding dogs on public trails concerns the leashes. Keep dogs on a leash. Be cognizant that not all people like animals, and in particular dogs. Some people have fears of dogs.
Also, some dogs become excited when they come across other dogs; they start barking and jumping excitedly. The instant energy of the pet may be unnerving for people walking on the trail who can not foresee the actions of the particular dog. Be safe by keeping the dog on a leash.
There is also good etiquette for when a biker passes another person on a public trail.
As with the rule for cars, passing is expected to happen on the left-hand side of a person. When a biker passes a person, even if that other person is on a bike, it should be done on the left-hand side of the person being passed.
As well, it is good etiquette to alert the person that you are passing them. For example, ring the bell on your bike or say, "Passing on your left." The alerts prevent the person being passed from being scared by the sudden noise. A potential accident is also prevented if that person were to unexpectedly swing to the left and crash into the biker.
As with driving on a public road, there are certain rules to follow follow when you are on a public trail. The rules or "etiquette" include passing on the left-hand side and otherwise keeping to the right-hand side of the trail. Courtesy toward other people is a great way to enjoy the trail while also showing respect.
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