As more people hit the trails in the Tri-Cities area, it’s even more important to follow and help others follow a few simple Trail tips. These aren’t laws but rather guidelines to help ensure everyone who wants to enjoy the hiking opportunities around our area will be able to do so for years to come.
This is not an exhaustive list but it covers some of the areas where I see people need reminders. It is unfortunate that a few people can ruin it for the masses but I encourage us all to provide gentle reminders to those who just don’t know any better.
Happy Hiking Hints
- Obey signage. The most common sign you’ll likely see is to stay on trail. I know its fun to go cross-country and there are some good hiking areas where you can venture out but most areas are fragile and going off trail will damage much of the scenery we came to see. Badger Mountain is one delicate habitat where it’t important to stay to the trail.
- Don’t litter. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? Even tucking your gum wrapper in your pocket can make a difference. I like to take an extra measure and pick up little pieces of trash I see along the paths.
- Downhill hikers should yeild to uphill traffic. Also, step aside and let faster hikers pass and, if you’re in a group, don’t take up the entire trail.
- The only souvenirs you should take are pictures, memories and hopefully a better fitness level. Flowers, rocks, plants and other natural features are part of the enjoyment of the hike. Leave them there for everyone to see.
- Hiking with a dog? They must be on a leash and you must bring doggy doo bags. They are great hiking companions but they can be annoying and even threatening to other hikers
- Finally, make your hike enjoyable. Share a “hello” or a friendly smile with those you encounter.