Trail Use & Etiquette

Whether you're a hiker or a biker, on an ATV or horseback riding or multi-use trail, it's very important to be polite to other trail users and to respect the trail itself. For example, bikers should give right of way to hikers on a multi-use trail and you should never leave the trail while exploring. Leaving the trail increases erosion and can damage plant life.

These are just a few broad rules to keep in mind. Below is detailed information about the proper use of our trails.

Minimal Impact

These tips will help you enjoy public lands without damaging natural surroundings.

  • Pack out all garbage.
  • Respect the property and privacy of others.
  • Camp at least 200 ft. away from lake shores, streams, and trails.
  • Bury human waste in a small hole several inches deep and at least 200 feet from water sources.
  • Camp at existing developed and dispersed campsites where possible to avoid killing plant life.
  • Please do not build any structures at your campsite.
  • Wash dishes, clothes, and yourself at least 200 feet from water sources - use as little soap as possible.
  • Do not build new fire rings at existing campsites. Fire restrictions may limit the use of open campfires (wood/charcoal). Contact the managing agency for current restrictions.
  • Watch wildlife from a distance. Do not chase or harass wildlife in any way. This includes dogs.
  • The hiker, skier, or horseback rider has right-of-way for reasons of safety and by rule of common courtesy.
  • Do not cut green limbs, branches, or boughs. Protect live vegetation.
  • Leave fences and gates open or closed as you find them.

Trail Safety

The last thing we want is for you to get hurt or lost on the trails with no way to get help. Keep the following tips in mind.

  • Traveling in pairs is recommended for safety in backcountry areas.
  • Make sure at least one person who is not traveling with you knows where you are going and for how long.

Noxious Weeds

Noxious weeds are invasive, exotic species that spread rapidly and choke out native species.

They degrade the environment and upset the delicate balance of nature. Decreased diversity, reduced wildlife habitat, poor quality agricultural lands, degraded water quality, increased soil erosion, economic losses and decreased recreation opportunities are just some of the impacts of noxious weeds. See below for how you can help keep them from spreading.

  • Brush animals and clean vehicles before and after backcountry trips to remove weed seeds.
  • Feed stock certified weed seed free feed for several days before and during pack trips.


For information about OHV etiquette, take a look at our OHV use page.