Parks Etiquette

Some of the trails you will be on in Turkey Run and Shades are those made by the first critters to walk along Sugar Creek, and then followed by the native peoples as this area became used for hunting and fishing.  Walk as they would walk, leaving no trace behind.

From the American Hiking Society:

Almost every group of people have some unwritten rules to help govern their activity and make things more pleasant for all those participating. Rules such as not cutting in line at a ski lift and keeping your elbows off the table when eating at Mom’s house are just two examples.

Hikers are no different. Following a few unwritten rules can help make your hike and the hike for others more pleasant. Among some commonly observed practices are:

• Hike quietly. Speak in low voices and turn your cell phone down, if not off. Enjoy the sounds of nature and let others do the same.

• If taking a break do so at benches or observation areas that are on the trail rather than stopping on the trail and blocking other hikers.

• Don’t toss your trash – not even biodegradable items such as banana peels. It is not good for animals to eat non-native foods and who wants to look at your old banana peel while it ever-so-slowly decomposes? If you packed it in, pack it back out.

• Hikers going downhill yield to those hiking uphill.

• When bringing a pet on a hike, be sure to keep it on a leash and under control. Don’t forget to pack out pet waste as well.

• Don’t feed the wildlife. While many animals stay hidden, others are not so shy. Giving these creatures food only disrupts their natural foraging habits.

• Leave what you find. The only souvenirs a hiker should come home with are photographs and happy memories. (And maybe an improved fitness level!)

• Walk through the mud or puddle and not around it, unless you can do so without going off the trail. Widening a trail by going around puddles, etc. is bad for trail sustainability. Just because it looks easy to cut the corner off of a switchback doesn’t mean it is a good idea. Help preserve the trail by staying on the trail.

• If hiking in a group, don’t take up the whole width of the trail; please allow others to pass.

Hike in peace.

 

See the American Hiking Society for more hiking etiquette.