Thursday, June 13, 2024

Hit the trail: 5 tips for trail etiquette every Victorian should know

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Victorians love exploring the beautiful region that we call home—with more people out enjoying our region’s abundance of hikes and trails, doing your part to protect our parks is more important than ever.

Which is exactly why the CRD (Capital Regional District) looks to help visitors understand why travelling off of sanctioned trails, letting their dog out of sight, or leaving behind garbage is harmful—and motivate them to protect the parks they love for future generations!

Regional parks and trails like Thetis Lake, Elk/Beaver Lake, and the Galloping Goose get millions of visits altogether every year, and each and every individual’s actions add up quickly; your choices matter. Check out CRD’s park usage and rules here for more info!

In the mean time, here are 5 tips for trail etiquette every Victorian should know:

Stay On trail

Hiking or cycling off trail is environmentally damaging and could disturb sensitive ecosystems and culturally significant sites. Authorized CRD Regional Parks trails factor in a buffer zone between human activity and sensitive areas that other, unsanctioned trails may not. By remaining on authorized trails you help protect these lands for the ecosystems and cultural activities that depend on them.

Know before you go

Make sure you’re using only authorized trails by first checking CRD Parks Maps online or by following our in-park signage. Know that ANY OTHER trail map source (online apps, opens-source maps, web forums) will show both sanctioned AND unsanctioned trails. Unsanctioned trails found online may not be well-maintained or enjoyable to use. They may not be safe – for yourself or for park ecosystems.

Your choices matter

CRD Regional Parks and Trails get millions of visits every year. Thinking “I’m only one person,” or “it’s just this one time” to justify poor trail etiquette is harmful. Individual actions add up fast, and we all have a responsibility to help protect the parks we love. Stay on trail, leave no trace, take only memories, and pack out everything that you pack in.

Share the trail

When everyone is TrailSmart, it is easier to share the trail. Remember to keep to the right, yield to others and to always alert other people before you pass them while exploring our regional parks and trails. All three Regional Trails and some regional park trails are multi-use, which means that all who can safely walk, pedal or wheel are welcome.

Cruise with courtesy

When you choose to use CRD Regional Parks and Trails, you are also choosing to safely share the trails with others. Whether you are on foot or on wheels, there is always time to be kind. Consider a nod, wave, or smile when passing others. Together we can create a culture of compassion where sharing the trail is an opportunity, not a challenge.

CRD Trail Etiquette for Parks and Trails

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