Trail Etiquette – Sharing the Trails

Motorized vehicles yield to cyclists, pedestrians and horses

A little courtesy goes along way to protecting access to trails and fostering relations with other trail users.

Many cyclists, pedestrians and horseback riders will move off the trail when they hear an ATV coming but this doesn’t mean you should continue past them. Proper trail etiquette calls for the ATV rider to pull to the side of the trail, shut their engine off, remove their helmet (if horses present) and allow the other trail users to pass.

Use Extra Caution Around Horses

Horses can be unpredictable and spook when scared, please use extra caution around horses for everyone’s safety:

  • Pull to the side of the trail far enough for horses to pass safely as soon as you see them.
  • Pull to the downhill side of the trail if possible since horses tend to perceive unknown threats on the uphill side as predators.
  • Shut off your motor as soon as possible and remove your helmet. The horse will be more likely to recognize you as a human.
  • Speak to the rider and horse in a friendly, relaxed tone.
  • When approaching horses from behind, stop, call ahead and make yourself known to the rider. Ask them if it is OK to pass and the best way to do so.
  • Horsemen may pull to the side of the trail a safe distance if they hear an OHV approaching, but this does not necessarily mean it is safe for you to ride by. Stop and wait for instructions from the horseman.
  • Ask the horseman how he/she would like to proceed.
  • The horseman will know his/her horse and how the horse reacts to other trail enthusiasts. The horseman may ask you to stay put and ride past you.
  • The horseman may ride to the side of the trail and ask you to ride or push past them.
  • If you ride by a horse, keep your rpm’s low and steady and your sound as low as possible.
  • Sudden movements or sounds can startle horses.
  • Be alert, aware and on guard for oncoming traffic.

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