5 Golden Rules for All Trail Users

erin potter bikearlington
Erin Potter Tweet Us @BikeArlington@BikeArlington July 18, 2018

Erin Potter is the former Program Manager for BikeArlington.

Facebook Tweet us @BikeArlington

Arlington’s trails are popular which means they can get crowded. Following a few quick trail tips helps make sure everyone has an excellent outdoor experience.

Its summertime, and we must admit that the livin’ is pretty easy. Whether you love a morning jog, biking to work, an evening stroll, or all of the above, there are plenty of great places to do it in Arlington. Specifically, our great network of shared-use trails and paths.

Once the weather is nice, we all want to be outside as much as we can. Trail traffic spikes around this time of year, so we’re sharing a few courtesy rules for us all to remember as we hit the trails this summer.

Five Golden Rules for Trail Users

Rails to Trails is a national organization and a leader in creating mixed use trails by converting old railroad corridors into places for all of us to use. They also advocate for safe trail experiences using five rules on the trails:

1. Use Safe Speeds

One of the best things about trails is that there many different ways to use them, including walking, running, rolling, or biking. We all get to move at the speed that works best for us. It’s important to make sure the pace is comfortable to others on the trail and remember to slowdown in crowded areas when passing your neighbors

2. Keep Right, Pass Left

Similar to the rules of the road, slower traffic should stay right on the trail. When you encounter another trail user you’d like to pass, slow down and make sure there is room to pass safely and comfortably. Before passing, make sure to use a bell or give a friendly audible warning like …..

3. Standing Still? Stand Aside

There are a lot of great views on our trails which are perfect for chat or snack breaks. When enjoying either of these or simply taking a break, step off the trail. Being off the trail allows others to continue their adventure without needing to maneuver around you.

4. Mind Your Pets

Keeping your furry friends on a leash and near you make trails and pets a great combination. As the owner, it’s up to you to be aware of best practices on the trail that will help you and your pet avoid getting tangled up (or colliding!) with another trail user.

5. Be Alert

Whether chatting with a buddy, listening to music, or cruising in the zone, make sure you stay aware of your surroundings. From knowing who has the right of way to being able to hear other people passing you, being alert helps you and other trail users understand and communicate with each other. It’s one of the benefits of people-powered movement!

Choose a Trail & Ride

Arlington County’s trails are an amazing collective good, and we are all responsible for making them a welcoming and safe place for people to get outside and get moving. Practicing these tips helps us be responsive and predictable to everyone we meet on the trails.

Arlington County's 2018 Comfort Level Map download

Photo Credit:

Sam Kittner/Kittner.com

  • John says:

    You forgot: while cyclists should be cautious passing runners and walkers, they shouldn’t expect runners and walkers to randomly, without looking, make a uturn or cross the trail,


To prevent spam, comments will be approved before appearing on the post. If you have a comment or question, but do not want it to be published, please email BikeArlington.