Trail Safety and Etiquette

When going on hike or outdoor adventures it is always important to consider the following tips to ensure that you have a fun and safe experience.

Food, Water, Self

  • Always bring a bottle of water, a snack, sunscreen, insect repellent and a hat.
  • Be sun safe, by applying sunscreen and wearing a hat, and bug smart by applying insect repellent.
  • Be self aware; know your limits and physical capabilities and do not attempt difficult hikes or climbs. If you are tired take a break, if you are cold layer up, and if you are thirsty then drink plenty of water.
  • Layer up; on cold, rainy or winter hikes be sure to wear layers of clothing to keep yourself warm.
  • Hydrate; don’t wait to drink water until you get thirsty, keep drinking and keep hydrated.

Common Sense and Safety

  • Check; the weather, notices of trail closures, and local advisories
  • Be Alert; of the trail, cliffs, poisonous plants and your surroundings. It’s best to stay on marked trails and note any signs or advisories that may be posted.
  • If you are biking make sure to wear a helmet
  • Bring a buddy; it’s always more fun going on an adventure with friends and company keeps you safe while on hikes.
  • Bring a watch and be aware of sunset, don’t get stuck on trails at night accidently
  • Let someone know when going on hikes or using trails and when to expect you back.
  • If you are lost, stay in one place. Lots of people use the trails so you are bound to run into someone. Be sure to let someone know when going on trails and when to expect you back.

Look, Don’t Touch

  • Stay on marked trails
  • Avoid picking plants and wildlife unknown to you – it may be poisonous
  • Avoid picking plants and wildlife Known to you – try and preserve the natural environment and not harm it
  • Do not feed or play with wild animals
  • See an injured bird or animal? Call the local wildlife center! Don’t handle it yourself, it may do more harm than good.
  • Leave no trace, no litter, no disturbances. As they say, “ Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time”
  • Report vandalism. Ontario’s Natural Resources Tips Reporting Line is a toll-free direct line that is open 24 hours a day 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667). Tell the organization managing the trail of any destruction or damage you may encounter.

These Trail safety tips and guidelines were adapted from OntarioTrails Hike Safety and Resources site: http://www.ontariotrails.on.ca/learn/trail-resources check out the site for information on trail, hike, boat safety and etiquette