Here's how to take sensible precautions to ensure your own safety when you're on the trails, and tips for hiking lightly to leave a light footprint out in nature.
Stay Safe on the Trail
- Take a first aid kit, sunscreen, bug repellant, flashlight and water.
- Check the weather before you go and be mindful of lightning.
- Let someone know where you are going and when to expect your return.
- Wear the appropriate footwear and clothes.
- Be careful crossing footbridges or wet areas.
- Know how to identify poison ivy and avoid.
- Watch where you put your hands and feet to avoid snakes.
- Check yourself for ticks after your hike.
- Check state hunting seasons and be aware of hunters present during hunting seasons where hunting is permitted.
- Do not go alone or travel at night.
- Do not venture off trail.
- Be considerate of other visitors.
- Do not harass or approach wildlife.
- Do not wear headphones on multiuse trails.
Help Protect the Environment
- Stay on the trails.
- Respect wildlife and plants.
- Carry out pet waste.
- Do not litter and follow Leave No Trace guidelines.
- Travel on durable surfaces.
- Dispose of waste properly.
- Leave what you find.
- Do not remove, damage, alter or deface plants or historical artifacts.
- Do not enter caves.
- Do not bike on muddy trails.
- To prevent trail erosion, do not cut across switch-backs.
- No motorized vehicles on trails or in drawdown zones.
- Do not leave valuables in car.