Hiking, Etiquette, and Rules

Park Ecosystems are sensitive things, and most now play host to a multitude of at risk species of both Flora and Fauna. One thing that buggers me the most about hiking, though, is disrespectful Hikers.

Believe it or not, parks and trails have rules- yes, even if it’s a tiny thing that’s poorly maintained and sits in the literal middle of nowhere. And if there is one thing that I hate above all others as a Civilian Conservationist and Outdoor Hobbyist? It’s disrespectful Hikers who think that the rules of the park and Trail do not matter.

But they do matter, and they exist for a reason: To protect the safety of yourself and others- as well as the wildlife, and the general ecosystem of the park. So the next time you think about going to the park or setting foot on a trail, please remember to follow a few simple instructions:

1. Always look up the rules.

Parks have rules. Trails have rules. All of them have rules. And sometimes the Park Rules and trail ruels might be different. So unless you’ve been there a million times and already know the rules? Check the park rules. Likewise, before you go hiking on any Trail, look up its rules too (these are usually posted at the trail head- or the official starting point of the Trail). Furthermore, follow them!

2. Take a trashbag or plastic sack with you.

This is for your trash; remember: Always leave a spot better than you found it!It doesn’t have to be a big one. It doesn’t have to be anything big or special, either. You can recycle a simple plastic grocery store bag if you want to. Just take one with you hiking in order to keep your trash in- or any trash that you find on the trail. If you want, you can tie it to your waist band or your hiking pack so it’s easier for you to carry.

3. Do not, under any circumstances, feed the wildlife– and do not feed wild fowl (like Ducks, Geese, ect) Bread especially.

Feeding Birds food items like Bread- which is not nutritionally dense enough for them- causes massive health problems, diseases, and defects. If you want to feed them something, bring a wild fowl safe birdseed instead. But that aside, feeding the wildlife in general can cause a myriad of issues. Most notably, it can make them become dependent on Humans for food, leading to an increase in human-animal confrontations (often with disastrous results for both parties, but usually for the animals especially).

If you cannot respect the Park, the Trails, or the Flora and Fauna which rely on them to continue existing- let alone your fellow Hikers? You absolutely do not need to be there.


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The Banner Image for this post was provided by StockSnap; the Banner Image for the main site is my own work.

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