Park Ecosystems are sensitive 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. If you go Hiking, please do me a giant favor.
1. Most parks have a website. Always look up the rules for the park before you go unless you’ve been there a million times and already know the rules. Likewise, most trails have additional rules on top of the Park’s rules. Before you go hiking on any trail, look up its rules too. Furthermore, follow them!
2. Take a trashbag or plastic sack with you for your trash and any trash you find on the trail- and don’t litter in the park. It doe not have to be a big one, either. You can recycle plastic grocery store bags and take them 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 as well so that it is 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 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.
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.