Trail Courtesy - Brevard North Carolina
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Trail Courtesy

Howdy Neighbor,

With over 100,000 acres of public lands, Transylvania County is an outdoor lover’s paradise. As a result, there are all kinds of activities taking place in our forests. In that spirit, we’ve come up with a few tips for etiquette that will ensure that you, and all the other hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians, climbers and anglers in the woods have an optimal experience.

1) The right way to think about right of ways

The rules are pretty simple: Hikers and mountain bikers yield to horseback riders and mountain bikers also yield to hikers. Having said that, it’s often easier for hikers to step off the trail to allow mountain bikers to pass, but mountain bikers should never expect a hiker to yield.

If you’re a hiker or mountain biker, always yield to horseback riders. Horses are not always predictable so it’s important to move slowly, don’t make sudden movements and give the horse (or horses) as wide a berth as possible.

Hikers should walk on the right side of the trail. Hikers who are overtaking other hikers should pass on the left. And finally, hikers encountering other hikers should remember that uphill hikers have the right of way.

2) Leave no trace, ace

If you pack it in, then pack it out. Nothing spoils an outdoor experience more than the sight of litter in a pristine forest. You can also go above and beyond the call of duty by picking up any litter you see.

3) It’s your duty to take care of doodie

Be sure to carry waste bags to dispose of your pet’s waste. And bury your solid waste at least 200 feet away from trails, water sources and camp sites.

4) Let Mother Nature supply the soundtrack

You might love Guns n’ Roses, but others may not. To preserve the natural experience, don’t broadcast your tunes. Besides, Mother Nature offers up a pretty sweet playlist of sounds. If you do use ear buds, though, keep one ear bud out so you can hear oncoming trail users.

5) To leash or unleash, that is the question

There’s nothing more exhilarating than seeing your canine companion romp through the woods. However, different public lands have different rules regarding leash requirements. Before you let Fido follow his nose off lead, check the regulations at the forest or park you’re visiting.