Family of mountain bikers riding up a gentle path on hillside

Trail Courtesy and Safety

Ever wondered what “yield” and that yellow triangular sign at trailheads means? Read on to learn how you can have a more enjoyable time while out on the trails, and thereby make others' experiences pleasant as well!

Trail Triangle

Yield means slow down, establish communication, be prepared to stop, and pass in a safe and friendly manner. The arrows on the sign show that hikers yield to horses, and bikes yield to both hikers and horses.

Tread Lightly. Be sensitive to the dirt beneath you. Recognize different types of soils and trail construction; practice low-impact cycling. Say NO to mud because wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage. When the trail surface is soft, consider other riding options.

Also, stay on existing trails, and don’t create new ones. Don't cut switchbacks. Appreciate the parkland that we have and pack out what you pack in, and pick up random litter.

Besides following what the Courtesy sign illustrates, it’s also important to practice the following:

Respect Others. If you offer respect, you are more likely to receive it. All trail users have rights and responsibilities to each other, and to our trails.

Smile. Greet. Nod. Every user on the trail is a fellow nature lover. Be friendly and expect to see other folks around every corner. Remember, "Go Slow, Say Hello!"

Don't Block the Trail. When taking a break, move to the side of the trail. Don't stop or lay a bike or backpack on the trail, especially on a blind corner.

Don't Tune Out. If you wear earphones, keep the volume down or only wear one earpiece so other trail users don't surprise you.

Share and Care. We all share a love of nature, open space and trails. It's important that all hikers, equestrians and mountain bikers unite to support and care for our trails and public lands. Shared-use trails are cost-effective, minimize impacts on the environment, provide the most users with the most trail opportunities and build happier, healthier communities. Let's work together to keep our trails safe and enjoyable for all.

Visit our friends at to learn more or get involved.

Do you love to mountain bike?  Click the button below for important bike-specific etiquette info!

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