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Trail Etiquette 101

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Following trail etiquette helps everyone stay safe and enjoy the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks. 

With summer in full swing, explorers are discovering the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks by foot, bike, and horseback. As visitors take advantage of the warm weather on the open spaces and nature preserves, it’s important to remember most of the trails on the Landmarks are multi-use trails and enjoyed by mountain bikers, hikers, and equestrians. Learning and practicing proper trail etiquette can help all explorers stay safe and enjoy the trails this summer and beyond.
 
Some visitors may have seen the “Yield Triangle” sign while adventuring through the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks. This sign is a graphic representation of the base trail etiquette rule: bikers yield to equestrians and hikers and hikers yield to equestrians. 


Trail Etiquette Rules
 

  • Speak courteously and clearly when calling out to other trail users, giving them time to react and figure out the safest way to get around each other.

 

  • Stay on the trail. Creating your own paths or using unmarked trails damages the habitat, could lead to illegal trespassing, and could cause you to get lost.

 

  • Respect and expect other trail users. When in doubt, give the other visitors the right of way.

 

  • Keep your ears open and eyes peeled for approaching visitors.

 

  • Don’t assume fellow trail users know trail etiquette. If someone is still learning, be kind and suggest a correction.

 
Twice a month visitors can explore protected Landmarks across the county including OC Parks’ Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park and Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve, and the City of Irvine’s Bommer Canyon. Wilderness Access Days give visitors the perfect opportunity to explore the trails by foot, bike, or horseback.
 
Visitors can practice their trail etiquette during the upcoming Wilderness Access Day at Bommer Canyon on Saturday, July 21 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. During this self-guided activity visitors can explore the entire southern Open Space Preserve trail network, including the single-tracks in Shady Canyon, normally reserved for guided activities only.
 
Communication and awareness are key to trail etiquette. For additional tips to make your time exploring the Landmarks more enjoyable and safe, visit: www.LetsGoOutside.org/TrailTips. Remember to wear sunscreen and don’t forget to pack water, a snack, and wear appropriate shoes. Programs are open to the public with required registration, but space is limited and early registration is recommended. For more information and to register for a program visit www.LetsGoOutisde.org/activities.