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-Andrea Vincent
date posted: September 20, 2009

Not only is it polite to be courteous on the trail, it is SAFE.   I cannot tell you how many times I have seen groups of runners, cyclists, rollerbladers, and walkers sprawled across both lanes of a trail with no regard for others.  This is rude and extremely dangerous.  You must know and obey the rules of the trail.

1st Rule of the Trail - Stay to the Right:
ALWAYS stay on the right side of the trail.  Others using the trail will pass on your left when it is safe and clear. Therefore, keep to the right, keep your children to the right, and always move out of the way of others by steering to your right.

2nd Rule of the Trail - Single File on the Trail:
NEVER walk, run, or ride with more than two people side-by-side in your lane.  Of course, single file is best.  However, on the occasion that the trail is not crowded, two people side-by-side is acceptable -- as long as you are hugging the right-hand side of your lane so that others can pass you safely on the left.

3rd Rule of the Trail - Sudden Stops:
If you need to STOP, please pull over to your right (preferably in the grassy/gravel side area). Those coming up quickly from behind cannot premeditate your sudden stop.  The last thing you want to happen is to have a cyclists run over you as you bend down to pick up your baby`s tossed toy or to tie your shoe.  Again, this is extremely dangerous to you and others around you.

4th Rule of the Trail - Announce "Passing on Your Left":
Always announce "PASSING ON YOUR LEFT." This is a rule that I see neglected or ignored many times over. Those in front of you may suddenly have the urge to meander into the left lane or suddenly cross the trail.  If you do not announce that you are passing you could cause a crash, or (at the very least) scare other runners half to death as you whip past them unexpectedly.

5th Rule of the Trail - Children and Safety:
TEACH your children these safety rules before taking them on the trail.  Observe these same rules in your own neighborhood prior to venturing out on major trails.   Remind them throughout your run or ride to stay far to the right, no swerving into the other lane or distracting their siblings.  It is also a good idea to take them to major trails when there is less traffic on those trails - mid-day during the week or late on the weekends.  Most hardcore runners and cyclists hit the trails early in the morning or mid-morning on the weekends, or just after 5pm to 6pm during the work week.

6th Rule of the Trail - How to Safely Use Headphones:
Some runners choose to use headphones to help distract them from counting the distance, especially when running alone.  If you must wear headphones, keep the volume turned down to a bare minimum so that you are still alert to your surroundings.  Loud music may help your pace and rythmn, but it will block out important noises such as bicycle horns, approaching runners, and traffic when crossing roads.

If you have specific questions about trail safety, please email info@seemommyrun.com and we would be happy to assist you.


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