King County Parks: Share the Trail
Guest blog post by Gabriel Avila-Mooney, Communication Specialist – Regional Trails System, King County Natural Resources & Parks.
The population of King County is growing. Participation in outdoor recreation is growing. Our Regional Trails System is growing. This time of year there’s more people out on the trail than ever, which is great.
But that also means that everyone out using the trail needs to look out for each other. Our trails are a shared resource, and are used by a wide variety of folk: bike folk, walking folk, mothers and fathers with their tiny folk, even furry folk.
While we encourage everyone to get out and enjoy our beautiful parks and trails, there are a few key things to remember when you're out on regional trails.
Remember that trails are for everyone. While you may use it one way, for commuting or walks with your friends for example, other people may use it in a much different way. Always be aware of others, leave space for others to pass you or your group, and be polite.
While it may not be polite to yell at home, in the office, or at the coffee shop, if you're cycling the trails it IS polite to yell. Letting slower moving travelers know that you are approaching can avoid a collision. It gives them time to move to the side or bring their pets in close. Use your voice ("On your left!") or bell at least 20-30 feet before passing, and again when within 5-10 feet to let them know you're near.
And remember, there is a posted speed limit on the trails – it’s 15 MPH. Don’t know how fast you’re going? Slow down. Be polite, and go slow around other trail neighbors.
Are you walking some of your furry folk down the trail to their favorite sniffing spot? Keep your pets in close to you when you're on the trail, for their safety and the safety of others.
Since the trails are technically only open from dawn to dusk, low light can be an issue – especially in our Pacific Northwest winters. Make sure to use lights, so that others can see you from all sides. Bright or reflective clothing is also a plus.
Most importantly, remember to share the trail. Be aware of other people and how they're using the trail. Give them the courtesy of going slow when you are approaching and passing.
And who knows, maybe you'll even get a friendly smile or high five in return!
Whether you're walking, riding or just enjoying the fresh air, our Regional Trails System is here for everyone to enjoy.
Be polite, be friendly, and have fun!