Hiking Etiquette


Safety’s great, but are you polite? Do you care about other hikers and wildlife? How do you show it?

Good hiking etiquette ensures that everyone on the trail has a good time, from beginners to seasoned hikers.

Know when you do and don’t have the right of way. On multi-use trails, people on horseback or bicycles have the right of way. People walking uphill also have the right of way over those going downhill.

Keep to the right side of the trail to allow passing on your left. Be aware of your surroundings and notice if someone is trying to pass you. Politely let someone know if you will be passing them.

Speak quietly. Not only will you annoy others on the trail if you are yelling to other people in your party, you will also scare off wildlife. Put your cell phone on vibrate if necessary, or turn it off.

Pick up trash along the trail. Many hikers bring a bag along to pick up garbage. Give back and take pride in your favorite trails. Report significant trash or vandalism to the agency that owns the trail.

If you are hiking in a big group, it might be easier to split into smaller groups.

Don’t fish or hunt unless you have a permit to do so. In many areas, this is illegal.

Say hello to other hikers you pass. Be polite and become informed about issues on the trail. And if something happens to you, other hikers may be able to tell Fishermen at Neversink Riverrescuers where they last saw you.

Rest or set up camp off the trail on durable surfaces. Don’t cut away or set up your tent on vegetation. And make sure camping is permitted.

Above all, just be respectful of the natural world and of the other hikers around you, and you’ll be fine.