Share the Trail – Safety Tips

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Cumberland’s trail network is a treasured asset and one of the gems of our community. With more people than ever getting out and enjoying the trails, we thought we’d share some safety tips on how to share the trails and help everyone have a great experience.

1. Be Alert

Whether you’re riding, running or walking, it’s important to be alert and aware of both your own actions and your fellow trail users. You can’t be safe if you don’t know what’s going on!

If you listen to music, consider turning the volume down low or leaving one earbud/side off. This will help you be alert to audio cues of approaching trail users (voices, wheels turning, dog barks).

When you’re moving downhill on a trail, be aware that fast moving traffic can be approaching from behind, where you won’t have the benefit of seeing them ahead of time. On especially steep or fast sections of trail, try to stay to one side of the trail and don’t linger in that area. If you would like to stop and take a break, find a safe area that is off trail and won’t pose a hazard to other users.

2. Communicate

When you do pass a fellow trail user (or users), communicate! Wave, say hi, and if applicable, let them know how many people to expect in your group further down the trail. This will help both parties let one group move past the next or to keep an eye out as they move forward.

If you’re passing somebody, let them know by calling out and establishing which side of them you’d like to pass (if applicable). Again, this helps both users plan ahead and reduce the possibility of a conflict.

3. Expect the Unexpected

Be aware that there could be a fallen tree or another rider, runner, or hiker around any corner.  Be prepared to stop if necessary and/or make a safe, courteous pass. If you notice a trail safety issue like a fallen tree or a damaged bridge be sure to report it to the UROC Trail Manager via email ([email protected]).

4. Mind Your Pets

If you’re out enjoying the trails with your furry friends, make sure they’re under control. Not all trail users know how to act around pets, and vice versa. Pets should be under control at all times to reduce uncomfortable run-ins and eliminate collisions with others. This will also help to reduce the incidents where pets disturb wildlife.

And please, scoop! It’s always important to pick up after your pet.  Carry a waste disposal bag every time you hit the trail with your dog and be sure to dispose of it appropriately – don’t leave waste bags on the side of the trail. Pitch in to keep the trail clean and safe for all.

5. Wildlife

Be aware that there is a variety of wildlife on our trail network – Cumberland’s surrounding forests are home to bears, cougars, deer and more! Make sure you have appropriate equipment, are familiar with their behaviours and choose appropriate responses during an interaction with them. Check out some tips and facts about wildlife interactions at:

6. Carry In – Carry Out

Please make sure you bring out what you brought in! Or carry an extra plastic bag in your pocket, backpack, etc. and if you do come across garbage/refuse on the trails, you’ll be able to bring it out with you! This will help keep the forest clean and safe for everyone. If you find any items that somebody will miss (ie. A dropped glove, hat, equipment), bring it to the network entrance kiosk or the Cumberland Recreation desk to help with a reunification.