Trail Etiquette

Did You Know...

  • About 170,000 recreation visits occur on the Forest every year...
  • Recreation visitors include hikers, bikers, and equestrians...
  • Administrative vehicles use the same roads as you - expect to see passenger vehicles, construction equipment, and log trucks on forest roads at any hour every day of the week.

What can you do to prevent accidents and ensure your enjoyment of McDonald Research Forest? You can yield right of way, protect yourself and others, practice good stewardship, and protect natural resources.

Yield Right of Way

  • All users yield to motor vehicles.
  • Hikers yield to horses.
  • Mountain bikes yield to all other user groups.

Protect Yourself and Others

  • Greet others on the road or trail. Let others know when you are overtaking them.
  • Pass horses only after rider tells you it is safe.
  • Control your speed. Slow down on blind curves.
  • Be able to stop in half the distance you can see.

Practice Good Stewardship

  • Leave research projects undisturbed. Traveling on unauthorized trails can disturb study sites and disrupt years of important research.
  • Respect private property and observe all posted signs. McDonald Forest is surrounded by many neighbors. Ask permissions from the owners before crossing their land.
  • Avoid disturbing wildlife. This saves animals from injury, but also protects research on wildlife behavior and habitat.

Protect Natural Resources

  • Tread lightly.
  • Stay off muddy trails to reduce erosion damage.
  • Avoid trampling vegetation or cutting new trails.
  • Stay on roads and trails designated for your mode of travel.

Please refer to the McDonald Research Forest Trail Map for authorized trail locations and road systems.

Did You Know ... (continued)

  • The swift silent movements of mountain bikes and runners can scare recreationists and their animal companions...
  • Even friendly dogs can cause accidents by scaring people and horses...
  • Horses weigh half a ton or more. The force of one kick can cause serious injury or death.