Basic Trail Etiquette 
  • Obey all trail rules.
  • Stay on official county-marked trails. Do not create shortcuts or new trails.
  • Be aware of other trail users.  
  • Yield to other trail users when entering and crossing a trail. 
  • Use care around horses. All users must yield to horses.
  • Respect other trail users, private property, and trail signage.
  • Travel on the right side of the trail.
  • Move completely off the trail when stopped.
  • Always look ahead and behind when passing and give a clear signal.
  • Do not use earbuds that impede your hearing of other trail users.
  • Park open from sunrise to sunset.
  • Trash-free trails, carry in – carry out. 
  • Alcoholic beverages, smoking or vaping, dumping, littering, firearms, fires, sound amplification, or destruction of property are prohibited.
Multi-Use Trail Etiquette (September - February)
During hunting season:
  • Certain trails are closed during hunting season. Hikers should wear at least one article of hunter orange viewable from all directions such as a hat, jacket, or vest. Cover your backpack with orange.
  • Horseback riders should wear a hunter orange vest and helmet cover. Use a hunter orange vest or rump sheet on your horse.
  • Dogs should be on a leash and wear hunter orange or other visible color, like a vest, leash, coat, shirt or bandana.



  • Practice minimum impact techniques.
  • Always clean up after your horse.
  • Stock tied to trees ruins trees and turf; do so only for a short time. Never tie horses within 200 feet of lakes, streams, or springs. 
Pedestrians, Runners, and Personal Mobility Device Users
  • Stay to the right, no more than 2 abreast, and allow room for others to safely pass.
  • Maintain a straight and predictable line.
  • Do not stop or turn around without looking ahead AND behind you.
Bicycle and other Wheeled Device Users (skates, scooters, etc)
  • ALWAYS give horses and pedestrians the right of way. Use care around horses.
  • Only Class I e-bikes are permitted on County trails.
  • Racing or riding in a reckless manner is prohibited. 
  • Pass cautiously on the left single file when safe to do so – clear sight line, no oncoming trail users; while always giving an audible warning, for example, “passing on your left” or ringing your bell.
  • Use extra caution around children and congested areas.
  • Respect private property along the trails.
  • Move off the trail when stopped. 
  • Helmets are required equipment for bicyclists aged 16 and under in Maryland. 
Pets on Trails
  • Pets must be on a leash and controlled at all times.
  • Clean up after your pet. 
  • Give larger animals the right of way.  
  • Do not let your pet disturb wildlife or others. 
  • Use care around horses. 
Safety on the Trail
It is every trail user's responsibility and right to ensure their safety and expect safe practices from other trail users.  Exercise caution at all times and follow the guidelines and rules of the trails.  In case of an emergency, or for police or fire, call 911.
AVOID SPREADING SEEDS: Help keep weeds out of our forests. Noxious weeds threaten our healthy ecosystems and livelihoods. Stay on the trail, ride on designated roads, check your socks, and bikes for hitchhikers when you get back to the trailhead. Let’s keep our forests strong and clean.