Hiking Etiquette

With a surge in new hikers accessing the 8-mile hiking trail system in Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve, Elachee offers these tips for making the most of your experience – and that of your fellow hiker! Of course, these unwritten ‘rules’ of the trail apply to any trail system you visit.

6 Unwritten ‘Rules’ of the Trail

Be Prepared 
Research the area you plan to hike in, download maps and be prepared to pay use or parking fees the area requires. Bring your own water and dress appropriately for your adventure. TIPS FOR TRAIL USE

There’s no shame in pace differences. Hiking Trail Etiquette: Tips and Reminders
Some like to stop and smell the roses, while others are all about setting a brisk pace. If you are hiking slower or are taking a break, move to the side of the trail to allow faster hikers to pass by you. Keep an ear out for fast hikers coming up behind you.

Pets 
Prior to setting out, it’s your responsibility to research whether or not your dog/other pets are allowed on individual hiking trails. If allowed, strictly follow all leash laws and keep your dog under leash control at all times.
Reminder: No Dogs on Elachee campus or the Chicopee Woods Area Park Monday through Friday (including holidays). Leashed dogs welcome Saturday and Sunday. PLAN YOUR VISIT

Pack it in, pack it out.
Practice Leave No Trace principles for ALL items, including biodegradable food waste. Non-native food sources for wildlife can severely impact the ecosystem. Pack out all trash. If you stop, clear the area for any micro-trash you may have accidentally left.

Yield 
Rule of thumb: hikers going downhill should yield to those hiking uphill, unless waved up.

Noise 
Hike quietly, keep conversation within your group and use headphones when listening to digital devices. Many people hike for different purposes including exercise, wildlife observation such as birding or solitude.

Can You Hike 150 Miles by Year End?

Hiking for Health: 150-mile Chicopee Challenge, presented by Northside HospitalIf you find yourself frequently visiting Elachee’s hiking trails, considering accepting the 2020 Hiking for Health 150-mile Chicopee Challenge, presented by Northside Hospital. This wellness initiative offers a framework and the incentive for individuals in our community to stretch their legs and experience nature at its finest.

Download the Hiking Log to track your progress. Then, earn a FREE, limited edition t-shirt once you reach your 150-mile goal!