In celebration of Bike Everywhere Month, King County Parks is excited to unveil our new trail safety public education campaign – Share the Trail. The population of King County is growing. Participation in outdoor recreation is growing. Our Regional Trails System is growing. And all that means more people out enjoying our trails every day.
While we encourage everyone to get out and enjoy our beautiful parks, there are a few key things to remember when you’re out on our 175 miles of regional trails.
Remember that trails are for everyone. While you may use it one way, for commuting or walks with your friends for example, other people may use it in a much different way. Always be aware of others, leave space for others to pass you or your group, and be polite.
While it may not be polite to yell at home, in the office, or at the coffee shop, if you’re cycling the trails it IS polite to yell. Letting slower moving travelers know that you are approaching can avoid a collision. It gives them time to move to the side or bring their pets in close. Use your voice (“On your left!”) or bell at least 20-30 feet before passing, and again when within 5-10 feet to let them know you’re near.
Speaking of pets on leash, while retractable leashes give Fido the freedom to smell the wilds, they can also be hazards to bikers, runners, and other trail visitors. Keep your pets in close to you when you’re on the trail, for their safety and the safety of others.
Since the trails are technically only open from dawn to dusk, low light can be an issue – especially in our Pacific Northwest winters. Make sure to wear reflective clothing and use lights, so that others can see you.
Most importantly, remember to share the trail. Be aware of other people and how they’re using the trail. Give them the courtesy of going slow when you are approaching and passing. And who knows, maybe you’ll even get a friendly smile or high five in return!
Whether you’re walking, riding or even prancerising, our Regional Trails System is here for everyone to enjoy. Be polite, be friendly, and have fun!