Trail Etiquette

While many of you know to say a quick hello when meeting or passing fellow trail users, a lot of you may not have been on greenways or trails used by horses. The key thing to remember is that “Wheels Yield to Heels”. Bicyclists and other wheeled users yield to those on either two or four feet! Hikers should yield to equestrians. If you aren’t sure what to do, stop, and let the other trail user pass. Feel free to ask the horse rider what you should do. Most folks riding horses will gladly chat with you about their mount.

If you overtake a horse, cyclist or hiker from behind, make verbal contact with the trail user.”On your left” will generally do it. A quick “thanks” after passing is always a good idea.

If while riding your bike, you overtake or meet a horse and rider on a bridge, or in a tunnel, please stop and let the equestrian exit the confined space of the bridge or tunnel. While many horses are OK with other trail users, there may be a few who have never seen a cyclist, or many other people, other than their riders. Help make it as easy on them as possible by stopping and letting them get out of the confined space.

If in doubt with what to do when encountering a horse and rider, particularly in a confined space like a bridge or tunnel, STOP. Let the horse and rider pass. Remember, Wheels Yield to Heels.

If you come across park staff or volunteers doing work on the Wake County, Chatham County or southern Durham portions of the ATT, first, catch their attention, and indicate you want to pass. For your safety, stop until they give permisson to pass. They may have to move or stop what they are doing to allow you to safely pass. This is particularly true when the workers are working with motorized machinery.

Here are a few guides we feel make a lot of sense:

  • Bring along a friend to enjoy the trail with you.
  • Say hello or at least offer a nod to fellow trail users. We’ve found that folks who use trails are about the friendliest folks around.
  • Use care if you must use the ATT at night; licensed hunters are authorized to use sections designated as Wildlife Areas 24 hours a day and visibility is limited.
  • Bring along a cell phone if you have one.
  • If you see any suspicious behavior, contact 911. On the Wake section contact Tony D’Amico at 919 387-2117. On the Durham section call 919-560-1200.
  • Don’t leave valuables in parked vehicles.
  • Don’t carry valuables or much cash with you.
  • Bring water with you. Water is available seasonally (typically April through November) at Herndon Park, Pittard Sears and Wimberly Road and year-round in the bathrooms at the New Hope Church Road trailhead.
  • Stay on the trail.