|Mountain Biking Rules of the Trail as per the International Mountain Bicycling Association
1. Ride On Open Trails Only.
Respect trail and road closures (ask if uncertain); avoid trespassing on private land; obtain permits or other authorization as may be required. Federal and state Wilderness
areas are closed to cycling. The way you ride will influence trail management decisions and policies.
2. Leave No Trace.
Be sensitive to the dirt beneath you. Recognize different types of soils and trail construction; practice low-impact cycling. This also means staying on existing trails and not
creating new ones. Don't cut switchbacks. Be sure to pack out at least as much as you pack in.
3. Control Your Bicycle!
Inattention for even a second can cause problems. Obey all bicycle speed regulations and recommendations.
4. Always Yield Trail.
Let your fellow trail users know you're coming. A friendly greeting or bell is considerate and works well; don't startle others. Show your respect when passing by slowing to a
walking pace or even stopping. Anticipate other trail users around corners or in blind spots. Yielding means slow down, establish communication, be prepared to stop if
necessary and pass safely.
5. Never Scare Animals.
All animals are startled by an unannounced approach, a sudden movement, or a loud noise. This can be dangerous for you, others, and the animals. Give animals extra room
and time to adjust to you. When passing horses use special care and follow directions from the horseback riders (ask if uncertain). Running cattle and disturbing wildlife is a
serious offense. Leave gates as you found them, or as marked.
6. Plan Ahead.
Know your equipment, your ability, and the area in which you are riding -- and prepare accordingly. Be self-sufficient at all times, keep your equipment in good repair, and
carry necessary supplies for changes in weather or other conditions. A well-executed trip is a satisfaction to you and not a burden to others. Always wear a helmet and
appropriate safety gear.
Keep trails open by setting a good example of environmentally sound and socially responsible off-road cycling
|Trail Etiquette as per Washington Trails Association
Courtesy is contagious. Following a few simple rules makes the backcountry experience pleasant for all.
Practice Leave No Trace Principles.
Practice Courtesy - Obey posted rules. Respect private property. Respect others. Let others enjoy quiet and solitude. Refrain from loud talking or swearing, and leave
judgmental attitudes at home.
Yield Right of Way - Wheels yield to heels. Downhill yields to uphill. Everyone yields to horses. Get off the trail. Near horses, get off to the downhill side and talk gently.
Take Care when Passing - Slow down! Do not startle others, especially horses. Get off trail to let faster users pass. On wide trails, keep right and pass left.
Take Breaks off Trail - and get your gear off trail too.
Practice Safety - Bring the Ten Essentials. Know your limits. Leave an itinerary with a friend or relative. Don't let your carelessness become a burden to others.
Be a Good Companion - Arrive on time. Share fairly.
Control Pets - It is really better to leave your pet at home. But if you must bring Rover, control your dog. Use a leash. Near horses, grip your dog’s throat to prevent barking.
Your responsible behavior will help keep pets allowed in the backcountry.
|Skills and Ethics for Equestrians as per The Backcountry Horsemen of Washington
Be Considerate of Others
Many people go into the backcountry to enjoy the peace and solitude a wilderness setting can provide. With increasing numbers of backcountry users, this solitude can
be hard to find. Being considerate of others and practicing good camp and trail etiquette ensures that everyone enjoys the visit.
Sound travels easily in the wilderness Be aware of your noise level. If you use bells, try to keep away from other groups. If you bring pets (check local regulations) keep
them under control at all times. A well behaved dog can be an excellent companion on a backcountry trip. Conversely, a rambunctious dog can create impacts by digging,
barking and frightening horses and wildlife, which can detract from yours' and other people's experience.
Some backcountry users are unfamiliar with horses Few hikers know they should pull off on the downhill side of the trail, you may need to ask them to hold up while you
pass. If instead, you are the one being overtaken, remember the hiker is packing a load and has a right to be on the trail too. Find a good spot to let them pass. A little
conversation as you pass each other may reduce the chance of your horses being spooked.
Riding in small groups will reduce dust. It will also make meeting and passing other groups easier and safer, especially in rough, rocky terrain. Exercise caution when
meeting loose dogs, llamas, pack goats, bicycles or motorized vehicles.
Any of these efforts work to create better understanding and appreciation between different backcountry user groups which benefits us all.
Minimize Horse Impact
Horses and mules have great potential for leaving long-lasting impact in the backcountry. They generate pressures up to 1500 psi on each foot. Horseshoes intensify
those pressures and increase shearing force on soils and vegetation. As grazing animals, they compete with wildlife for available feed and can over utilize a meadow if
not properly attended. As large animals reacting to fear, boredom, hunger and discomfort they can do damage very quickly. A frightened horse can girdle a tree within
seconds if it is improperly tied and then sets back on the lead rope violently.
In Popular Areas, Concentrate Use
Concentrating use on durable surfaces is a simple and effective method of reducing the impact of your backcountry visit. Main travel corridors and popular destinations
typically have well-established trails and campsites. Make decisions and choose practices that will cause the least amount of damage and leave only short-term impacts.
Stay on trails Impact on wildlife, soil and vegetation can be minimized by traveling on constructed trails that, in many cases, have been designed to accommodate heavy
use. Ride single file on the designated path. Do not shortcut trails or switch backs. Muddy stretches and most snow banks should be crossed, rather than skirted. If you
carry a saw, you can help local land managers by cutting and removing deadfall in the trail. Rerouting trails around obstacles causes vegetation damage, erosion and
development of multiple paths.
Horses in a string cannot be perfectly managed. The attentiveness of the horse packer, length of the string and traveling pace are all factors affecting string management.
If extremely difficult terrain must be negotiated, loose herding may be best while negotiating such terrain. Animals that are free to place their feet around obstacles are
less likely to cause damage to the ground, to themselves, and to their handlers.
Pull off for rest breaks When taking rest breaks, choose a site well off the trail so that others are not forced to leave the trail to go around you. When possible, pull off on
a durable surface such as dry grass or sand. For short breaks, you may be able to hand-hold your horses; however, if you must tie up, choose live trees at least 8" in
diameter and wrap the lead rope around the trunk twice before you tie the knot. For extended breaks, use hobbles, highlines, or pickets. Tend the horses often. Nervous
horses which trample or paw the ground while tied can be hobbled to prevent damage to the tree roots. Manure piles should be kicked apart and scattered, and any
pawed ground should be filled in.
|Guidelines For Responsible Off-Road Motorcycling as per The Northwest Motorcycle Association
If you're an off-road motorcycle rider, you represent off-road motorcycling to everyone around you. This includes not only when you're riding, but also when you're driving
to the trails, relaxing around camp or talking to others about the sport.
Your actions directly influence the opinions of those around you. Please do your part to present a positive image—for you and for the sport.
The following guidelines can help you and the people you ride with become responsible advocates for our sport.
Respect the people around you - Be considerate and friendly. Stop a moment to say hello, especially to those on foot, bicycles or horses.
Respect the property around you - Ride only where permitted.
Respect the environment around you - Minimize your impact so others can enjoy the area in the future.
A special note about horses and other pack animals on the trails...
When approaching (going the opposite direction):
Turn off your engine and move off the trail. On hillsides, move to the outside (downhill) side. Horses are less afraid to pass on the inside of a hillside. Consider removing
your helmet. When the rider approaches, ask if you need to do anything else. Before starting up again, let the horses get down the trail a bit.
When overtaking (going the same direction):
Approach slowly. Generally riders will pull off the trail to let you pass. Sometimes you may need to wait a while until they find enough room. Once you've made eye contact
with the rider and followed any instructions, pass smoothly and quietly. Once you pass, continue slowly up the trail a ways before resuming your normal speed.
In either case, be patient and enjoy the temporary break. The courteous impression you make is appreciated by all.
Stay on designated trails - Keep off meadows, steep hillsides and other sensitive areas.
Ride a quiet motorcycle - Maintain a quiet muffler and keep noise down around people who aren't riding. Noise is still the number one complaint about motorcycles.
Cross streams only when necessary - Use established crossings when possible, otherwise cross slowly at a 90-degree angle to the stream.
Keep the area clean - Leave the area at least as clean as when you arrived.
Volunteer - Help maintain your favorite riding areas, and share the responsibility to keep areas open.
Planning & Safety
Research the riding area. Get a current update from the local land manager or responsible party. Verify what trails are open and what precautions are advised.
Check the local weather forecast.
Prepare for the unexpected and pack accordingly
Never ride alone. Plan a ride with at least one other person. Riding alone can leave you vulnerable if you have an accident or breakdown.
At least one rider in the group should know basic first aid and have a first aid kit.
At least one rider in the group should have a tow strap.
Before the ride:
Riders should have a tailgate meeting before each ride to discuss the day's plans and to discuss etiquette with new riders.
Safety on the trail:
Always wear a helmet, eye protection and appropriate riding gear.
Ride at a speed that's honestly in control. Expect to encounter others on the trail and always have the ability to stop safely when that happens.
You are responsible for the rider behind you. At each trail intersection, wait for an OK sign from the rider behind you before you proceed. A head-nod or a thumbs-up
should do it.
A rider should never be allowed to return to the trailhead alone.
In the event of a breakdown or injury, a rider should never leave the group without notifying the group.
If you get separated from the group, go back to the last place everyone had last gathered and wait.
If, after waiting a reasonable amount of time, a rider has not caught up, someone should retrace the trail backwards, cautiously, until the rider is located.
A rider should never ride against an arrowed trail.
Yield the right of way to those passing or traveling uphill.
And finally, drinking and riding don't mix. Enough said.
|The following are some guidelines that will help insure a positive experience for all recreational users of Capitol Forest. The
information below is borrowed from well respected state, regional and international user group organizations.
|Photo by Derek Pearson