Monday, March 21, 2011

Trail Safety Tips

by Ranger Brandy Hanusosky

Hiking in the great outdoors provides exercise and interest for people of any age. Just getting out and walking around is a wonderful way to exercise and see nature. Since unexpected things happen, however, the best way to help guarantee a good time for all is to plan ahead carefully and follow safety precautions.

Be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Walk confidently.

Look people in the eye as you pass them to let them know you are aware of their presence.

Wear shoes and clothing that allow for freedom of movement.

Do not wear headphones while exercising. Being able to hear will allow you to sense someone that you may not be able to see, such as a passing cyclist.

Lock your vehicle. Do not leave valuables such as purses, wallets or cell phones in plain view.

Carry a cell phone in case of emergency. If approached by a stranger, do not allow yourself to be distracted.

Use authorized trails. Respect closures and restricted areas.

Keep dogs on a leash.

Use caution around dogs, horses and wildlife.

Don’t litter. Pack out what you pack in (that includes cleaning up after your pet).

Advise friends/family of your hiking destination and schedule in case of emergency.

Be aware of park closure times. All Lake Metroparks properties close one half hour after sunset, which varies seasonally. Please plan your walk accordingly to avoid being on the trail after dark.

Click here for a complete list of trail maps available from Lake Metroparks.

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