Hi trail junkies! It's that time of year where the trails are starting to peek…
General Ed – Trail Use 101
We love seeing everyone out enjoying Nederland-area’s trails! Here are just a few tips and tricks for how to better engage with other trail-users to make sure everyone has a great time:
Flora/Fauna: (As we are writing this) it’s the height of summer and there are lots of incredible wildflowers and critters out on the trails! The variety of flora and fauna in the Nederland area is outstanding so keep your eyes open while you are out and about
Some of the wildflowers which you could see include: aster, black-eyed susan, paintbrush, wild rose, daisy, sunflower, columbine, and raspberry. Typically, our wildflower season peaks in mid-July and raspberries abound around the end of July and into early August.
If you are interested in spotting wildlife, there are lots of opportunities in our area. Keep an eye out for moose and fox and give them plenty of space! Elk, mule deer, coyote, bobcat, black bear, and the elusive mountain lion are also roaming the area. Be sure you have a good understanding of how to avoid engagements with these marvelous creatures to be sure to protect yourself and the critters!
Protect Our Trails:
As you may have guessed, we love our community trails! Please help us protect our beautiful mountain environment. Here are a few trail tips to ensure that our system remains healthy and sustainable for all users:
- Cutting switchbacks, creating hill climbs and riding in undesignated areas cause erosion, loss of wildlife habitat, and other natural resource damage. Please don’t do it!
- Muddy trails are vulnerable to damage — consider other options if a trail is soft. If you encounter muddy areas please stay to the middle of the trail rather than going around the muddy sections.
- Ride single file in the middle of the trail to avoid widening.
- Never use go-arounds; this widens and damages trails.
- Stay on designated trails and roads to minimize erosion. Never create new trails. Respect trail and road closures.
- Comply with signs and barriers and leave gates as you found them.
- Do not ride on or across private property.
- Never ride in areas protected as state or federal wilderness—it’s against the law.
- Leave the place better than you found it.
- Pack out at least as much as you pack in. Don’t litter.
Protect our wildlife:
We love our wildlife! Moose can regularly be seen on our community trails. Please give them plenty of space.
- Stay alert — animals are easily startled by an unannounced approach.
- Give animals plenty of space. Never scare them.
- Keep your dogs leashed or under strict voice commands. Though your pup may enjoy chasing wildlife, this can be incredibly stressful to the wild animals and jeopardize their ability to survive tough, winter months to come.
Share our trails:
We love sharing our community trails with all users (hikers, runners, riders, and horses)!
- Bike riders should yield to hikers and runners. EVERYONE should yield to horses; they are easily spooked. Ask horseback riders if and when you should pass them.
- Yield to trail users headed uphill.
- When yielding, STOP and move off trail until other users pass. Then step back on the trail and continue your trek. This minimizes impacts to flora on the sides of the trails and prevents trail widening.
- Stay in control of your bike and be aware of others around you. Anticipate other riders as your ride corners.
- Do not stop in the middle of the trail. Blocking the trail is dangerous both for you and other users.
- Respect one way signage.
- Pass slower riders with care and respect. Don’t get too close. Call out in a friendly way that you’d like to pass and allow them time to pull over to the side safely and thank them for pulling over.
- Let others know your coming with a friendly greeting.
- Let people pass. It takes all of a few seconds to pull over to the side, stop and let others past.
- Riders – control your speed.
- Be a good person and stop to help others in need!
Before you hit the trails, please be prepared and self-sufficient.
Know your equipment and keep it in good repair. If you are riding, wear a helmet. Always be prepared for fast weather changes. Inclement weather can move in quickly year-round in the high-country. Be sure to carry an extra layer and be wary of thunderstorms.
Things to consider carrying:
- spare inner tubes
- tire levers
- multi-tool/repair kit
- enough water and snacks to see you through
- first aid
We hope you enjoy the trails around Nederland and look forward to seeing you out there. If you have any additional questions, drop us a line!