Montgomery Parks Offers Guidance on ‘Trail Etiquette’

Pedestrians, equestrians, and cyclists share trails at Wheaton Regional  and other parks 

As we head into the Labor Day holiday weekend,  Montgomery Parks is reminding trail users about the importance of trail etiquette. The guidance comes as parks staff have made significant improvements to natural surface trails in Wheaton Regional Park, in compliance with the recently adopted Wheaton Regional Park Master Plan.

The natural surface trails are in the woods in the northeast quadrant of the park, east of Brookside Gardens and Brookside Nature Center. Trail crews have added nearly 2 miles of new trails, renovated existing ones and rerouted others. Additionally, single use trails were converted to shared use to include mountain bike riders. New signs and trail maps are now available at the park to alert visitors to new trail names and changes in uses. The rules of the road for shared use trails include:  

  • Equestrians have the right of way
  • Pedestrians yield to equestrians
  • Cyclists yield to pedestrians and equestrians
  • Everyone yields to people using assistive devices
  • Downhill users yield to uphill users
  • Always keep dogs on leash 

“Some encounters on shared-use trails can be startling if you don’t expect them,” said Montgomery Parks Trail Planner Kyle Lukacs. “A person walking a dog may be surprised to see a horse on the trail. Or a mountain biker may not be on the lookout for a slower-moving pedestrian. Familiarizing yourself with these rules in advance takes the guess work out of using the trails safely.” In addition to looking out for each other, park visitors should be mindful of trail conditions. Trails should not be used in inclement weather, muddy conditions, or snow.  

Montgomery Parks operates a rainout line that provides the latest information on trail conditions. The rainout line can be accessed on the trails operating status web page or by calling the Rainout phone line at (240) 270-0008  .

Montgomery Parks maintains more than 260 miles of trails, for a complete list visit the trails webpage.

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