Trail Etiquette

Trails are a wonderful way to spend an enjoyable day, relaxing and taking in the sights. You will see some spectacular scenery and natural areas as you travel the trails. Renfrew County ATV Club considers ourselves to be stewards of the land we use. We promote safe and responsible riding on designated trails and believe that education and awareness will further protect the natural environment.

Observing these few guidelines of trail etiquette will help ensure everyone’s outing will be fun, safe and you will help preserve trails for future generations.

  1. Stay on the designated trails! Some areas have rare sensitive plants and small animals that can be easily damaged or destroyed. Don’t make new trails or use unmarked (unsigned) trails.
  2. Respect the Ontario Trails Council statement: ‘Shared use trail – expect/respect other users.’ Yield right of way to other trail users who are approaching or passing. Be certain to communicate in advance with riders of horses, dog teams and those walking pets.
  3. When riding in a group, use a finger numbering system to let approaching users know how many ATV’s are still behind you.
  4. ALL USERS to slow to a walking speed when meeting up with other USERS; be prepared to stop.
  5. Remove your helmet when talking to other trail users.
  6. Do not utilize CLOSED trails. ‘If you don’t know, don’t go!’
  7. Some trails are on private and municipal land and covered under a land-use agreement or lease and require purchased trail passes or you will be trespassing.
  8. Respect neighbouring landowners by staying off private trails and property. Avoid excessive noise. Keep your speed and engine rpm low and steady when approaching other riders, homes, etc.
  9. Leave the trail as you found it; whatever you pack in, pack out.
  10. Avoid sensitive and restricted areas at all times, especially wetlands, lake shores, steep stream banks and hills.  Avoid running over young trees and shrubs, particularly in the spring and the growing season of the summer. Leave the wildflowers and wildlife for others to enjoy.
  11. Cross roads and waterways at designated crossings and utilize bridges when available.
  12. Slow down when your vision of the trail is restricted.
  13. Avoid sudden stops and starts and quick directional changes with acceleration.
  14. Adjust riding behaviour according to season, trail condition and location.
  15. Take a rider safety course and ride within your abilities.
  16. The ATV designated trail season begins on May 1 and ends on Nov 30. At no time should ATV’s with or without tracks be on groomed OFSC trails.
  17. Avoid riding after heavy rains and respect MNR dry-out periods on crown land by not being on the trails until May 1.
  18. Comply with all applicable legislation and/or municipal bylaws.

Any questions about trail etiquette can be directed to our RCATV Trails Team.