The approaching cooler Fall weather makes for the perfect hiking season in Florida! Hiking is one of the best ways to spend time outdoors and enjoy the simplicity of nature. Here are some hiking etiquette tips to help you protect the nature you’re enjoying!
Stay on the Trail
In designated hiking spaces, trails are used to protect the surrounding nature from human disturbance. If you leave the trail, you run the risk of harming insects, plants, and the ecosystem.
Know Your Right of Way
Typically, hikers who are going downhill should move aside for hikers who are going uphill. Bicyclists should yield to hikers and be mindful of surrounding wildlife before coming to a complete stop. Make sure to pay attention to signs and directories.
Do not approach wildlife. It is best to admire animals and insects from the trail. Make sure to ask trail officials about their photo policy before you use flash photography. Feeding wild animals can cause them serious health problems, so do not attempt to deed them.
Leave No Trace
Trash and litter can end up in water sources or can be ingested by animals, causing harm to the ecosystem. To ensure the safety of wildlife, properly dispose of your waste in appropriate bins. Some trails do not have easily accessible garbage cans, so reuse an old plastic or reusable bag to gather your trash until you can dispose of it properly.
Do Not Carve Trees or Rocks
Carvings on rocks and trees are permanent and can cause slight damage to tree trunks. Be considerate of other hikers who may not appreciate your carved message. If you want a fun way to end your hiking trip, photos are better souvenirs and are more environmentally friendly.
More info: https://www.nps.gov/articles/hikingetiquette.htm
Information from the National Park Service.