Being an avid trail runner I see all sorts of users on Park City’s 400+ miles of trails. Many of these trails are available to the public only because of the hard work from Mountain Trails that works closely with Park City, Basin Recreation, Deer Valley and Park City Mountain Resort. The work done by these organizations, along with efforts from open-space advocates such as Summit Land Conservancy, have created one of the most extensive, continuous trail systems in the nation. As the hot summer has progressed I have noticed that we all need to slow down and be grateful for our mountain home. It isn’t hard and doesn’t cost a dime to practice 10 seconds of kindness, slow down, acknowledge other users and follow proper trail etiquette.
People come to Park City for the world renowned mountain biking with our little town being recognized as an IMBA Gold rated trail system. As the popularity of the sport grows so does the trail congestion. Please remember to not ride with headphones blaring, not only is it dangerous for yourself but everyone else on the narrow often heavily foliated trail corridors. Mountain bikers also do not have the right away and need to yield to pedestrian traffic. That being said it is much easier for a hiker/runner to move over than a mountain biker to unclip and move aside. That is where 10 seconds of kindness comes into play. By communicating each trail user can safely pass without interrupting a cardio work out or a thrilling downhiller. Trail Etiquette goes beyond the written rules, being kind and giving will go a long way.
To those with beloved fur babies…imagine a pristine mountain trail littered with diapers. Disgusting right? Please pick up after your pet. Doggie bags left beside the trail are often left to rot. It is not picking up after your animal when you leave a smelly packet of their waste. I bring along an old retired BPA Nalgene designated for my used doggie bags, it’s easy to pop them in and empty at the end of my hike. We wouldn’t want the no dog policy applied to the Wasatch Back that is found in all the watershed on the Front. As our community grows, clean water will continue to be a critical resource.
It is easy to get frustrated as this is our home and not everyone is a lucky to have Park City as their playground. But relax and breathe with 86,400 seconds in our day we all can be better to our fellow human with a smile a nod or even a friendly greeting. You never know how much power your kindness will have until you try. Be thoughtful in your trail etiquette!