Maryland Outdoor Club

Events > Etiquette Guidelines

Trail and event etiquette for the conscientious Maryland Outdoor Club participant.

Hiking Considerations
Mountain Biking Considerations
Primitive Camping Considerations

General Safety and Etiquette on Multi-Use Trails and in Primitive Areas

  • Consideration and polite behavior are essential in order to ensure the enjoyment of all trail users and protection of the park resources. Trails are created to preserve precious outdoor resources. By staying on the trail, you lessen your impact and disturbance of wildlife. The only time to step off-trail is when you encounter many other users or are resting. Step to the side and stop walking. This prevents the trail from being widened excessively and limits impact on adjacent vegetation.
  • Find durable spots when resting off-trail. For example, find lichen-free rocks, a fallen tree or a sandy area. Stay as far to the right side of the trail as is comfortable.
  • Pets on trails: Dogs can easily become overheated due to their difficulty in dissipating heat. It is recommended to hike with your pet during the cooler times of the day and to bring water for your pet. Extreme care should be taken to avoid conflicts between dogs and horses.
  • This section covers etiquette. Be sure to see our Rules for more information.

Questions? Send them to

Think we forgot something from one of our lists? Let us know.