Trail Rules

Three people walk along a trail in Bear Creek Lake Park

Be kind! Trails are for everyone.

Lakewood’s network of shared-use trails receives heavy use year-round, but especially during the summer season when incidents occur more frequently among the various trail users. Whatever your passion and reason for using the trails, please follow the guidelines below to make your experience and the experience of other trail users safe and enjoyable.

When in doubt, treat other hikers, cyclists and equestrians the same way you would like to be treated — with respect and courtesy. That will help all of us enjoy our trails, parks and open spaces!

Trail Rules for all Users

  • Maintain reasonable speeds and under control.
  • Keep dogs close and on a leash.
  • Share the trail. Walk, hike and ride in single file.
  • Don’t use muddy trails. Hoof, tire and boot prints can have a lasting impact. If a muddy spot remains on an otherwise dry trail, go through the center of the mud to keep the trail narrow.
  • Stay on the trail. Creating new trails or cutting switchbacks produces more environmental impacts that affect plants and wildlife.
  • Use common courtesy and do your part to resolve communication issues or conflicts on the trail. If you show respect and courtesy, you are more likely to receive it.
  • Don’t tune out. It’s best not to listen to music or podcasts when using shared trails. If you do, keep the volume down or only wear one earpiece so other trail users or wildlife don’t startle you.
  • Don’t block the trail. Always stay to the right side of the trail. If you are taking a break, move to the side of the trail.
  • Yield properly, which means slowing down, being prepared to stop if necessary and passing in a safe and friendly way. 
  • All users – walkers, runners, cyclists – must yield to equestrians. Stop at least 30-feet from horses and ask for instructions from the rider on how to pass safely. Sudden movements can spook horses.
  • Yield to all users. Cyclists and other wheeled users should never expect a hiker, pedestrian or equestrian to yield.

Bicyclist Rules

  • Communicate your pass using a bell or polite verbal call out.
  • Pass only after a pedestrian or equestrian knows you are approaching them and you have requested to pass.
  • Pass slowly on the left. Slow to a safe speed and make sure the person you are passing hears and understands what you are doing.
  • Keep your speed to 15 mph or less. Remember that trails are used by everyone, including small children and inexperienced trail users.
  • Yield to other cyclists riding uphill when using single-track dirt trails and there are no other users on the trail. Otherwise, both the uphill and downhill riders should yield to other users.
  • Communicate calmly with equestrians prior to passing. Don’t make abrupt movements, and plan to stop and dismount from your bicycle.
  • Stay on the trail when passing to reduce erosion.

Pedestrian, Hiker and Runner Rules

  • Don’t block the entire trail.
  • Keep dogs on a short leash and under control at all times. Remember that other trail users might be frightened by dogs and that your dog might react to others in an unexpected way.
  • Supervise children at all times and keep them on the right side of the trail. Hold their hands when passing.
  • Stay on the trail when passing to reduce erosion.

Equestrian Rules

  • Negotiate safe passing by greeting other users early and politely because they can be intimidated by horses or don’t know what to do.
  • Guide trail users where to move and continue to communicate until the pass is completed.
  • Expect the unexpected because small children, animals and older adults can be unpredictable or easily frightened by horses.

If you would like more information, please call the parks supervisor office at 303-697-6159.