TRAIL ETIQUETTE FOR EQUESTRIANS:
This spring, those of you planning to ride in and around the TRCA’s East Duffins Headwater properties may see “Trails Closed” signs at entrances to the trailheads. These signs will be posted for a short period of time to allow the trails to recover from the spring thaw.
The spring thaw and the showers that accompany it, or even just a good rain, can turn your favorite trail into a large mud puddle.
As tempting as it may be to use a wet trail and just go around or through the wet area, please keep in mind that you are not the only one using the trails and your actions affect all users. If everyone goes around the puddle it widens the trail over time. Going across the wet area leaves imprints when the area dries. Wet trails cannot handle weight, especially that of an, on average, 800 lb horse. They cannot repair themselves from such trauma making it difficult for others to use them once they dry. Having to navigate over uneven ground left by hoof, foot and tire prints is dangerous and spoils the enjoyment of the trail for others.
Another concern related directly to equestrians - their horses specifically - is manure. While we may be ‘desensitized’ to manure, other trail users are not. Please go off trail when necessary or dismount and clear your horse’s manure from the trail, keep him moving during the process or ride through it to scatter it so it will decompose faster. In the parking lot, take your manure with you or scatter it.
Help spread the word – and the manure.
Remember, you represent all equestrians when you’re on the trail. Your actions and attitude speak for all of us, so please let your message be a positive one. Be considerate and respectful of other users and be a good steward of the forest.