Trail Tips

Spending time outdoors is one of the joys that come with the changing season. For many people, hiking or biking the Town’s trails is at the top of the summer list. Before heading out the door, the Town wants trail users to keep a few things in mind to help keep everyone on the trails safe.

  1. Be courteous and communicate – the Town’s trails are mixedTrailCourtesySign_RockArt use, meaning they are open to hikers, bikers, runners and walkers. Warn people when you are coming up behind them.
  2. Yield – it’s harder to go uphill than down. Generally, downhill traffic should yield to uphill traffic.
  3. Stay on the trail – don’t trample the natural  habitat along the soft-surface trails by  straying from the path.
  4. Be aware of blind corners – slow down through the twists and turns, and please watch out for other users.
  5. Keep pets on a leash – interactions with wildlife like snakes and coyotes don’t usually end well for pets. Save yourself a vet bill and make sure our four-legged  friends stay safe.
  6. Don’t tune out – if using ear buds, make sure the volume is low enough to hear your surroundings or use the one in/one out methodology.
  7. Dirt, yes. Mud, no – stay off wet or muddy trails. Leaving tire or shoe prints on muddy trails damages the surface and could require costly repairs. Use one of the Town’s many  paved trails instead.

Following these basic rules can help ensure all trail users can enjoy the natural beauty around Castle Rock. Check out the Town’s Facebook page before making any weekend plans. Follow our Trail Thursday posts for important trail updates.

The Ten Essentials

Packing the “Ten Essentials” whenever you step into the backcountry, even on day hikes, is a good habit. True, on a routine trip you may use only a few of them or none at all. It’s when something goes awry that you’ll truly appreciate the value of carrying these items that could be essential to your survival.

The original Ten Essentials list was assembled in the 1930s by The Mountaineers, a Seattle-based organization for climbers and outdoor adventurers, to help people be prepared for emergency situations in the outdoors. Back then, the list included a map, compass, sunglasses and sunscreen, extra clothing, headlamp/flashlight, first-aid supplies, fire starter, matches, knife and extra food.

Over the years, the list has evolved to a “systems” approach rather than including individual items. Here’s what it looks like today:

  • Navigationmap, compass, altimeter, GPS device, personal locator beacon (PLB) or satellite messenger
  • Headlamp: plus extra batteries
  • Sun protection: sunglasses, sun-protective clothes and sunscreen
  • First aid: including foot care and insect repellent (as needed)
  • Knife: plus a gear repair kit
  • Fire: matches, lighter, tinder and/or stove
  • Shelter: carried at all times (can be a light emergency bivy)
  • Extra food: beyond the minimum expectation
  • Extra water: beyond the minimum expectation
  • Extra clothes: beyond the minimum expectation

Source: https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/ten-essentials.html

  1. Hiking with dogs
  2. Hiking in summer

We love being outdoors, but during the warm weather months, particularly at the height of summer, adapting your hiking routine is essential to ensuring a safe and enjoyable time. Hot weather hiking with dogs, in particular, requires a few extra steps. Here’s how to prepare for hiking to prevent heat stroke  in your furry companion and any other heat-related injuries.

  • Watch out for hot surfaces.
  • Match the difficulty of the trail with the age and health of your pet.
  • Check on the day’s predicted weather conditions, so you can tailor your hike with your pet accordingly.
  • Pack lots of water.
  • Bring the right leash: Evaluate what type of leash will work best for your dog and your planned hike. 
    • Opt for a sturdy leash over a longer lead when on the trail. 
    • A hands-free leash fastened around the waist gives the dogs some freedom to move around, but they can be easily reigned in when needed.  
    • For rough, rocky, and steep terrain, we recommend a short leash for more control and to keep your dog close.
  • Bring along emergency supplies and build a pet emergency kit. 
  • Clean up after yourself and your pal.
  • Bring treats and snacks.

Source: Edited from article by Melanie Lewis as published on Rover.com