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I just read this article, what are your thoughts? I am kinda divided on the issue. I prefer to have access to all my local trails, but sometimes it would be nice to bomb down some single tracks without having to fear coming around a corner on a hiker.
however I lean more to having all trails be multi use as when done right it fosters a community of friendly trail users.



The Trails Just Aren't Big Enough for Both Mountain Bikers and Hikers | Outside Online
 

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Shouldn't this be in the Trails Advocacy Forum?! But seriously, I wish there was a bit more of a mix where I ride. 90% of the trails are multi use, the other 10% are hikers only. I'd love to see a couple of mtb only trails in my area.
 

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It's a tough issue, especially since people have different opinions on what correct use of a trail is.

People need to accept the risk before they step out and do what they can to mitigate bad encounters. Most conflicts I hear about stem from one or more parties not taking the proper steps to be safe and share the trail. This is compounded by the fact that many people break posted trail rules such as direction, off limits areas, and leash rules for pets.
 

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This is going to be very dependent on location and community, but there will be a trend toward some kind of management.

I don't want to see designated use-specific trails in my area. What I want to see is good signage explaining the predominant use (e.g.: be aware that bikers descend this trail at speed, and be aware prepared to yield if you ascend). That would help. But the best solution IMO is having trail options that encourage people to self-segregate. If there is a good direct hiking trail 50 yards from a DH MTB trail with jumps, drops, and berms, no (reasonable) hiker or runner will want to use the MTB trail. If it's 1/4 mile or more away, it becomes another route option and will see hiker/runner use.

It's easier to get the desired outcome when people want to choose it for themselves. Rules on a sign don't work anywhere near as well.
 

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Our local trails are managed by our Mountain Bike club, and built by mountain bikers. We have hikers and trail runners on the trail as well but IME they are aware and look and listen for bikes. We have lots of nearby trails that are better suited to hiking as well and this draws a lot of hikers away from here. Mainly it's trail runners and locals out for a quick hike. When I hike with my wife we avoid the really high speed descents and keep aware. I haven't heard of and problems. I know this is very different than most places, but I wouldn't want the majority of our trails separated. Some trails are better for hiking than others and this keeps the hikers off stuff like the local DH race course, which would be a crappy hike anyway.
 

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The trail the I ride (Big Creek, Roswell GA) has a separate trail for hikers so that the cyclists and hikers don't collide. They do have intersections but there's no problems.
 

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As much as I would like to ride dedicated trails, I actually feel bad about carving a trail into the forest when the one that is already there would be perfectly suitable if everyone agreed to cooperate. The result is excessive environmental impact.

I have no idea what to do when there are high numbers of all types of trail users, though.

-F
 
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