Responsible Trail Riding

Travel & recreate with minimum impact  

Negotiating terrain

  • On slick trails, moderate the throttle and use the clutch to gain maximum traction with minimum tailspin.
  • On switchbacks, avoid roosting around the apex of the turn when climbing or brake –sliding while heading down which gouges the trail.
  • When negotiating ruts, stay loose over the bike to allow for sudden direction changes.
  • Ride loose rocks with your rear end slightly off the seat, looking ahead, easy on the throttle and in one-higher gear than you would normally use.
  • Cross streams slowly, at a 90-degree angle to the stream. Walking may be preferable as stream bottoms are often slippery.

Minimum impact camping  

  • Select lightweight equipment, possibly in earth-tone colors that will blend with the surroundings.
  • Use existing campsites whenever possible.
  • Avoid building fires.

Respect the environment and the rights of others

Rules and common courtesy

  • Be considerate of others on the road or trail.
  • Ride only where permitted.
  • Leave gates as you find them.
  • Yield the right of way to those passing or traveling uphill.
  • Keep the noise and dust down. Others will appreciate it.
  • Pack out what you pack in.

Educate yourself plan and prepare before you go


  • Obtain a map of the area you wish to explore and determine which areas are open for use.
  • Contact the land manager for area restrictions and if crossing private property, be sure to ask permission from the landowners.
  • Check the weather forecast.
  • Prepare for the unexpected by packing a small backpack full of emergency items.

Safety on the road or trail

  • Wear a helmet, eye protection and other safety gear.
  • Buddy up with two or three riders as riding solo can leave you vulnerable if you have an accident or breakdown.
  • Drinking and riding don’t mix.

Allow for future use of the outdoors, by leaving it better than you found it

Trail riding and the environment

  • Stay on designated roads and trails or other areas open for use.
  • Avoid “spooking” livestock you encounter.
  • Cross streams at fording points only.
  • Remember, designated wilderness areas are reserved for the most primitive outdoor adventure.

Discover the rewards of responsible recreation

  • Trail riding provides the opportunity to get away from it all and builds family traditions.
  • Remember-if you abuse it, you’ll probably lose it! Careless operation of your off-highway motorcycle can cause damage and may result in closing of areas to trail riding enthusiasts.
  • Respect the environment and other trail users. By using common sense and common courtesy, what is available today will be here to enjoy tomorrow.

The Tread Lightly! Guide to Responsible Trail Riding contains more detailed and informative information when riding into the great outdoors.