Vermont Trail Ethic

The Vermont Trail Ethic was created and developed by the Vermont Trail Collaborative in partnership with the Vermont Trails and Greenways Council, a group comprised of several natural resource agencies and groups including the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation between 2009 and 2011. The goal of the Collaborative was to improve sustainability and management efforts of Vermont’s trail networks and trail-based recreation and unite all trail managers, property owners, and trail users toward the common goal of trail stewardship.

The Vermont Trail Ethic is comprised of ten guidelines meant to enhance the experience of all trail users. Users and trail managers and organizations are encouraged to post these guidelines on their websites. publications and at trailheads. A .pdf file is available for customization at the Vermont Trails and Greenways Council Trail Ethic page.

The guidelines are:

  1. Know and respect the allowable use of the trail
  2. Respect other trail users
  3. Respect public and private landowners’ property
  4. Use good judgment and tread lightly; trail conditions are subject to change at any time
  5. Stay on marked trails
  6. Respect natural resources, historic structures and wildlife
  7. Be prepared with food, water and first aid
  8. Pack out your trash
  9. Respect all trail closures
  10. Plan ahead, be safe and have fun