Record editorial: Personal responsibility is key to enjoying Park City’s trail system
Spanning roughly 400 miles and regarded as one of the best in the West, Park City’s trail system has long been a premier recreation option in a town replete with them, a source of pride for Parkites and an enticing draw for visitors.
But this summer, not everyone who has hit the trails, apparently, has been satisfied with their experience.
The Park Record’s opinion page in recent weeks has contained a handful of letters to the editor from community members frustrated with rude etiquette on Park City’s trails. The subject has also gained traction on the paper’s Facebook page, where other readers have chimed in.
The consensus seems to be that bad behavior is growing increasingly common. But the answer as to who’s at fault depends on who you ask. Many have said bikers who don’t yield to people on foot are the root of the problem. Others maintain hikers shoulder just as much of the blame. And, of course, there’s always concern about the behavior of our four-legged friends on the trails.
It’s easy to point the finger.
The truth, though, is that personal responsibility is the only way to solve the problem. Ensuring our treasured trail system provides a consistently pleasant experience is up to everyone who uses it, including folks from out of town.
That begins with boning up on etiquette. Fortunately, the nonprofit Mountain Trails Foundation provides a handy rundown of proper etiquette on its website, mountaintrails.org. The list includes important tips such as that pedestrians always have the right of way over bikes and that dog owners must always be in control of their pets.
Trail users need to learn those rules by heart and be diligent about adhering to them.
The most useful bit of wisdom Mountain Trails offers is applicable to all users, regardless of their mode of transportation: “Practice 10 Seconds of Kindness. Slow down and smile, it’s easy and it makes everyone feel good.”
While most people on Park City’s trails abide by that de facto golden rule and the other etiquette guidelines, the small minority of those who don’t have an outsized, negative impact on everyone else’s experience.
Until those users take it upon themselves to change their behavior, that will continue to be the case.
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