Winter Trail Safety
By Amy Watkins and Ron Goralski
If a little snow and cold won’t stop you from enjoying the beautiful trails all season long, here are a few reminders to help you stay safe when using the trails in the winter.
Choose the right clothing. Wear layers so you can more easily regulate your body temperature by adding or removing garments as needed. Pack gloves, a hat, and scarf or neck gaiter.
Consider your footwear. Choose something with good grip to minimize slipping. If walking, wear warm socks under well-fitting winter boots.
Protect yourself from the sun. Even though it’s cool out, the sun is still shining brightly – even more so if it reflects off of the snow. Wear sunscreen and bring sunglasses to protect your eyes.
Stay hydrated. You may feel less sweaty or thirsty in the cold, but dehydration can still happen. Be sure to pack water and drink often.
Remember that it gets dark earlier, so if you’ll still be out at dusk, have lights and reflectors to make sure you are seen. Have a headlight or flashlight to help guide your way in the dark.
Check the weather before you go, and let someone know where you plan to go and what time you should be expected to return.
Remember good trail etiquette all year round. Walk/ride to the right and pass left, alert when passing, mind your pets and children, and stay extra alert for others using the trail.
BICYCLISTS yield to → CROSS-COUNTRY SKIERS who yield to → SNOWSHOERS, WALKERS, and RUNNERS.
Snow machines (snowmobiles, etc.) are not allowed on the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail and Farmington River Trail.
The Farmington Valley Trails Council wishes you warm, safe fun on the trails all winter long!