Spring Reminder for Trail Usage Etiquette

DES MOINES, Iowa -- As the weather warms up the trails in Des Moines will be seeing more visitors and it's important to remember the usage guidelines. Jen Fletcher with Des Moines Parks and Rec said the trails get used over 300,000 times per year.

“The biggest thing for our trails is no motorized vehicles. No ATVs, no motorcycles or anything like that,” Fletcher said.

Here is the complete list of guidelines:

  • Always wear a helmet while biking.
  • Share the trail and keep to the right, except to pass.
  • When passing alert other trail users.
  • Respect the trail environment.
  • Don't wander off the trail.
  • Obey trail signs and move to side when stopped.
  • Keep dogs on a leash at all times.
  • Bring a cell phone and travel with a buddy.
  • Have lights on your bike if riding at night.

Janna Day with Safe Kids Iowa said it's also important to make sure your bike is in good shape, but also that you are wearing the right attire whether you are walking, running, or biking.

“Make sure your bike is ready, but that you are also ready. Meaning that you have a helmet that is fitting you and properly fit to your head and that you have appropriate wear. So that you are wearing bright clothing, especially if you are riding at dawn or dusk or in the evening and you have those reflectors ready to make sure drivers can see you,” Day said.

She added that helmets are very important and should be an essential part of the riding experience.

“We know that wearing a bike helmet can dramatically reduce the risk of head and brain injuries, but we typically see that kids, specifically, only wear a helmet about half the time and so it’s really important to make sure that helmet is on anytime you have wheels under your feet,” Day said.

If you need a helmet you can go to the Blank Children’s Hospital safety store and get fitted. Helmets are only $9.50.

There is also an event on April 22 for kids called “Spring into Safety” at Hillside Elementary, where 500 helmets will be given away for free.

If you are eager to get out on the trail, the Mayor’s Annual Ride is at 10 a.m. and the run is at 9 a.m. this Saturday.