Bikers and Hikers sharing trails

Had a discussion at our monthly West Hants Trails Association meeting last night about bikers and hikers sharing the same trails…
I’m all for sharing trails, but some people aren’t because they think they’re going to get run over. I’ve never had an issue with any other trail user in 25+ years but I understand accidents happen sometimes and there are disrespectful people (from all sides of the debate) on the trails but is segregation necessary in Nova Scotia? I like to use the trails in the valley as examples, Wolfville and Kentville seem to have no issue with sharing trails…discuss.

I can totally understand hikers being wary of mountain bikers… a guy or girl on a bike wearing a helmet coming down the trail, potentially at high speed can be pretty intimidating. As a result I always make a point of slowing down, stopping and saying hello… a quick friendly conversation about how beautiful it is out or the trail or whatever goes a long way. Giving hikers the right of way and being friendly to me is super important.

I think honestly… its a few bad apples that fuck it up for all of us. I’ve never had a negative experience with a walker.

I totally agree and do the same.

In general I feel concerns are fear based and do not reflect reality, that is most have never had a problem themselves (or know anyone who has) but heard about an incident somewhere that made the news (which are always the most extreme cases) and think that there is a good chance that this is going to happen to them.

One of the other arguments I’ve encountered is the US Wilderness act and its “no other form of mechanical transport” line. Now as I understand it, this was originally to prevent environmental damage to wilderness areas by motorized vehicles, and was interpreted and amended in the 80’s to get a ban on bikes, because a hiking lobby group got their knickers in a knot. I understand wanting to copy this for preserving a true Wilderness Protected Area but not as a blanket reason to prevent user conflicts on all other trails.

1992 called and it wants its hiker vs biker trail issues back.

that made me laugh out loud love it. :lol:

yeah I laughed too, I don’t know why I bother sometimes…‘rides off in to the sunset’

A well designed and built trail takes user conflict issues into consideration. Find a well trained and experienced trail builder and have them talk to your hikers. It works all over the world.

Brent, It never hurts to remind your hiker pals that if it weren’t for mountain bikers, they wouldn’t have nice trails.
Ever see a hiker stop and move a stick off of a trail?

Correct. Nearly all trail conflicts can be resolved with proper planning, management and education.