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Trail Ettiquette

RESPECT THE TRAILS & FELLOW USERS

TRAIL ETTIQUETTE

Do your part to make sure everyone can enjoy the trails. 

WHO YIELDS TO WHO?

Most of the trails authorized by the NMBC have been built by mountain bikers, but sanctioned for non-motorized use. This means that most of the trails are there to be enjoyed by a variety of trail users, including trail runners and dog walkers. However, as the nature of singletrack is, often times, quite narrow, at some point you may need to pass other users. That being said, for everyones safety, walking on high-speed downhill-specific mountain bike trails is not recommended. These will be marked, so please respect trail signage. 

In general, slower traffic should yield to faster traffic. So if someone behind you is faster than you, please move off the trail and let them pass. This is the case whether its runners coming up on other runners, or riders coming up on runners. Just kindly let the user in front of you know that you’d like to sneak by before you attempt to pass. 
 
Uphill riders have the right of way. Some uphill riders may see you coming down the hill as a great reason to stop and take a break–that’s fine, but the decision to stop should be theirs. The rationale for this is that it’s harder for an uphill rider to stop and start versus a downhill rider who has gravity to their advantage. 
 
Lastly, you should never create a situation where the person you’re passing is forced to step off–or in worse cases, fall off–their bike due to your eagerness to get by them. Be kind, be patient, and save the racing for race day. 
westwood-lake

A GUIDE FOR ALL TRAIL USERS

In order to keep the trails fun and open for everyone to enjoy, show respect for your fellow trail goers, keep the wilderness wild, be kind, considerate, and courteous to all living things. In this way we can all get along. Here are a few more tips to keep the good times rolling.

BE PREPARED.

Don’t go into the woods without the basics. All trail users using mountain bike trails should have the Trailforks app installed on their mobile device to assist with navigation. If you’re riding, bring the essentials: spare tube, pump, water, snacks, a whistle etc. Check out AdventureSmart.ca for more information on being prepared. 

STAY IN CONTROL AND AWARE OF NEW OBSTACLES

Though skidding and drifting through berms has been made to look cool on YouTube, it’s a trail builders worst nightmare. Avoid skidding when possible by learning proper cornering technique. 

Additionally, be aware that we all share the woods and hikers with dogs could be around any corner, including high-speed downhill trails. 

STAY ON THE TRAIL. DON’T CONSTRUCT OR ALTER FEATURES.

Mountain biking is meant to be a fun and challenging sport. While something might seem impossible to you, there are others who ride for that kind of obstacle. 

DO NOT remove features if you can’t accomplish them. If there’s a fallen tree that is clearly a hazard, please report it on Trailforks and a qualified member of the trail crew will assist with its removal.

DO NOT construct new features such as jumps or wooden structures without first consulting the trail crew for user safety and in order to stay in compliance with our landuse agreements.  The NMBC is open to features, but it must add to the aesthetic of the trail and be properly constructed. Like houses have building codes, so do features on trails.

DO help with basic maintenance by draining puddle and removing debris by hand where you can. Beyond that, if you’re eager to build, we’d be happy to have you join the build crew. We typically host one builders academy per year, paid for by the NMBC, to help eager builders learn safe and sustainable, and fun trail construction and design. 

STAY TO THE RIGHT ON WIDER PATHS & PASS ON THE LEFT.

Use common sense and give space when encountering others. In North America, traffic stays right. The same concept is applied to passing on a trail. 

Communication is the key to a happy pass. Kindly let users ahead of you know you’re approaching and would like to get past, and it doesn’t hurt to give them a heads up on which side you plan to pass on. Lastly, ALWAYS say thank you. 

IF YOU STOP, DON’T BLOCK THE TRAIL.

Whether you’re catching your breath or fixing your steed, make it easy for other users to still access the trail when you’re not using it.

If you’re checking out a downhill trail like Shenanigans or Finer China, be extra cautious of oncoming traffic and never stand on the jumps or around corners

PROTECT THE TRAILS

REPORT VANDALISM & UNSAFE CONDITIONS

Report All Poaching And Polluters (RAPP): If you see anyone dumping or poaching, call 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP) or #7277 on the TELUS Mobility Network. If the situation is not an emergency, report the incident online or contact the nearest Conservation Officer Service district office. 

Gunfire: Please call the RCMP where there is unsafe gunfire occurring near trails. If you have a crime that requires a police officer, call the non-emergency number at 250-754-2345. You can also use the online crime reporting form here: https://ocre-sielc.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/nanaimo/en.

NO DIG, NO RIDE

Most of the trails in Nanaimo were built and maintained purely by volunteers and community builders. There is no compensation for their time, they just love to ride bikes. 

You can help by removing branches or loose rocks that could be a hazard for the person riding after you. Better yet, join a community trail day. If you see a sizable puddle that can easily be drained, please do it. This will prevent the puddle from getting deeper and harder to fix. 

A Note On Cutting Trees: This is skilled work that should only be done by qualified chainsaw operators. The NMBC has roughly 20 certified chainsaw operators that are keen to get out there and tackle windfall. 

Update Trailforks Regularly

Everyone in this region heavily relies on Trailforks, including our maintenance crew. Please report all fallen trees and hazardous obstacles by submitting a trail report during or after your ride.