NOTICE:

To better serve site visitors, Government of Alberta ministry web content is being centralized on Alberta.ca. Webpages on this ministry site will be either relocated to Alberta.ca or removed over the next few months. Messaging and redirects will help guide you to updated content during and after this transition. Scheduled completion date for this project is March 31, 2019. Thank you for your patience as we proceed with these changes.

Non-Motorized

Who is a Non-Motorized User?

Collectively, non-motorized users are recreationalists who:

  • Canoe and Kayak
  • Climb
  • Hike
  • Ride horses
  • Ride mountain bikes
  • Ski or snowboard

Together with thousands of other users, your actions impact and disturb the landscape, vegetation, wildlife, waterways and other users. Irresponsible and/or unmanaged use can contribute to:

  • Impact on others experiences
  • Loss of vegetation
  • Soil compaction, contamination and erosion
  • Transfer of weeds
  • Water contamination
  • Wildfire
  • Wildlife disruption

By acting responsibly, we collectively maintain our access privileges and preserve our public lands for future generations.

Trip and Trail 101: Basics for Everyone

  • Plan ahead and be prepared
    • Know the following:
      • Applicable regulations
      • Ground and weather conditions
      • Terrain
      • Your route
    • Travel only on trails open for your activity.
  • Stay off private and leased land unless permitted
    • It is your responsibility to know the regulations that apply to the land you are travelling on.
    • Leave all gates and fences as you find them.
  • Travel in small groups

    • This helps to minimize soil compaction and vegetation damage.
  • Use established, well-defined trails
    • Never short-cut or create your own pathways around muddy or rough areas. This leads to multiple or "bowled-out" trails.
  • Avoid wet, sensitive and alpine areas whenever possible
  • Choose routes with hardest, most durable surface

    • Hard surfaces can tolerate more use with less damage.
  • Never litter

    • Dispose of waste properly, including human waste.
    • Pack out what you pack in.
  • Be courteous
    • Share the trail with other legitimate users.
    • Report user infractions to local authorities.
  • Be respectful

    • Don't disturb:

      • Artifacts
      • Fossils
      • Livestock
      • Property
      • Wildlife
  • Don't harm or remove live native vegetation

    • If marking your route, do not mark or blaze your trail with axes or paint. If using flagging, remove it when you leave.

Activity specific tips

Hikers

  • Don't mark the bark.
    • Step over, rather than on, exposed roots to prevent damage to bark.
  • Spread out in alpine areas
    • Avoid travelling single file to minimize trampling of fragile vegetation.
  • Yield the trail to horses.
    • Indicate how many are in your group when passing other users.

Mountain Bikers

  • Ride only on open trails
  • Building of ramps and permanent structures is prohibited except where written permission has been granted
  • Ride in control
    • Never skid and always slow down when approaching other users.
  • Yield the trail to other non-motorized users.
    • Indicate how many are in your group when passing other users.

Equestrian Users

  • Use weed free supplemental feed to prevent overgrazing and non-native plant infestation
  • Avoid soft or marshy banks when riding or watering horses
  • Locate holding areas at least 100 metres (328 feet) from water
  • Avoid tethering horses to live vegetation to prevent damage
  • Be alert for other trail users
    • Indicate how many are in your group when passing other users.

Canoe and Kayak Users

  • Respect the shorelands
    • Avoid launching/landing in soft or marshy areas.
  • Don't disturb wildlife
    • Nesting waterfowl are particularly vulnerable to disruption.
  • Manage your waste
    • Avoid urinating/defecating directly into water.

Climbers and Cavers

  • Don't drill
    • Use existing or removable protection whenever possible.
  • Approach with caution
    • Be sensitive to trail erosion on steep approaches and fragile alpine areas.
  • Don't mark the bark
    • Avoid anchoring-to and stepping-on exposed roots and vegetation to minimize bark damage.
  • Watch for wildlife
    • Avoid disturbing nesting birds, bats and other creatures.
  • Behave in the caves
    • Cave formations and life are vulnerable to outside contamination. Avoid touching anything you don't have to.

Skiers and Snowboarders

  • Ensure adequate snow cover.
    • Avoid travelling on top of trees and other vegetation that may be broken or damaged by direct contact with skis.
  • Avoid disrupting alpine wildlife.

For overnight, campfire and waste disposal information, see:

For a summary of appropriate non-motorized recreation guidelines that should be used on public lands, see:

 

Page Information

Updated: Oct 31, 2018