The Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation manages more than 450,000 acres of recreational land throughout the Commonwealth. That includes 107 trails covering 643 miles.

The state's trails are open to an increasing number of folks who long to spend their off-hours outdoors. That can result in some right-of-way issues, as walkers, runners, bicyclists, horse riders, skaters and others compete to use the same trail space.

The Department says, "DCR trails are for everyone!" DCR asks that you "Be courteous of other path users" and reminds all who use the trails to "keep right unless passing" and "stop at all stop signs."

WFHN-FM/FUN 107 logo
Get our free mobile app

The DCR's "Trail Etiquette" warns bicyclists to "Give a clear and audible signal before passing and pass only when it is safe to do so."

Bicyclists are asked to "travel at a reasonable speed" and "wear protective headgear," which is "required by law for children 16 years and younger, but recommended for all."

Massachusetts Sets Rules Of Etiquette For Using State's Trails
Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust - DNRT via Facebook

Local cities and towns that operate trails have also established rules of etiquette.

Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust (DNRT) provides "Trail Etiquette Tips" on its website. The site says, "Horses, dogs, and people DO mix - with the right approach."

New England Expedition Riders (NEER) says, "Riding on trails requires a set of etiquette that's different from our road riding rules." The site says, "The trails are a gift," and bicyclists should "give everyone the right of way."

"Walkers, horses, motorcycles, dogs, and critters. Yield to everyone," says NEER.

Most state and local recreation areas have specific rules posted at the location or on their website. You should take a minute to review them. Some allow dogs while many do not.

Take a Photo Tour of Purgatory Chasm in Sutton, Massachusetts

Purgatory Chasm State Reservation in Sutton, Massachusetts is situated within the Blackstone Valley and features a natural landmark that you can explore, along with multiple other trails, a picnic area, a playground and more.

Gallery Credit: Tim Weisberg

A Walk Down the Pond Trail of Easton's Borderland State Park

Borderland State Park, which is located in the towns of Easton and Sharon, features 1,843 acres of land and miles of walking and hiking trails surrounding a nature and history preserve. Take a trip with us down the park’s Pond Trail, stopping to visit the 1880 Smith Farmhouse and the 1910 Ames Mansion along the way.

Gallery Credit: Tim Weisberg

More From WFHN-FM/FUN 107