If you are like me, you love getting plenty of exercise while spending time outside. And what better way to achieve this than with a nice bike ride, stroll or run on one of our beautiful greenways?

Here in Mecklenburg County, we have more than 50 miles of paved trails, with more being added all the time. (View Park and Recreation’s greenway map)

No matter where you live, you are sure to be near a greenway entrance, allowing you to easily get out and enjoy the great outdoors. But before you lace up your shoes and head out the door, I would like to share some tips to help everyone have an enjoyable experience on the greenway.

14 Greenway Etiquette and Safety Tips

Park Road Park and Huntingtowne Farms Park Greenway

Park Road Park and Huntingtowne Farms Park Greenway along the Little Sugar Creek, South

  1. Pedestrians have the right-of-way and should exercise caution (and be aware of the stopping limitations of others). Only authorized motor vehicles are allowed on greenways.
  2. Keep to the right except when passing (always pass on the left!). When you do pass, give an audible warning to those around you.
  3. Form a single line in congested areas or when other users are trying to pass.
  4. Always be aware of your surroundings. Part of this means keeping the volume low on audio devices so you can hear approaching traffic.
  5. Always be courteous to other trail users.
  6. Follow the buddy system and walk with others (it’s good for safety AND you may even have more fun with a friend!).
  7. Secure valuables in a locked vehicle and make sure they’re out of sight.
  8. Cyclists should always ride single file and at a safe speed. Slow down in congested areas and areas with reduced visibility or hazardous conditions.
  9. Use bicycle lights, reflectors and wear reflective clothing when using the trails after dark.
  10. Dogs must be on a 6ft or shorter leash and should be walked on the right edge of the trail.
  11. Do your duty after your dog does theirs! Always pick up after your pet and dispose of dog waste in a trash can.
  12. Whether you’re on the trail or on the road, cross carefully, look both ways and yield to traffic. Stopping before crossing a road is the law, even when there are no signs present.
  13. Avoid standing still on the trail to prevent blocking other users and avoid collisions.
  14. Discourage your children from getting in the path of faster-moving traffic, especially cyclists who may have difficulty stopping for them.

Now that you know a little greenway etiquette, get out there and enjoy those trails. And remember, if you take a photo of your adventure, share it with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!