Visitors to some National Parks have made headlines lately, and not in a good way. One group was chastised for leaving the boardwalk trail and damaging delicate plant life, another lost his life as a result of leaving the marked areas near a hot springs area. Fences and boardwalks are there to protect fragile plants, as well as the people walking the trails.
Keep Dogs Leashed
For their safety, as well as that of local wildlife, keep your dog close by and on a leash. He could get into a dangerous situation by inadvertently spooking an animal like a bear, provoking an attack. He could also damage delicate plants, or consume something poisonous.
Don’t Feed the Animals
Approaching wild animals is never a good idea. For one, they are unpredictable and could attack, or they could see you as a threat and harm you in an effort to get away. Second, feeding wild animals teaches them to rely on humans for survival and that puts both humans and animals at risk.
Watch Out for Cyclists
Many hiking trails and mountain paths are shared by hikers and mountain bikers. Be aware if the trail you're walking allows cycling and keep an eye out for two-wheeled company. Most cyclists will see you before you see them and will call out to alert you and let you know they are planning to pass on your left or right. Don’t hog the center of the trail.
Don’t Pick Flowers or Take “Souvenirs”
Take all the photographs, sketches, and memories you wish but leave the plants and flowers where they are, so they can continue to provide food and shelter for the insects and animals.