Hiking Trail Etiquette & Guidelines
Natural Areas are significant components of our local culture, and like all other cultural resources, these sites need to be treated with respect.
To protect the hiking trails, bike riding is allowed only on the Oak Leaf Recreational Trail and the Designated Mountain Bike Trails.
To ensure everyone's enjoyment of the hiking trails and to prevent unintended damage to rare plants and wildlife, please follow the guidelines below.
- Leave no trace. "Leave only footprints." The trails are for everyone's enjoyment. Leave no indication that you were there, except for your footprints.
- Stay on designated trails. To protect native flora and fauna, stay on the trails at all times. Off-trail hiking can lead to the spread of invasive species, compaction or erosion of soil, and loss of wildlife habitat.
- Where permitted, dogs must be leashed. Follow County Ordinances relating to dogs. Dogs are not allowed in restricted areas, which include, beaches, picnic areas, children's play areas, and athletic fields. Your dog must be on a strong leash no longer than 6 feet. You must clean up after your dog. Violation of any of these ordinances will result in a $200.50 fine (Milwaukee County Ordinances 47.06(3) and (6) 2012 rate)
- Collecting is strictly prohibited. "Take only photos." The collection of native plants, seeds, wildlife, or other natural artifacts is not allowed. Instead, take a photo and leave the object for others to enjoy. Violation will result in a $263.50 fine. (Milwaukee County Ordinances 47.08(1)(a) 2012 rate)
- Practice safety. Walk at a reasonable pace and be aware of fallen branches, rocks, muddy slopes, and other potential trail hazards.
- Be aware of poison ivy and wild parsnip. Both may cause severe skin irritation when touched. The plant oils may also be picked up on your dog's fur and transferred to your skin. See the UW–Stevens Point website for photos of poison ivy and wild parsnip.
- "Pack it in. Pack it out." Keep your impact on the trail to an absolute minimun. If you have trash or recyclables, please place them in the proper receptacle or take them with you.
- Be courteous to other trail users.