Trail Etiquette

Runners on Lakeview

The complicated and extensive network of dirt trails that heads out from the lodge at Tahoe XC provides a natural outdoor escape for a wide range of people. On the trails you will find: Every level of mountain biker from those out on long, fast rides over challenging terrain to those haltingly riding their first trip ever on dirt; groups of dog walkers out for a slow stroll while chatting with their friends; runners chewing up the dirt miles; bird watchers; wildflower peepers; and hikers climbing to enjoy the view from Kevin’s Crest. Sometimes all of these oh so different trail users are on the trails at once, which means we have to look out for each other so no one gets run over, and we also have to make an extra effort to ensure that all of these folks on the trails don’t degrade the beauty of the trail system. Here are a few things to remember when you head out into the trails around Tahoe XC:

Sharing the Trails

Share the trails, expect to see other users, and be ready to step off the trail. Always be courteous and kind and remember we all just wanna have fun (My apologies if for the next hour Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” is running through your head).

All trail users be alert and keep your eyes up so you can see other folks coming down the trail. This is important both in winter and summer. I’ve often been on skis, bike or feet and encountered someone on the trail that is staring down so they can’t see the folks barreling towards them. Speaking of being alert. Ditch or turn down the headphones for two reasons: So that you can hear other trail users, and so that the rest of us don’t have to hear your music. Oh, and save your speaker phone conversations for home as well. Sound travels and while we appreciate the stock tip, or the latest news on your love life, most people actually prefer the quiet of the woods.

Young Girl Rider


Riders: Slow down and gently and pleasantly alert those on foot that you are there.

Walkers/runners: Step off the trail if needed for riders. This will keep riders from having to veer off trail which can lead to trail damage (and/or a rider going over the bars).

Dog Owners: These are busy trails. Bikes, runners and other dogs quickly come upon you and your dog. Make sure your dog is under voice control at all times, and will not take off after someone as they ride by.

Trrrrraaaaail Faaaaairies, Where Are You?

Be sure to keep an eye open to what your dog is doing so that you will notice they are pooping and can pick it up. Then absolutely, positively, you must take your poop bag out with you! There are no poop fairies. And everyone knows the biggest lie in the world is: “Oh, I will pick it up on the way back out.” Sorry to harp on this one, but just about every trail user’s heads almost explode when they see another smelly poop bag lying on the trail.

Speaking of stuff left on the trail. If you carry it in, carry it out. Including pits and peels from your snack. And while you are at it, if you encounter litter in the woods, pick it up and improve the view for the next person. Just about every time I’m in the woods I end up returning with a few bits of garbage (and often the remains of a helium balloon, apparently those things fly a long ways). If we all make the minuscule effort to pick up a few things every time, the trails will remain an enjoyable place for us all. Isn’t this what it’s all about?

Dog on Rock

Our Comittment

Tahoe XC is committed to practicing trail stewardship, reciprocity, and responsibility. What does this mean? It means that we believe the actions we take have an effect on the land and people around us. We understand it is our responsibility to give to the future, by maintaining the physical condition of the trails today, for tomorrow’s generations of riders, hikers, and explorers. There were those who enjoyed this land before us, and it is up to us to ensure the trails will be here for those who come next. For more information on trail etiquette, safety and maps, visit this page.