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How To Safely Use a Multi-Use Trail


We are fortunate in the Pacific Northwest to have access to many multi-use trails.  These trails are provided for walkers, runners, cyclist and anyone wishing to get outside to enjoy our beautiful scenery. A multi-use trail allows for two-way, off-street pedestrian and bicycle use. Wheelchairs, joggers, skaters and other non-motorized users are also welcome. These trails are frequently found in parks, along rivers, beaches and in greenbelts or utility corridors where there are few conflicts with motorized vehicles.

As an avid cyclist, walker and dog owner I appreciate, value and utilize these trails extensively.  As much as I enjoy them, I am frequently alarmed at the safety risks I observe involving pedestrians, children, cyclists and runners.  It is not uncommon to see a cyclist exceeding the 15 mph speed limit, weaving in and out of pedestrians or pedestrians walking 3 across with dogs on retractable leashes entering the bike lane.  I have even witnessed parents standing, texting on their phone in the middle of a bike trail while their child sits unattended in a stroller.  These trails are made for everyone’s enjoyment.  Please follow these rules to ensure the safe usage for yourself and others.

All users of trails

  • Show courtesy to other trail users at all times.
  • Use the right side of the trail except when otherwise designated.
  • Always pass on the left.
  • Respect the rights of property owners.
  • Keep dogs on leash (maximum length eight feet) and remove pet feces from trail. Do not use retractable dog leashes


  • Yield to pedestrians.
  • Give audible warning when passing pedestrians or other bicyclists.
  • Ride at a safe speed. Slow down and form a single file in congested conditions, reduced visibility and other hazardous conditions.


  • Stay to the right side of the trail except when otherwise designated.
  • Do not walk in lanes indicated for cycling
  • Watch for other trail users.
  • Be especially alert when running.
  • Listen for audible signals and allow faster trail users (runners and bicyclists) to pass safely.

 For more information on fitness and a healthy, safe lifestyle contact Northwest Wellness in Federal Way, WA at 2539270660