Trails and Greenways Council Announces the Launch of the Vermont Trail Ethic!

Celebrate National Trails Day by Embracing a New Trail Ethic

MONTPELIER—Saturday June 4th is National Trails Day.  What do you have planned?  Perhaps you will take a hike along your favorite stretch of the Long Trail or join a trail maintenance project with your friends.  Well, there is one other way you can celebrate on National Trails Day, by embracing the new Vermont Trail Ethic. 

The Vermont Trails and Greenways Council (VT&GC) is pleased to release the Vermont Trail Ethic, a group of 10 behavioral messages aimed at enhancing trails experiences for all trail users in Vermont.  This Trail Ethic will unite all trail users, trail managers, and property owners who host public trails in the stewardship of our trails.  Vermont is a special place boasting a wide array of outdoor recreation activities; the trail ethic is one way to maintain the beauty and recreational opportunities of our trails for the future.

The tenets of the Vermont Trail Ethic are:
1. Know and respect the allowable use of the trail.
2. Respect other trail users.
3. Respect public and private landowners’ property
4. Use good judgment and tread lightly; trail conditions are subject to change at any time.
5. Stay on marked trails.
6. Respect natural resources, historic structures and wildlife.
7. Be prepared with food, water and first aid.
8. Pack out your trash.
9. Respect all trail closures.
10. Plan ahead, be safe and have fun.

Once you embrace the Trail Ethic yourself, share it with your family and friends to promote responsible trail use everywhere.  Watch for Vermont Trail Ethic signs at a trailhead near you.   

The Vermont Trail Ethic was developed by the Vermont Trail Collaborative. This effort began in 2009 with the goal of improving management and sustainability of trails and trail-related recreation on the Green Mountain National Forest (GMNF) and throughout Vermont.  The Collaborative was an open forum with in-person meetings that occurred twice a year between 2009 and 2011.  Three working groups were developed to focus on stewardship and outreach, trail related science, and landscape management.  The Collaborative was sponsored by the Green Mountain National Forest and the Vermont Department of Forests Parks and Recreation, and was convened by the Vermont Tourism Data Center, an arm of UVM extension.   More information about the Vermont Trail Collaborative and the many resources created by the working groups is available online at 

The Vermont Trail Ethic will be housed and available for download on the recently refurbished Vermont Trails and Greenways Council website:

For additional Information contact:  Walter Opuszynski, Chair of the Vermont Trails and Greenways Council at: Office (802) 496-2285 ext.2#, Cell (802) 498-4506, Email: