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May 18, 2021

Public land agencies remind visitors to recreate responsibly this summer

Know before you go, be courteous, and help protect sensitive natural areas.

Boulder County, Colo. – With visitation to Front Range trails expected to increase over the next several weeks, a group of eight federal, state, and local Colorado land managers remind visitors to recreate responsibly on area public lands. Recreating outdoors is an important way of life for all Coloradans. Public land agencies need everyone’s cooperation to help them sustain enjoyable outdoor experiences and to preserve natural areas for future generations.

The group asks visitors to Know Before You Go and remember several important responsible recreation guidelines over Memorial Day weekend and throughout the summer, including:

  • Enjoy and protect shared public lands. With visitation continuing to increase, the agencies remind visitors to do their part to help protect land, wildlife, water, and plants. Numerous small disturbances can quickly harm sensitive natural resources and have a lasting impact on shared public lands. Remember to Leave No Trace and be prepared to pack out all trash and dog waste when receptacles are full or not available.
  • Be courteous and inclusive. People visit trails and public lands for many reasons, including emotional and physical well-being and spending time with friends and family members. Visitors of all identities and abilities deserve respect and courtesy while recreating outdoors.
  • Plan ahead and know your limits. Local public land agencies continue to see sustained high numbers of rescues. Don’t take unnecessary risks. Look at the weather forecast and trail and trailhead information. Visit public lands with a friend or a family member. Tell people where you’re going and when you plan to return. Bring food and water and wear appropriate clothing and shoes for changing weather conditions.
  • Don’t park illegally at full trailheads and follow all rules and regulations. Have an alternate plan in case the parking lot is full. Parks and trails are generally less crowded on weekdays. Trailhead parking lots are often full early in the morning on weekends. Take shuttles to popular recreation areas, if available--check out Rangers will issue tickets for illegally parked vehicles. Review agency rules and regulations before heading to the trailhead as individual areas may have special restrictions or guidelines.
  • Stay on trail and walk through mud. If you need to step off trail to let others pass, avoid stepping on vegetation. Step back on trail immediately after people pass and don’t travel off trail. Help protect sensitive wildlife habitats by staying out of wildlife closure areas.
  • Continue to follow all public health guidance and requirements. Stay home if you are sick. Remember to “keep the space in open space” by maintaining 6 feet of distance from people not in your household. While no longer required, it’s recommended you bring a face covering with you because it’s not always possible to maintain 6 feet of physical distance outdoors, such as passing others on a narrow trail.

The group of public land agencies who participated in this joint release remind residents to visit their websites to view critical advisories and trail maps BEFORE planning visits to public lands:

Visitors can also download the following trail apps developed with support from the State of Colorado, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Great Outdoors Colorado:

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