Home Polly Ann Trail Trail Etiquette
Polly Ann Trailway General Trail Etiquette

The Polly Ann Trailway is a multi-user trail which means that you may encounter pedestrian, cyclist and horseback/carriage riders while enjoying it.  
 
Know & Follow the Rules
  • Stay on the marked trail and do no trespass on adjacent property.
  • Follow all trail signs.
  • The Polly Ann Trailway prohibits motorized vehicles except for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) qualified users.
  • Bicycles observe maximum speed limit of no more than 15 MPH when other trail users are present on trail and must give advance warning when overtaking other trail users.
  • Horse and Rider must use walking gait when other trail users are visible on the trail.
  • Horse and Carriage must use walking gait at all times when other users are visible on the trail.
  • The Horse or Pet trail user is responsible for removing animal waste from the trail and disposing of it properly.
 
Be Courteous 
  • Travel in single file or take up no more than half the trail.
  • Step off the trail when taking a break.
  • Travel at a safe and controlled speed.
  • Be mindful of space and noise level.
  • Keep children close by and teach them to be courteous trail users.
  • Always yield to slow users, uphill traffic and Horses.
 
Communicate 
  • Give an audible warning before passing and if necessary, communicate how to pass.
  • Don’t tune out. Always be alert and able to hear other trail users.
  • Use proper hand signals when verbal communication is not effective.
  • Greet fellow users with a smile, nod, wave or a friendly “hello”.
 
Common Phrases Used on the Trail
Trail users must clearly communicate with other users in order to effectively share the trail. Communication can take many forms.
 
Following is a list of common phrases to use and pay attention to while on the trail:
  • On Your Left - Alerts other trail users you are coming up behind them and will be passing them on their left in a little while. The user being passed can then continue going forward or move farther to the right to make the pass safer. The user being passed should NOT move left.
  • Slowing - Used when riding in a group to alert users behind you of a fairly sudden change in speed. This phrase helps users avoid running into each other and alerts others in your group of upcoming areas of potential hazard.
  • Stopping - Used when riding in a group to alert users behind you of a fairly sudden stop. This phrase helps keep users from running into each other and alerts them of up-coming areas of potential hazard.
  • Up - Tells others about something ahead of you on the trail. For example, “hikers up” means that there are hikers ahead on the trail. This is usually a warning to those in a group that you will either be slowing down, stopping or pulling off the trail.
  • Back - Tells others about something behind you on the trail. For example, “bikers back” means bicyclists are coming up behind you. This is usually a warning to those in a group that you will either be slowing down, stopping or pulling off the trail.
  • Safe To Pass - Tells another user who is waiting to pass that doing so is safe. Passing on the trail should only be done when it is safe for both the user passing and those being passed. Sometimes users may need to step off the trail, get to a wider section, be clear of any hazardous areas, or turn a horse around to safely pass.
  • More - Tells those you’re passing how many are in your group. For example, “two more” means there are two more users in your group after you. This allows other users to clearly know how many to wait for before continuing. It’s particularly useful when the trail does not allow for the entire group to be visible due to trail design, foliage, gaps and large groups. The first and last users in the group should always know their position and how many are in the group.
 
Trail Surface and Condition Guidelines
While common courtesy applies regardless of Trail Surface and Condition, the following will make for a safer and more enjoyable time while on the Polly Ann Trail.
 
Paved-Surface Trail Users (Villages of Oxford and Leonard, Orion Township)
  • Stay right, pass left.
  • Give an audible warning before passing. Say “on your left” or ring a bike bell.
  • Yield to slower users. In general, bicycles yield to foot traffic and horse traffic.
  • Slow down when passing or going through heavy-traffic areas.
  • ALWAYS stop for cross traffic at streets and intersections.
  • Horses should use the equestrian trails where so designated, as footing is slippery for shod horses on paved surfaces.
 
Natural Surface Trail Users
  • Stay on marked trail. Do not cut switchbacks or take shortcuts.
  • Avoid using wet or muddy trails.
  • The Polly Ann Trail is a multi-use trail, be alert and anticipate other user types.
  • Yield to slower users, uphill traffic and horses.
  • Horses should not be on the trail if horse hooves leave deep imprints due to rain/flooding soft trail conditions.
  • Slow down, possibly stop, and always communicate before passing.
  • Communicate how you will pass, when it’s safe to pass, and how many are in your group.
  • Communicate to your group about upcoming trail users or hazards.
  • When traveling in a group, consider letting individuals, pairs or smaller groups pass. This will allow for more time-efficient trail use.
  • More agile trail users should consider stepping off the trail when passing on narrow or single-track trails because the agile users will likely have more mobility off-trail than other users.
  • Stay right, pass left.
  • Give an audible warning before passing. Say “on your left” or ring a bike bell.
  • Yield to slower users. In general, bicycles yield to foot traffic and horse traffic.
  • Slow down when passing or going through heavy-traffic areas.
  • ALWAYS stop for cross traffic at streets and intersections.
  • Horses should use the equestrian trails where so designated, as footing is slippery for shod horses on paved surfaces.
 
Horses Trails 
  • When Encountering a Horse and Rider 
  • Slow down and/or stop.
  • Move downhill of the trail.
  • Consider taking off your helmet or backpack to help the horse identify you as human.
  • All dogs should be immediately heeled on short leash next to their owner, preferably farther from the horse.
  • Greet the rider in a calm voice.
  • Follow all instructions provided by the rider.
  • Continue to communicate until the pass is complete.
  • Stay right, pass left.
  • Give an audible warning before passing. Say “on your left” or ring a bike bell.
  • Yield to slower users. In general, bicycles yield to foot traffic and horse traffic.
  • Slow down when passing or going through heavy-traffic areas.
  • ALWAYS stop for cross traffic at streets and intersections.
  • Horses should use the equestrian trails where so designated, as footing is slippery for shod horses on paved surfaces.
 
Pet/Horse Etiquette
  • Keep pets on a leash and under control at all times.
  • Keep pets close by when other trail users are close or passing.
  • Pick up waste after your pet and dispose of properly. Horse waste should be picked up or at least removed from traveled portion of trail by rider.
 
Be a Good Steward
  • Dispose of all waste properly.
  • Do not disturb wildlife and their habitats.
  • Respect all trail infrastructure or natural and cultural resources.
  • Leave what you find for others to enjoy. 
 
Trail Safety Tips
  • Know before you go. Be prepared for weather, bugs, hunting seasons, etc.
  • Walk, run, or ride within your limits.     
  • Use the buddy system whenever possible.
  • When traveling alone, tell others of your plans.
  • Wear a helmet and other applicable safety gear.
  • Stay hydrated. Bring clean water or know the closest reliable source of clean water.
  • Wear Your Helmet!
  • Report any unsafe conditions of the trail to the Polly Ann Trailway manager by phone at 248-981-1242.
Thank you for enjoying the Polly Ann Trail!