Wednesday, April 11, 2018

--- Laws 3 ---

In the age of the automobile, the world is still replete with foot trails. My favorite haunt as a kid were the local trails around Stewart's Hill in Valley, Alabama. Later, I looked for variety in the mountain trails of the Southeast. And I am delighted to find so many corridors in Denver set aside for foot traffic.

But different trails are administered by different organizations and the different organizations have different reasons for maintaining trails.

I've used both Rails to Trails trails and the Appalachian Trail and foot paths associated with it back east. Although multi-use, they seem to be focused on making the "great outdoors" accessible to people who want to enjoy it.

Rails to Trails Conservancy ( is an interesting organization that buys old, dilapidated railways and converts them into walking trails. If you're in the United States, there is probably one near you.

Denver encourages foot traffic for very utilitarian purposes. Their past with smog is enough motivation to want to cut down on automobile traffic as much as is practical and the foot trails are very much about "point A to point B" transportation. When I lived on Floyd Avenue, Bear Creek Trail was a major byway from areas east and west to Bear Creek Valley and River Point Shopping Centers. The Centennial Trail is not called a "link" for nothing. So, for instance, dogs are welcomed on most of the trails in the Denver area.

Not so for Waterton Canyon. A very strong emphasis there is Colorado Water maintenance traffic to and from Strontia Springs Dam and conservation, particularly of Bighorn sheep. There are signs there prohibiting dogs. Sheep and dogs don't get along.

So, what are your favorite trails and who administers them? Do they post rules and regulations? If they don't have signs on the trail, they may have a website that lists rules and regulations. If not, local, state, and federal government laws apply and, if you don't live in the area, you might be surprised to find that laws there are different from laws where you live.

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