Hiking trails in North Central Washington are starting to get busy with improving springtime weather. 

The Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest is reminding the public about the rules of etiquette when sharing trails with other modes of travel. 

Forest Service spokesperson Robin Demario says there's definitely a pecking order. 

"If you're on a national forest trail and it's open to horses, hikers, and mountain bikers, then the mountain bikers need to yield to both horses and hikers," said DeMario. 

She says there are plenty of examples of bad behavior. 

"I spoke with a friend recently, who shared that a mountain biker almost ran her off a trail when they wouldn't yield to let her continue walking on the trail," DeMario said. 

National forest rules of etiquette on trails are very specific: Horses always have the right of way, and mountain bikers should always yield to both hikers and horses. 

That means hikers also must do some yielding when they encounter people on horseback.  

People are instructed to ask the lead horse rider which side of the trail they need to step to as the horses pass. Hikers who approach horses from behind are asked to calmly announce their presence and intentions.  

There's also etiquette for hikers who encounter other hikers. 

People are advised to be courteous. Hikers approaching other hikers from behind are asked to announce themselves in a friendly, calm tone and let the other hikers know they want to pass. 

Hikers moving uphill have the right of way, so people moving downhill should step aside and give space to the people climbing up. 

Stay on the trail and be mindful of trail conditions.  If a trail is too wet and muddy, turn back and save the hike for another day. 

Some major National Forest trails already open for the season include the Icicle Ridge Trail near Leavenworth and the Pipeline Trail in Tumwater Canyon. 

For longer trails, the Lakeshore Trail, at 15 miles, at Lake Chelan is one of the earliest opening trails in the national forest. 

Maintenance has not yet been performed on the Lakeshore Trail, which means stepovers will be required by recreationists because of the presence of fallen branches and debris. 

The Lakeshore Trail is also only accessible by the Lady of the Lake ferry or by private boat. 

The Wrong Shoes for Washington State Hiking

Please, if you do attempt a hike in WA State, make sure you are wearing the right shoes. You do not want to end up in pain from wearing the wrong ones. And if you wear any of the shoes below for your hike, don't say I didn't warn you.

Gallery Credit: Aly

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