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Tillamook Coast Life Blog

Adam Sawyer’s Hiking Tips: Be Courteous

Be a Courteous Hiker

Greetings, friends!

Next up in our series on trail etiquette, safety, and stewardship, is the importance of being a courteous hiker or outdoor enthusiast. You might recognize a few of these recommendations from previous posts, but they are certainly worth revisiting. The photo is of Neahkahnie Mountain from Cape Falcon. Thanks again to Visit Tillamook Coast for collaborating on this! Let’s get into it.

On the Way There

Some trailheads are located in or require you to drive through residential or business areas. Please abide by posted speed limits and be extra aware of children, animals, bicycles, pedestrians, etc. Also, be aware of the volume level of any music coming from your vehicle. Do not park on or block access to private property. If you can’t park legally and safely, have a backup destination in mind you can head to, return later, or come back another day.

On the Trail

Please keep voices to a conversational volume, and don’t play music that others can hear while hiking.

Don’t take up more than half the trail when others are approaching, and if you need to stop for whatever reason, please step aside or just off the path. Pass slower hikers on the left and give them a verbal greeting as you get close. Try not to scare people if you can avoid it. Yield to hikers headed uphill. Hikers yield to horses, and bicyclists yield to hikers and horses. That said, as a hiker, it’s usually easier for me to yield to bicyclists on a trail. So more often than not I just step off to the side so they can cruise by.

Obviously, don’t litter. But also, don’t leave behind biodegradable items that don’t belong there – like orange peels or nut shells, etc. If you’re on a hike with a popular viewpoint, like Cape Falcon or the summit of Neahkahnie Mountain, don’t spend an inordinate amount of time there if others are waiting to take it in too. Another good reason to hike these spots off-hours and odd days whenever possible.

Abide by regulations for your pet. Most trails allow dogs but some don’t. Please check before you go. Be aware that while many people love dogs, some folks are tentative around animals that they don’t know. Be sensitive to that. Also, be sure to follow regulations with regard to leashes and clean up after your pet. It’s not enough to just bag pet waste – please pack it out.

On the Way Out

Congrats on the successful completion of a courteous hike! I do believe you’ve earned yourself a cold beer, a hot meal, a scoop of ice cream, or perhaps even a memento from the outing in the form of a locally made piece of art or keepsake. If you traveled from outside of your own locality, consider supporting a local business or two before heading home. That’s a win/win, my friends.


Learn more about how you can be a steward of our trails and natural areas by visiting Caring For Our Coast.

A Picture of Adam Sawyer
Adam Sawyer
Adam Sawyer is an outdoor and travel writer, photographer, and published guidebook author based out of Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Northwest Travel, Portland Monthly, Columbia River Gorge, Central Oregon, and Backpacker Magazines. He currently pens articles as the Portland Hiking Examiner for and authored the bi-weekly column Portland Family Outdoors for Craigmore Creations. He was the co-host of the KEEN HybridLife Radio Show for its duration and now serves as a Brand Ambassador for the company. In addition to “Hiking Waterfalls in Oregon” he is the author of the forthcoming "Best Adventures Near Portland," and the co-author of "Hiking Waterfalls in Washington," all for Falcon Guides. Adam is also a “Resident Expert” for Portland Walking Tours and leads a variety of tours through the streets of Portland, including the company’s popular Epicurean Excursion. Follow him at: