Below are the rules of the trail and some basic suggestions on preparation for hiking and biking. There are many books, periodicals and websites that detail these topics.
We strongly suggest that you do your own research before hitting the trail.
Rules and Courtesy
Weather & Safety
- No motorized vehicles except wheelchairs.
- Bicyclists and horse riders should wear helmets. Pennsylvania State Law mandates that children under 12 years old wear safety-approved helmets.
- Keep right, except to pass.
- Warn before passing sound your bell or horn and announce audibly "Passing on your left."
- Bicyclists yield to walkers/hikers.
- Equestrians are allowed on specified sections of the trail. Please keep horses off the improved hiker/biker surface. Stay on the grass.
- Trail open daily, dawn to dusk. No overnight use, excepted in authorized areas. Reservations are required for groups of 10 or more.
- Stay on trail.
- No fires.
- Keep pets on a short leash, under control, and pet waste off the trail.
- Please respect private property and stay on the trail.
- Dumping and littering are prohibited. If you see litter, please pick it up.
- Permits are required for any special group event of twenty-five or more.
Emergency Phone Numbers and Preparations |
The standard emergency number in all areas is 911. Cellular phone coverage is not available all along the trail system, but it is getting better. If you have a
cellular phone, carry it in case of an emergency in an area that does have service. As with all trips in the outdoors, it's a good idea to let someone know of your plans.
Physical Conditioning |
The trail is nearly level and universally accessible; thus, people of most ages and physical conditions can use it. Consider your own physical condition when
deciding on the length of your trip. Walkers usually can do from two to three miles an hour. Hikers with packs may average less. Bicyclists average seven to
ten miles. Most people are able to walk or ride for multiple day and "Thru Treks." When planning a long bicycle trip, it's a good idea to do some riding
in advance. In particular, it's a good idea to ride two or three days in a row a few times. Some of your preparation rides should be as long as the daily distances you plan for the trip.
For short walks, the basic equipment is comfortable walking shoes and comfortable clothing.
Most bicycles will be fine on the trail which is for the most part surfaced with fine crushed limestone. Experienced riders tend to prefer a hybrid
(cross between road and mountain bikes) as thin tires can sink into the trail surface and make the going slow. People with mountain bikes tend to prefer
hybrid tires or conservative mountain bike tires with just a little tread in the center and lugs on the edges to handle mud. Barring the extreme tire
widths, any bike will work just fine. Be sure the bicycle, particularly the saddle, is comfortable.
If you do your own maintenance, check the bike over before leaving for long trips. If you don't do your own, take the bike to your friendly local
bike shop for a safety check and tune-up. Check out this site for hints.
Suggested Basic Bicycle Equipment
Spare tube, patch kit
Bell or whistle
Check out this site for suggestions on helmets and other gear.
Basic Safety Equipment
First aid kit
Be prepared for unexpected bad weather. This link to the USDA Forest Service provides good weather related & outdoor safety information.
Click here for the National Weather Service.
Safety - from Linking Up, Shaw/Weil |
You should know how to fix a flat tire and recognize poison ivy. You should be able to control any children in your party. If you're camping, you should know how to pitch your tent and operate your stove safely. This is not, however, an amusement park. Everything you see is real; there are no absolute guarantees of safety and no one else to blame for any problems. You won't have to worry about automobile traffic except between the trail and your lodging. We recommend against biking the detours around trail gaps; if you ride them anyhow, you will encounter traffic - some of it heavy and fast. As with any physical activity, you may be at risk of overuse injuries if your activity on the trip is significantly more strenuous than your normal routine. If you decide to skimp on advance training, plan an easy pace on the trip. If you are not already active, consult your doctor about getting started.