Things To Know

Sharing and Protecting Our Trails

Essex Land Trust Explorers are kind and courteous friends on the trails, tread lightly on sensitive natural areas, and practice these simple rules:

  • Leave No Trace: Respect the environment by carrying out all trash and leaving nature as you found it
  • Stay on the Trail: Help preserve the natural habitat and avoid damaging plants or wildlife by sticking to marked trails
  • Yield to Others: Uphold courtesy by yielding to uphill hikers and allowing faster hikers to pass safely
  • Keep Noise to a Minimum: Respect the tranquility of nature and avoid loud noises or disruptive behavior.
  • Share the Trail: Be mindful of other hikers, bikers, or animals, and give space when passing
    Pack Out What You Pack In: Bring back all personal items, including food wrappers and containers
  • Respect Wildlife: Observe animals from a distance and refrain from feeding or approaching them
  • Be Prepared: Carry essentials like water, snacks, a trail map, and a first-aid kit. Inform someone of your plans and expected return time
  • Follow Local Regulations: Adhere to trail rules and regulations, including leash laws for pets and campfire restrictions.
  • Leave it Better Than You Found it: Take the opportunity to pick up any trash you encounter, even if it’s not your own, to leave the trail cleaner for others.

Reading a map: Hey Explorers! Trail maps are like treasure maps—they guide you through the wilderness to hidden gems. When you’re out exploring, take a moment to study the map before you hit the trail. Look for landmarks like lakes, rivers, or mountains to help you orient yourself. Pay attention to the symbols and colors used on the map—they tell you important things like where the trails are, where the viewpoints are, and special items of interest that help you find your way. Always keep the trail map handy and refer to it often as you hike. And if you’re ever unsure of where you are, don’t hesitate to ask an adult, a fellow hiker, or an ELT volunteer for help. Happy exploring!

Trail Markers: are like nature’s bread crumbs—they help you find your way in the great outdoors. Look out for colored blazes painted on trees, cairns (stacks of rocks), or signs along the trail. Each color usually represents a different trail, so make sure you know which one you’re following. If you ever get lost, just backtrack to the last marker you saw and try again. And always remember, leaving the trail markers undisturbed helps others find their way too, so let’s respect them as we explore!

Topographical lines: Hey Explorers! Ever wonder how to read those squiggly lines on a map? Those are called topographical lines, and they’re like nature’s 3D glasses—they show you the shape of the land. The closer together the lines are, the steeper the slope. When you’re hiking, pay attention to the lines to understand if you’re going uphill, downhill, or across flat terrain. If the lines form circles, it means you’re on a hill or a mountain top. Knowing how to read these lines can help you plan your route and understand the terrain better. So next time you’re out on the trails, don’t forget to check out those squiggles—they’re your guide to the great outdoors.