Principle 1: Know Before You Go
- Learn about the areas you plan to visit. Do your research. Whether online, talking to people who know the area, or reading various publications, the more you know before you go, the more fun you’ll have. Be sure your information is up to date; sometimes things change day-to-day.
- Have a Plan B ready. In the event you encounter crowded parking lots, trails and potential closures you have a back-up plan ready to go.
- Please don’t park on the side of the road. Not only is it illegal, it’s not safe. Trailhead parking lots offer a durable surface for cars and those pulling trailers and a safe place for your group to meet up.
- Check weather conditions. Bring enough food and water for your journey and clothes to protect you from cold, heat, rain, and snow.
- Be informed about your activity. Whether it’s hiking, riding ATVs, snowmobiling, camping, or an activity on the water, being informed will help you choose the right option for you, and minimize your impacts to the outdoors at the same time.
- Care for your four-legged friends. Know your pet’s limits and your destination’s pet policies. When in doubt, leave them at home.
Principle 2: Stick to Trails & Camp Overnight Right
Sometimes the path well-traveled is the best path to follow. Prevent injury and reduce damage to plants, trails, and the landscape by sticking to marked paths and campsites.
- Walk and ride on designated trails whenever possible. Trails are made of durable surfaces that help protect trailside plants, prevent erosion, minimize polluting water sources, and help protect you from venturing off into unknown areas with the potential for hazards you might not be aware of.
- Meet vehicle requirements. State rules and regulations may prohibit the use of certain types of motorized vehicles on designated trails. Be sure your vehicle meets width and weight requirements for the type of motorized trail. New Hampshire Fish and Game is a great resource for OHRV’s and snowmobiles.
- Find durable surfaces or pull-offs to stop and take breaks. Allowing trail users, non-motorized or motorized users, to use the trail to pass you encourages others to stay on the trail and reduces conflict between user groups.
- Respect private property. Please hike or ride on designated trails only. If you’re recreating on the waters please be sure to access the water via public boat launches.
- Overnight Camping:
- Plan ahead for your overnight camping experience. Make sure you’ve made all necessary reservations ahead of time.
- Camp only on existing or designated campsites. A designated campsite is intentionally set aside by land managers to avoid damaging vegetation or polluting water sources. Campsites may also include amenities like a tent pad, picnic table, metal fire ring, and parking areas for vehicles. There are some regulations in New Hampshire that allow people to camp only in designated areas if camping on state owned land.