Share the Outdoors

The seven principles of Leave no Trace apply to all areas listed with Otsego Outdoors.

  1. Plan ahead and prepare
  2. Camp and travel on durable surfaces
  3. Dispose of waste properly
  4. Leave what you find
  5. Minimize campfire impacts
  6. Respect wildlife
  7. Be considerate to other visitors


Safety and Etiquette

There are a few commonly practiced rules of outdoor safety and etiquette that apply to all outdoor areas and activities. Following these rules helps ensure that everyone using an area will have a nice time and preserve the area for those who come after you to enjoy. It’s also a good idea to learn the etiquette specific to your sport and the rules for the organization maintaining a site as they may vary from place to place. Do some research and find out how best to share an outdoor area politely.

USE COMMON SENSE. Don’t go out alone and be considerate of others using the space. Learn the specific safety and etiquette guidelines for your sport.

LET SOMEONE KNOW where you’re going and when you plan to be back. Sign in on the trailhead register, and carry ID.

PLAN AHEAD. Check maps and trail guides. Don’t rely on a GPS or your cell phone–bring a map and compass. Bring a whistle, a first aid kit, and matches or a lighter. Bring a headlamp or flashlight in case you are out longer than expected.

STAY ON THE TRAIL. Most trails are marked with signs, paint blazes on trees, etc. Keep off private property.

DRESS PROPERLY. Wear appropriate shoes. Dress in quick-drying layers that can be swapped out. Dress kids in bright colors. Ensure everyone brings a waterproof layer such as a rain jacket.

FOLLOW THE RULES OF THE AREA. Don’t start fires or set up campgrounds if it isn’t permitted.

WHEN RELIEVING YOURSELF, be sure to do so 200 feet away from trails and any water sources.

MOTORIZED VEHICLES ARE ONLY ALLOWED on roadways and in designated parking areas unless otherwise marked.

BRING PLENTY OF WATER AND FOOD. Don’t drink from bodies of water unless you have a method of purifying the water.

PACK OUT WHAT YOU BRING IN. Never leave garbage behind and attempt to “leave no trace” that you were there – leave things where you found them.

LEARN TO IDENTIFY AND AVOID POISONOUS PLANTS. In our area of New York State, it is possible to come across poison oak, poison ivy, poison sumac, wild parsnip, and giant hogweed. Skin contact with these plants can cause very painful or itchy rashes so do not touch them. If you find giant hogweed, report it to the DEC.

BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS including hazards such as hanging trees or branches, cliffs, steep slopes, loose or slippery rocks, and rapid currents or waterfalls.

IF YOU GET LOST, stay in one place, and stay warm and dry. Draw attention with bright colored clothing, a flashlight, or your whistle.

WHEN OUT WITH A DOG, make sure your pet is wearing an ID collar. Always pick up after your dog and observe leash rules. Do not allow your dog to chase wildlife or intimidate other visitors.

DON’T FEED THE WILDLIFE. Wild animals may seem tame and safe, but it’s better for them and other visitors if humans do not feed them.

SPEAK QUIETLY and turn your cell phone down, if not off.

MOVE TO THE SIDE to take breaks, allowing others to pass.

ALWAY CHECK YOURSELF, CHILDREN, AND DOGS FOR TICKS WHEN LEAVING THE WOODS. Wear a hat, long sleeves, and pants, and tuck pants into socks in areas where ticks are a big problem.