Hike Day Guidelines

Springwater Trails Organization

Revised 10/1/12

Attendance Check In

All hikers are expected to check in prior to each hike.  An attendance sheet will be provided where hikers can

  • Confirm their names as they arrive.  This also confirms their acceptance of the hiking guidelines and acknowledgement of hiking at their own risk. Once a season, a new signature is required.
  • New hikers will print their name, email, and phone #/on the attendance sheet and sign their names acknowledging they have received a guideline sheet and agreed to hike at their own risk.
  • Late-comers need to speak with the group leader as soon as they join the group and sign the attendance sheet at the end of the hike.


Good communications are important to the safety of the hiking group.  Hikers should communicate with their group leader or sweep whenever an issue arises and should work with the group leader to resolve the issue.  The group leader is responsible for communicating instructions to the group.

Communications between groups is handled with walkie-talkies and cell phones.  Walkie-talkies work on remote hikes without cell phone coverage.  Cell phones provide communications over longer distances and access to 911.  Therefore:

  • The Springwater Trails hiking group will provide a minimum of 3 walkie-talkies on each hike.
  • Each group should have at least one walkie-talkie and one cell phone.  The group leader needs to know who has the walkie-talkie and the cell phone.
  • Walkie-talkies will be turned on and tuned to channel 3 at the beginning of each hike.  Walkie-talkies should be tested with the other group leaders.
  • Channel 4 on the Walkie-talkie will receive weather emergency information.  One person will be asked to check this channel periodically during the hike.

Hiking Groups

At the start of each hike, two to four groups will be formed to provide a safe and enjoyable hike for everyone.  Each hiker will select the group that is appropriate.  However, the group leader may ask that a hiker switch groups if the situation warrants the change and if the switch can be made safely.  Each group will have a Group Leader and a Sweep.  At all times, the Group Leader is in charge of the hike. The Springwater Trails hiking group generally has three groups:

  • Naturalists –  beginning to intermediate hikers –  slower paced walks, mostly flat terrain with easier climbs and decents, can walk 2 or 3  miles depending on terrain.  These hikes provide opportunities to study nature,  and for photography.
  • Tourists – intermediate to advanced hikers – moderate paced hikes; can walk 4-6miles depending on terrain; can manage elevation changes.
  • Climbers – advanced hikers – fast paced hikes; can walk 6 or more miles; can manage steep elevation changes and a variety of terrain conditions.
  • Flatlanders – hikers requiring a level and smooth hike of about 1 or up to 2 miles.  Flatlander hikes will be announced when a flat paved or dirt road or wide smooth grassy trails are available near or on the main trail.  For safety, we urge flatlanders to bring a cell phone.
  • Additional groups may be created based on specific needs.
  • Boating groups will be created when boating is an option.


  • Groups must be adjusted to ensure that each group has between 4 and 15 hikers and that the hikers in the group are able to stay together through-out the hike.
  • All hikers must respect the group leader and follow the instructions of the group leader.
  • All hikers should be aware of other hikers.  When a hiker needs to leave the group temporarily, they must notify another hiker who will be alert until the first hiker returns.  A hiker who needs to leave the group permanently must be accompanied by another hiker back to the cars.  Hikers will not leave the group alone.

Respect – Rules of the hike

Each hiker has the responsibility to treat the trail with respect.  The group leader should remind hikers of this responsibility when necessary. Hikers unable to follow these rules will not be allowed to hike again with the group.

  • Do not cut or remove plants from the trail without permission of the group leader.
  • Do not litter the environment.  Carry out all trash you brought with you.
  • No smoking or alcoholic beverages on hikes.
  • Dogs must be under the control of the owner at all times.  This must be clear to the hike leader and to other hikers that are met on the trail.   – NOTE: dogs are not allowed on Nature Conservancy Lands and may not have contact with Hemlock and Canadice waters.

First Aid

The Springwater Trails hiking club provides two simple first aid kits to be carried on each hike.  Remember the following rules when dealing with any injury or emergency during a hike.

  • A first aid kit is available, either in your group, or another group.
  • The Group Leader will make decisions as to medical emergency.  The leader must evaluate the situation and determine a course of action.
  • If someone becomes injured or ill and requires medical attention, a non-injured person shall contact 911 and explain location and direct rescuers to the location of the injured person.
  • The remaining people in the group shall remain with the injured person for warmth and emotional support of the injured person until professional help arrives or the group leader indicates they can move on.
  • At least one person should remain with injured person until help arrives
  • When the group leader decides that the injured hiker is able to walk back to the cars, another hiker must accompany the injured hiker.

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