Hike Day Guidelines

Springwater Trails Organization

Revised 10/19/2018

Attendance Check In

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

  • All hikers should sign their name and provide their phone #, if they have their cell phone with them, on the attendance sheet.
  • The phone number will be used if the hiker needs to be contacted during the hike.
  • The signature acknowledges an understanding of these guidelines including that the hiker is participating 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 cell phones when practical.  Cell phones also provide access to 911.  Therefore:

  • Each group should have at least one cell phone.  The group leader needs to know who has the cell phone.

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.
  • No firearms or other weapons on hikes – these should be left in your car.
  • 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.

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 3-4 miles depending on terrain; can manage elevation changes.
  • Climbers – advanced hikers – fast paced hikes; can walk 4-5 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 2 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.

First Aid

The Springwater Trails hiking club provides 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. Check with your hike leader.
  • 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.