Trail Photos & Tips

To ensure everyone's safety and enjoyment when on a trail in farm or ranch areas, some common sense "rules" have been developed and are highlighted below.

 

Keep to the trail and avoid going onto private farmlands   Leave gates and livestock alone   Keep dogs under control at all times
   
Trail users venturing onto farmlands, whether it is to explore or find a shortcut, can cause significant damage to valuable crops and create health concerns surrounding food crops.   It is important when livestock are close to a trail that they are left undisturbed.

For gates, the guiding principles are simple:
 

When walking a dog near farmland, it is important that the dog be kept under control.

Dogs and livestock can be a bad mix. Dogs can chase and harass livestock, causing stress or injury to the animal.

Dogs left to run through crops can do extensive damage. Not only can they trample plants, but they can contaminate food crops.


 

do not tamper with a farm gate; and

if there is a gate crossing a trail, leave the gate as it is found: re-close the gate if it is found closed; and leave a gate open it it is found open.

 
Help prevemt fire, vandalism and other damage   Keep out of the way of farm vehicles   Leave no litter and avoid the spread of weeds
     

Increased public access to farms and ranches can result in increased opportunities for theft and vandalism. Any damage to farm equipment as a result of vandalism will not only be costly for a farmer but may delay harvesting, potentially resulting in a direct financial loss.

In this photo a carrot harvester has just begun to do its work on a large, unfenced field of carrots along the Lochside Trail in Central Saanich.

 

It is important that trail users take special care in farm areas where the trail is shared with farm vehicles.

Many of today's trails have been used by farmers for decades to move equipment and access fields - especially during periods of planting and harvesting.

Care should also be taken when parking at trailheads to ensure access to gates is not blocked.

 

A piece of garbage left by a trail user can cause serious injury to livestock or can spoil an entire crop.

An aluminum pop can thrown into a corn or hay field can be picked up by harvesters, cut into hundreds of small pieces and inadvertently fed to livestock - causing illness.

Similarly, an entire crop of peas can be wasted if a glass bottle or other foreign object is picked up during harvesting.


 

Be prepared for limited facilities along the trail   Respect farm families and private property   Support agricultural livelihoods
   

Many trail systems offer minimal toilet facilities which may only be provided at access points, often kilometres apart.

Similarly, drinking water is often in limited supply, especially along remote trail systems. Trail users should bring their own water and be warned that streams, and accessible agricultural water sources found along the trail, may not be safe to drink.

 

It is important that trail users respect the privacy of farm and ranch families.

A farm is not only a farm family's home, but it is also a place of work.

Like many work places, a farm or ranch often involves expensive and, in some cases, dangerous equipment to those unfamiliar with their operation.

 

For some farm operators, trails through agricultural areas provide opportunities for direct farm marketing. Trail users taking advantage of these "food experiences" will be supporting agriculture and getting in touch with their local food producers.

This informal direct farm marketing outlet was located along the Lochside Trail on the Saanich Peninsula.