KCEHC Trail Guide

King County Executive Horse Council

King County Regulations on Trail Use

 (King County Code Title 7)

           7.12.295  Trail use.

            A.  No person shall travel on a trail at a speed greater  than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing.  In every event, speed shall be so controlled as may be necessary to avoid colliding with others who are complying with the law and using reasonable care.  Travel at speeds in excess of 15 miles per hour shall constitute in evidence a prima facie presumption that the person violated this section.

            B.  No person shall travel on a trail in a negligent manner.  For the purposes of this section "travel on a trail in a negligent manner" shall be construed to mean any form of travel on a trail in such a manner as to endanger or be likely to endanger any persons or property.

            C.  For the purposes of this section "travel" shall be construed to include all forms of movement or transportation on a trail, including but not limited to foot, bicycle, horse, skateboard, and roller skates.

            D.  Every person traveling on a trail shall obey the instructions of any official traffic control device applicable thereto placed in accordance with applicable laws unless otherwise directed by a police officer.

            E.  No motorized vehicles shall be allowed on King County trails.  For the purposes of this section "motorized vehicles" means any form of transportation powered by an internal combustion or electric motor.  This includes but is not limited to automobiles, golf carts, mopeds, motor scooters, and motorcycles.  This section shall not apply to wheelchairs powered by electric motors, or authorized maintenance, police or emergency vehicles.

             F.  Regional trails, local trail corridors, and paved pathways are open to all non-motorized users unless otherwise designated and posted.  Pedestrians, bicyclists and equestrians are permitted on all maintained soft surface trails unless otherwise posted and designated.  Trail restrictions may be posted at park entrances, trailheads or, in some cases, on individual trails.  Trail use designations will be based on the park master plan, resource conservation, trail user conflicts, maintenance issues, and safety hazards. 

            G.  Every person who shall use or travel on a trail shall obey the Model Trail User Code of Conduct.

            H.  Model Trail User Code of Conduct

              1.  USING A TRAIL.  Every person using a trail shall stay as near to the right side of the trail as is safe, excepting those movements necessary to prepare to make or make turning movements, or while overtaking and passing another user moving in the same direction.

              2.  REGARD FOR OTHER TRAIL USERS.  Every user shall exercise due care and caution to avoid colliding with any other trail user.  All users shall travel in a consistent and predictable manner.

              3.  GROUPS ON TRAIL.  No group of trail users, including their animal(s), shall occupy more than one half of the trail as measured from the right side, so as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of trail users.

              4.  AUDIBLE SIGNAL WHEN PASSING.  Every user shall give an audible warning signal before passing another trail user.  The signal must be produced in such a manner as to allow adequate time for response.  The signal may be given by voice, bell or horn.

              5.  OVERTAKING TRAIL USERS ON THE LEFT.  Any trail user overtaking another trail user proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the left of such overtaken user at a safe distance, and shall stay to the left until safely clear of the overtaken user.

              6.  ENTERING AND CROSSING TRAIL.  Trail users entering or crossing the trail at uncontrolled points shall yield to traffic on the trail.

              7.  LIGHTS ON TRAIL USERS.  All bicyclists using the trail from one‑half hour before sunset to one‑half hour before sunrise shall equip their bicycles with a headlight visible 500 feet to the front, and a red or amber light visible 500 feet to the rear. 

              8.  REGARD FOR EQUESTRIAN USERS ON TRAIL.  Trail users shall exercise extreme caution to prevent frightening horses with sudden noise or movement and shall always yield right of way to horses and warn equestrian users when approaching from behind and attempting to pass.

              9.  REGARD FOR ADJACENT PROPERTY OWNERS.  Trail users should respect private lands adjacent to county trails and should stay on trails to avoid trespassing on or interfering with adjacent private property.  (Ord. 12003 § 8, 1995:  Ord. 8518 § 1, 1988).