Hiking Safety & Preparedness

Whether you are new to our trails or a repeat visitor, it’s important to take a few extra steps to ensure you have a safe experience before heading out on your next hike. Follow these hiking safety and preparedness tips:

  • Familiarize yourself with the trails. You can find the trail map for each preserve on our website and at the preserve kiosk. Take a photo or borrow one of our laminated maps from the sign-in box. And remember to always stay on marked trails.
  • Charge your phone and download the MHLC Map App before you leave your house. This app shows you where you are on MHLC’s trails and will help you find your way. Visit the Map Your Visit page for detailed directions on how to get the app set up on your phone.
  • Dress in synthetic layers with the appropriate footwear. The weather conditions at some of our preserves can be quite different than where you are coming from. Be prepared for changes in weather conditions and bring extra layers of clothing to keep you warm and dry.
  • Pack plenty of food and water, a flashlight or headlamp, and basic first aid supplies. These items (part of the 10 Essentials) can be life-saving if you find yourself in an emergency situation.
  • Always share your hiking plans with someone before heading out, and let them know if your plans change.
  • If you ever get lost on the trail, stay calm and don't hesitate to reach out for help. Call 911 to connect to the local authorities for immediate assistance.

Watch the video below to learn more about hiking safety from NYSDEC, and remember to "Hike Smart New York"!