Skip to main content
Email Subscription

To sign up for email updates from Macomb County or to access your subscriber preferences, please enter your email address. If you would like to subscribe for text alerts please select Text Updates in the drop-down menu.

Make Macomb Your Home
1 South Main, Mount Clemens, MI, 48043

safety and rules

When enjoying the outdoors, it is important to remember safety regulations and recommendations to ensure the well-being of yourself and those around you. No matter if you’re in the water or on dry land, please review and keep the following suggestions top of mind.


trail safety

For Everyone

-Avoid using trails that are muddy, so you don't leave uneven bicycle ruts, deep footprints or hoof tracks. If you must traverse a muddy trail, go right through the center of the trail (even if it is muddy), rather than traveling around the mud and widening the trail.
-Stay on the trail, and respect trail conditions and trail closures.
-Say hello to other trail users and communicate. Trails are a great place to meet new people!
-Leave no trace - pack it in; pack it out. If you see litter, please pick it up.
-If you love Michigan's trails, get involved and join your local trail organization!

Horseback Riders

-If you encounter a muddy trail, travel through the center of the trail so inadvertent trail widening doesn't occur.
-Communicate with other trail users about the safest way to pass on the trail.
-Keep at least a horse length back from other trail users.
-Clean up after your horse in staging areas and campgrounds.


-Although avoiding muddy trails altogether is best, if you do come across wet trail conditions, dismount and tiptoe down the center, not to the sides because it widens the trail.
-Before passing, alert other trail users of your intentions.
-Maintain a safe speed, especially near other trail users.
-Cyclists are expected to yield to all other trail users.
-Cyclists moving quickly and quietly can scare horses. Speak and communicate when encountering a horseback rider on the trail. The horseback rider will tell you the safest way to pass.

Hikers and Runners

-If you must traverse a muddy section of trail, go right through the center of the trail, rather than traveling around the mud and widening the trail.
-Keep pets on a 6-foot leash and keep them close.
-When hiking in a group, please walk single-file and be aware of other passing trail users.
-If you're about to pass another trail user, a simple "hello" is often the best way to announce your presence.
Don't block the trail and stay alert to other trail users, especially cyclists.
-Yield to horseback riders, and be sure to speak to the rider and ask the best way to pass their horse.

Winter Tips

-At the trailhead, check to see whether the trail is one-way or two-way.
-If snowshoeing on a groomed trail, be sure to travel on the side – not on the track, as that ruins the trail for skiers.

On the water safety

Wear A Life Jacket

-Accidents happen, be prepared. Life jackets float, you don't. Drowning was reported as the cause of death in 75% of all fatalities. 86% of people who drowned in a recreational boating accident were not wearing a life jacket.

Boat Sober

-Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. Where the primary cause was known, it was listed as the leading factor in 16%* of deaths. Alcohol can impair a boater's judgment, balance, vision, and reaction time. It can also increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of cold-water immersion.

Check Your Boat Before Going Out On The Water

-Make sure the boat is properly equipped and equipment is in good working condition. In addition to legally required equipment such as life jackets and fire extinguishers, always carry a first-aid kit, nautical charts and an anchor.
-Make sure navigation lights work properly. Ensure the cabin of your vessel has appropriate ventilation to prevent carbon dioxide poisoning

Have A Float Plan

-Inform someone who is not boating with you about the details of your trip, including:
--Where you will be boating and the route you plan to travel.
--How long you will be gone.
--When you plan to return.
--Schedule check-in times.
--Phone numbers for the local emergency dispatch center and U.S. Coast Guard in case you don't return on time.

Stay Alert

-Watch for other boats, swimmers, skiers and objects in the water. This is especially true when operating in crowded waterways, at night and when visibility is restricted.
-Be aware of commercial fishing nets and buoys. Orange flagging may indicate a net is located in the water. Nets can also break away and float at the surface of the water, causing entanglements with boats.

Carry A Cell Phone Or Marine Radio

-Be prepared to call for help if:
--You are involved in or witness an accident.
--Your boat or the boat of another becomes disabled.
--You need medical assistance.


All safety tips were provided by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.