Trail ethics deals with ethics as it applies to the use of trails. It is similar to both environmental ethics and human rights in that it deals with the shared interaction of humans and nature. There are multiple agencies and groups that support and encourage ethical behavior on trails.
Sometimes conflicts can develop between different types of users of a trail or pathway. Etiquette has developed to minimize such interference. Examples include:
Some cities have worked to add pathways for pedestrians and cyclists. This can reduce the amount of vehicle traffic in busy urban areas, and make visiting downtown areas more pleasant, There can be difficulties when a path is used by people travelling at different speeds, such as pedestrians, joggers, and cyclists, and the appropriate etiquette is not observed.
In the US off-road vehicle use on public land has been criticized by some members of the government and environmental organizations including the Sierra Club and The Wilderness Society. They have noted several consequences of illegal ORV use such as pollution, trail damage, erosion, land degradation, possible species extinction, and habitat destruction which can leave hiking trails impassable. ORV proponents argue that legal use taking place under planned access along with the multiple environment and trail conservation efforts by ORV groups will mitigate these issues. Groups such as the Blueribbon Coalition advocate Treadlightly, which is the responsible use of public lands used for off-road activities.