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The Ridge to Rivers Trail System offers a variety of trail experiences for all kinds of users. Our trail team is often asked about peak use times and how to beat the crowds, especially in popular reserves. Here are some observations and recommendations for people who are planning their hike or ride seasonally or based on an area’s popularity:

Summer Trail Use

  • During the summer months, morning from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. is the best time to hit the trail when temperatures are the coolest.

Winter Trail Use

  • Please be cautious as conditions can vary across the system based on moisture, snowfall and other weather. Peak use times vary based on moisture content in the soil, but often earlier use is better if the trails are frozen.

Spring and Fall Use

  • These are the busiest seasons on the trails! The busiest time periods/highest use occurs in the mornings until 9 a.m., from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. over lunchtime and from 5 p.m. to dark.
  • Keep in mind, weekends are always busier on the trails than weekdays. However, late afternoon and early evening is generally less busy on the weekends.
Hillside to Hollow Reserve

Hillside to Hollow Reserve

The following trails and areas are consistently observed as the busiest especially during the above-mentioned time periods:

Hawkins Loop

Hawkins Loop

Recommendations to beat the crowds during busy trail use times:

Insider Tip: Friday afternoon/early evening is a great time to be on the trails – even the busiest Ridge to Rivers trails are far less crowded during this time!