On Sunday we took our dog for a hike up Middle Cottonwood. Middle Cottonwood is a busy trail, particularly on a nice weekend day. It is a multi-use (or shared) trail, and like most weekend days it was a busy place with families, dogs, runners and cyclist.

About a mile in we ran into some mountain bikers who were heading downhill as we were heading up. The lead rider pulled over, stopped and signaled to his friend that there were hikers coming and to stop as well. We exchanged pleasantries, talked about the trail, what a nice day it was, thanked them for pulling over and continued on.

Conversely, when we see cyclist (often struggling) going uphill, we pull off the trail knowing it is hard to regain momentum on an upward slope. Our trails in the Gallatin Valley are only going to get more crowded. As our population grows there is just going to be more use. Consideration of other users goes a long way. Stop and say hello to other trail users, visit for a bit, and clean up your dog poop.

Cyclist, slow down (this also goes for skiers on Bozeman Creek) when you see hikers, children, dogs on the trail, and be intentional on what trails you choose to use and when.

Heavily used mountain bike trails on weekends might not be the best place to hike, and heavily used hiking trails on weekends might not be the best place to bike. But, if you do encounter one another, just say hello, be considerate, and take time to get to know other trail users.

Wendy Pierce

Bozeman