Keeping Access Safe

"Catch me if you can!"

Every time you invite visitors to your property, you take on responsibility for their well-being. Here are some practical steps you can take to make sure everyone enjoys the day safely.

First, make sure you understand your liability for visitors to your land. For more on liability and access, check out our Landowner Liability 101.  You may also want to find out about insurance options available to protect you from liability.

Then, take your own walk in the woods, and bring this safety checklist with you:  

On your safety walk, make sure

  • The trail is in good shape, with sound footing for all your guests
  • There are no low-hanging tree limbs blocking the path, or roots or logs blocking the trail on the ground
  • There’s an alternative path available for your visitors if the trail you planned goes near a water’s edge
  • Restricted areas and potential hazards are clearly marked

Also consider

  • Asking an attorney to draft liability release forms for your visitors
  • Making a list of rules you’d like your visitors to follow and either posting them or handing them out before your event
  • Will your guests need hard hats or safety goggles for any part of your day in the woods?
  • Do you have water stations and scheduled rest stops on your walk?
  • Is anyone who is attending your event trained in CPR and first aid?
  • Do you know who will be supervising any young children on your walk?

Checking on these items and regularly walking your woods will make them safer for your visitors and for yourself. These are good practices—not just for your day in the woods, but year-round.

Now that you’ve planned for safety and prepared for your event, it’s time to actually enjoy it. So what will you do on your day in the woods?


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