Walking Safely in the Woods
Frances Shirley,
modified 2017 by L. Kollett

Poison Ivy "Leaves of three, let it be."

Link to Tick information

Stay Safe While Walking the Land

The properties of the Land Preservation Society with trails are generally safe for walking. However, there are certain common-sense precautions that everyone should take to make a walk a pleasant experience .

  • Wear sensible shoes. Roots, small pebbles and occasional wet places, make hiking boots or athletic shoes advisable.
  • You might encounter ticks, including deer ticks, which carry several diseases, so it is best to wear long sleeves and pants tucked into socks. Spray with insect repellant (including the cuffs of your pants) as an extra precaution. If you walk in shorts, a good insect repellent is a must, as there are often mosquitoes too. When you get home, check carefully for the tiny deer ticks and the larger dog ticks. Ticks tend to crawl upward, so check at the belt line and in your hair.
  • Occasionally you will see bees or yellow jackets. If you are allergic to them, carry whatever first aid treatment your doctor recommends.
  • Two plants can cause problems. The cat- or green- or bull-briers that grow in sunny spots have fierce thorns that can cause a tearing wound if you tangle with them. Be careful going off trails or trying to push through the briers. The other common problem plant is poison ivy. Poison ivy has shiny pointed leaves in groups of three. It generally crawls along the ground, but will climb the nearest tree. In the fall it turns a lovely red and has berries. After a walk, wash with strong soap or dish detergent and if you notice a blistery rash, use an anti-itch cream or the juice of Jewelweed.
  • Where we have trails, the land is posted against hunting, but there are a few irresponsible hunters who tear down the signs. During deer season, in late fall, be especially careful. It is wise to wear red or orange, and you should tie something orange on your dog as well. If you hear hunters, talk loudly so they are alerted to your presence. Deer hunting dates are on our website: nortonlandpreservation.org
  • If you happen to be walking on a trail used by folks riding horses, also talk loudly so that the horses know you are there. Horses have good hearing and also spook easily if they encounter the unexpected.
  • On some trails you can get almost a mile from the entrance, so it is wise to carry a cell phone in case of emergency, especially if you are walking alone.
    Following these simple precautions should allow you to have a safe and enjoyable visit to LPS land.