Trail Rules

Lincoln features approximately 80 miles of trails on 2,400 acres of conservation land and private property. These trails, fields, streams and forests represent generous gifts from earlier generations for all of us to enjoy. Many trails allow a variety of uses - you may encounter walkers, runners, horses, dogs, bicyclists, skiers, birders, snowshoers, or farmers using equipment. We ask that you to familiarize yourself with Lincoln’s Trail Use Rules and Regulations. Please download our Trail User’s Guide to Lincoln Conservation Land which summarizes the trail rules, trail etiquette, and resources to help you navigate the trail system. 

The Lincoln Conservation Department works closely with the Land Conservation Trust to protect and manage this trail network for the enjoyment of its many users. 

Please observe the following Regulations while using Lincoln’s trails: 

  • Conservation land is open to the public from ½ hour before sunrise until ½ hour after sunset.
  • Stay on Marked Trails: People and pets must stay on marked trails. Some of the trails are on private property, so if you are off the trail, or on an unmarked trail, you may be trespassing.
  • Trail Etiquette: Slow down and make yourself known when you approach another trail user. Everyone must yield to horses. Bikers yield to walkers and runners.
  • Bike Riding is permitted only on trails expressly marked for such use. Riders must walk bikes through wet/muddy sections of the trail. Any bike outing which involves 5 or more unrelated people must obtain a Group Use Permit (see below). Click here for a biking map of the trails.
  • Horseback riding is not permitted where so marked & in wet areas where trail use may result in damage to the trail. Any horse-riding outing which involves 5 or more riders must obtain a Group Use Permit (see below).
  • Dog Walking Rules
    • Dogs must be leashed or under effective voice control at all times. “Voice Control” is defined as the dog being always within the owner’s sight and hearing & trained to come immediately when called.
    • Dogs must be leashed (or held by the collar) when approaching other trail users unless the other user expressly gives permission to leave the dog off leash. Some people are not comfortable around dogs.
    • A maximum of 2 dogs are allowed off leash per person. Three dogs total are permitted per person.
    • Dog owners must always carry a leash for each dog (8-foot maximum).
    • Dogs are not permitted to chase, hunt, or harass people, wildlife, other dogs, horses, or livestock.
    • All dog waste must be picked up and removed from the property.
    • Dogs must be leashed:
      • In parking areas and within 100 feet of trailheads.
      • At Flints Pond Conservation Area in order to protect Lincoln’s water supply.
      • In agricultural fields which are used for food production, and in pastures while livestock are on those fields.
      • Along certain trails at Mt. Misery, and in ecologically sensitive areas and hayfields, as posted.

Group Activities and Special Land Use Permits

A Group Use or Land Use Permit Application for conservation land or trails is required for the following situations:

  • a group of ten (10) or more people
  • a group of five (5) or more unrelated bikers
  • a group of five (5) or more horseback riders
  • certain activities which are normally prohibited (requires a "land use" permit)
  • commercial use or other use not addressed in the “Regulations for Use of Lincoln Conservation Land”

Apply for a group use permit using the following link: https://tinyurl.com/GroupUsePermit-Lincoln

Prohibited Activities:

  • Using a motorized vehicle or equipment, drones, or other loud/disturbing electronic equipment
  • Littering, dumping, or disposing of waste of any kind (including yard waste)
  • Defacing, damaging, installing, or removing signs, gates, fences, walls, dams, or other structures
  • Creating, trimming, or marking trails
  • Posting signs, or selling or distributing materials or products
  • Blocking any fire lane, trail, or any waterway or stream
  • Swimming, smoking, paintballs, camping, or campfires
  • Picking fungus, plants, or flowers; injuring vegetation
  • Trapping, hunting, fishing (except catch and release), harassing wildlife, carrying firearms
  • Commercial activities; or fee-based programs or organized group activities (except with a group use permit)

Use of trails and conservation areas owned and managed by LLCT and the Town of Lincoln is at your own risk. Neither the Town of Lincoln, LLCT, nor private landowners assume any liability for injuries to persons or damage to property while on Lincoln’s trails or conservation areas. Failure to comply with the above guidelines may constitute trespassing, result in fines, or the revocation by the owner of permission for public use.

Fines: Any person violating these regulations shall be liable to the Town in the amount of $50.00 for the first violation and $100.00 for each subsequent violation.

TRAIL MARKERS AND MAPS

Trails are marked with yellow blazes, with lettered and numbered intersections in many locations. Lincoln’s trail map ($10) as well as LLCT’s book ‘A Guide to Conservation Land in Lincoln’ ($18) can be purchased at the LLCT office (145 Lincoln Road). The trail map can also be viewed online at: www.lincolnconservation.org/explore-our-properties/trails/.

Maps for Mobile Devices
To access all of Lincoln’s trails through the OuterSpatial mobile app (free to download to mobile devices):

  • Download the OuterSpatial App.
  • Once on OuterSpatial, click “Explore” at the bottom and the program will zoom to your current location.
  • The blue dot will show you your real time location on Lincoln’s trail system!
  • To re-open OuterSpatial during a hike, simply follow the steps above and click the arrow bottom in the upper right corner to show your location. The app will use GPS to find you again and show where you are. This works even without cell service.

See a problem on the trail?
If you see a tree down along a trail or other issue, please take a screenshot of your location and email it to conservation@lincolntown.orgShow enough information for staff to figure out the location (e.g. nearby street and/or trail intersection #). Also be sure to include a description of the problem and your approximate location in your email.