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July 31, 2009

1.  Before exploring a Hockanum River Hiking Trail, make copies of the trail maps and writeups of the trails you'll be on, from this web site, and carry them with you. It's also recommended you print off this "Safety Tips" page and carry it with you as well.

Note: If you don't have a printer, you can get prints of the web pages at the Customer Service & Information Center office at the Manchester Town Hall, 41 Center Street, Manchester.

2.  Always tell someone at home exactly which trail you plan to hike and when you expect to return home.

3.  Carry a cell phone with you with well-charged batteries, and let someone at home know your cell phone number.

4.  Take a friend with you when you hike if possible. It is preferable to not hike alone.

5.  Plan your hike to be off the trail well before dark. Select a trail that matches your hiking abilities, so it is not too long or too difficult.

6.  Hockanum River trails are for hiking, jogging, cross country skiing and snowshoeing. NO VEHICLES such as bicycles, dirt bikes, all-terrain vehicles or snowmobiles are permitted according to Town Ordinance. The only exceptions are wheelchairs for handicapped on handicapped-accessible trails as designated on maps.

7.  Hockanum River hiking trails are marked with single orange blazes at intervals, and a pair of blazes at each turn with the top blaze indicating the direction of the turn. IF there is no blaze ahead then you might be off the trail, so backtrack to the last blaze and follow blazes again.

8.  If you are ill or injured, or are completely lost and cannot find the trail back to the trailhead, call 9-1-1 and explain exactly where you are located -- which trail by name and location, which side of the river you are on, and how far away from the nearest street you believe you are. Please remember: Orange blazes always lead out to Town streets.

9.  Please respect the river environment. Do not litter. Please stay on trails. Please do not pick wildflowers; instead, capture their beauty with your camera. Bring a litter bag with you and carry out at least one can, bottle or cup with you that you come across during your hike, and dispose in a trash container.

10. If you are a fisherman, please remember that the Hockanum River in Manchester is designated by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection as Catch and Release Only. A fishing permit is required.

11. Hockanum River hiking trails, as with all Manchester Town parks, close between dusk and dawn. Parking after those hours is not allowed. In addition, alcoholic beverages and camping are not permitted.

In the Unlikely Event of a Snake Bite: In Connecticut there are 2 poisonous snakes, the rattlesnake and copperhead. Please note that encounters with these creatures are very rare, particularly along the Hockanum River trails; and bites from them are even more so, since they will seek to avoid contact with humans and will not strike unless they feel threatened. (Which means: If you see one, back away!)

Nevertheless, should a snake bite occur, wrap the affected arm or leg firmly (but not tight) with a bandage and keep it below heart level. Try to remain calm. Antivenom is available at Hartford Hospital, so go directly to their emergency room. Dial 9-1-1 if you have a cell phone. DO NOT DRIVE YOURSELF.

> For information on rattlesnakes, please click here.
> For information on copperheads, please click here.

Thank you for your support in protecting the Hockanum River Trails and making them safe.

>  Go to  Town of Manchester - Parks & Recreation  for more Hockanum River information; or,
>  Call 860-647-5235 during business hours.