Liability

Landowner liability is not much of a concern since there are "recreational use" statutes on the books in 49 states including Indiana. These statutes state that an injured person would need to prove that the landowner engaged in willful and wanton misconduct in order to recover damages. The only way that a landowner might not have protection under the "recreational use" statute is if that landowner charged a fee for access to their property.

 

IC 8-4.5-6-5 Liability for injury
Sec. 5. (a) A property owner has no duty of care to any person who is using a recreational trail.
(b) This section does not relieve a property owner from liability for injury that is a direct result of the property owner's:
(1) own use of a recreational trail; or
(2) gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.

The best way to be sure that liability issues are avoided is proper planning in designing the trail. The B&O Trail can draw on many successful trail designs to minimize this concern.