Trail use certainly doesn’t (and shouldn’t) stop when snow blankets the trail. In winter there are walkers, snowshoers and cross-country skiers all trying to use the same trail. If you’ve ever tried cross-country skiing you know that it’s much easier once a track is laid. Often skiers will follow in the tracks laid by previous skiers to enhance their ski experience. As walkers or snowshoers we can be respectful of this and stay out of cross-country ski tracks. The trails are often wide enough to allow parallel routes by the skiers vs other users.
On the many rail trails, it’s good winter practice if hikers, pets and snoeshoers use the center of the trail, and cross-country skiers lay their tracks on the outside edges of the trail. With this convention and awareness and respect for other trail users, everyone can enjoy the trails all winter long.