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I'm in the middle of a running program that periodically requires the use of a standard track. I have a high school nearby with a track, but I'm not sure what my "rights" are with regard to it. I'm sure in nine out of ten cases it won't matter, but I don't want to feel like I'm crowding the legitimate/permissible users; I want to be a legitimate/permissible user!

Are there any steps I should take to feel comfortable on the track, or should I just stop worrying and go for it?

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closed as too localized by Moses, Dave Liepmann, VPeric, Matt Chan May 2 '12 at 16:31

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Traditionally, at least for public schools in America, school grounds are open to the public during specified times. However, this is too localized of a question because district/city/county laws are drastically different for any two areas, in addition to the fact any school can conceivably have their own rules or regulations. tl;dr: ask the principal of the high school. – Moses May 2 '12 at 1:30
Voting to close, as this is too localized. In any case, assume that it's permitted unless specifically forbidden (ie. there's a wall and the gate is locked); in that case, ask. – VPeric May 2 '12 at 6:53
up vote 3 down vote accepted

In the USA, if it's a public high school, the track will typically be open to the public after normal school hours (with maybe a buffer of a few hours for after-school sports practices), since the track is paid for with taxpayer money.

If it's a private school this will not be the case.

The best bet, regardless, would be to check with the local school district or the principal of the school in question.

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If it's a public school, I tend to assume that it's fine to use unless: 1) there is some kind of organized activity clearly under way, or 2) there is a sign that says "no walk-ons" or some such. Another good bet is if your see other non-school kids using it for walking or running. I've used this approach for 30 years at different tracks and never had a problem.

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