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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

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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
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2 Answers 2

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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