The COVID-19 pandemic has left many of us and our families at home. However, getting outdoors for fresh air and recreation is more important than ever. Being in nature can relieve stress and improve our emotional and mental wellbeing. Some area parks are closed, so be sure to check your local travel restrictions and closures prior to leaving your house. If you are able to leave your home, hiking is a great outlet for stress during these uncertain times. But remember, social distancing guidelines still apply for the health of you, your family, and our communities. Stay up to date with CDC guidelines at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Tips to stay safe and healthy while hiking
- Keep a safe distance and follow CDC guidelines. Maintain at least 6 feet between you and fellow hikers at all times.
- Wash your hands before you go and bring hand sanitizer.
- Announce your presence to allow fellow hikers to make distance when passing. This will allow them to momentarily step off the trail to maintain social distancing as you pass. Be courteous and give other hikers plenty of space when they pass you as well.
- Avoid busy times or popular locations to minimize your contact with others. This is a great time to try a new park that you are less familiar with. Remember, check your local closures, travel restrictions, and updated guidelines before going to any parks.
- Bring water from home. Do not use water fountains or facilities on site to avoid contact with the virus.
- Pack your trash and take with you to protect park workers.
- Stay home if you’re feeling ill or have been in contact with someone with COVID-19. Follow CDC guidelines found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- Follow your local restrictions. Parks and recreational areas in your area may be closed. In addition, there may be a curfew or movement restriction in place.
These tips were adapted from the National Recreation and Parks Association. For more information, visit: https://www.nrpa.org/blog/keeping-a-safe-social-distance-in-parks-and-on-trails-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/?fbclid=IwAR105mPXWn0_a8hgix269rruBYTI_EfBwmswgfoB13ftQk0isWUxk99d8Gg