As we enter this “new normal” and embrace social distancing, we are all hoping that restrictions and recommendations will ease, but for now, it’s up to all of us to keep ourselves and those around us safe and healthy.
Here are some trail tips to observe when hiking nowadays.
Plan when to go.
Plan ahead of time. You can aim to go early or late, around peak hours. If you know that the trail in your area is heavily congested at 9 am, head out at 7 am or 5 pm.
Visit less frequented trails.
While popular trails are popular for a reason, you may want to avoid them on the weekends this year. If you see that a trail has full parking lots, move onto the next one.
Take a mask.
Both the WHO and CDC recommend wearing a face mask while in public. Popular trails can get congested, so you should have some form of protection on you.
Keep six feet of distance.
It’s important to keep plenty of room between you and other hikers. If you and your group see others headed towards you, head to one side of the trail so that the other group can head to the opposite side, so that you maintain as much distance as possible. This is also applicable when out cycling and running.
Avoid using restrooms, benches, water fountains, and other shared facilities.
Shared facilities are easily contaminated. As much as possible, avoid using them. If you have to use a shared facility, such as a restroom (nature calls!), make sure to thoroughly wash your hands immediately.
Be kind to others.
We’re all in this together. Showing kindness to fellow hikers and park rangers can go a long way.
We got this.