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Hiking in a Covid-19 World

Hiking During Covid-19

Parks and hiking trails are opening back up, which is excellent news for us nature lovers. Unfortunately, Covid-19 is still a thing, and there are major precautions that we still need to abide by.

Social Distancing

I was out recently in the Catskill Mountains in New York for what I thought would be a pleasant, quiet hike. By the time I got there, it seemed like everyone else in town had the same idea as me. I guess staying quarantined and at home for months will really make you appreciate nature. Go Figure. 🙂 

Unfortunately, it makes it quite tricky to socially distance on narrower trails, especially during peak hours. One measure that Parks are taking right now is to limit the number of visitors at a time. Parks are busier than ever, so your best bet is to get there early to make sure you’re able to get in. Even with a limit on guests, things can still get a bit cramped.

Do your best to maintain a safe distance and let others pass by you if needed on a trail.

Wear a Mask

During my Catskills hike, almost everyone wore a mask. Almost everyone. Please make sure to be respectful of other visitors by wearing a mask. I know it get’s difficult and breathing gets a bit heavy during the more challenging hikes, but it’s a sacrifice that we all need to make right now. To me the choice is obvious. Wear a mask during my hike, or get parks shut down again because of uncontrollable spread of the virus. Then we’re back to square one.

Is it safe to go out on hikes right now?

According to scientists and health professionals, yes it is. Plus, spending time outdoors in nature is one of the best ways to reduce stress, both physically and mentally. I try and get out everyday if I can, weather permitting. Now it is more important than ever that we feed our bodies and minds with positive and mindful thoughts and activities. With that being said, even if you are healthy and in tip-top shape, you must still adhere to the rules required for your trail.

Is it okay to go hiking while sick?

No.

Are all parks and trails open right now?

No. You will have to check in with your local city/state governments to see which parks are currently open. 

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