Getting outdoors in the times of COVID-19
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336 hours. 2 weeks. That's how long some of us been inside (we're in Seattle), except for quick runs to the grocery store. We're definitely feeling cabin fever - feeling restless, itching to go outdoors, longing for greenery and hikes under the blue sky. We're sure some of you do, too. But CAN we go hiking? Is it safe and responsible? Staying indoors is definitely the safest thing to do. But if you really must get out, going hiking is actually one of the things we can still do while still practicing social distancing, as long as we do it safely and with respect, care, and concern towards local communities. We've put together the following guidelines to help you and local communities stay safe.
Social distancing on trails.
Don’t go hiking, (or anywhere else!) if you’re sick or have been in touch with anyone who is sick.
Avoid carpooling other than with people you co-live with.
Stay at least 6 feet away from others while out on trail.
Spread out at the summit. Same distance rules apply!
No handshakes, hugs or other forms of greetings that involve touch.
No food / drink sharing.
No gear sharing (unless in an emergency).
No post hike gatherings or group photos.
Be respectful. The communities and villages local to the wilderness areas you are visiting may not have the infrastructure to deal with an outbreak. You can help minimize the likelihood of an outbreak by
Not going into local restaurants and breweries and take out, if you must.
Not going into the gas stations in these communities.
Not going into local convenience stores.
Stay safe. A lot of emergency and first responders have been diverted to the COVID19 situation or are unavailable due to the health and wellbeing concerns for themselves and their families. Taking extra steps to ensure your safety will help to avoid over-burdening their resources.
Think through any risks and consider toning down your objectives.
Think through and prepare your medical access options.
Go with someone. If you’re going with someone you don’t live with, don’t forget to keep your distance. If you feel confident with your skill level and experience, and have decided to go solo, tell someone of your plans.
Do not forget to carry your 10 essentials.
Choose your destination wisely.
Try to find trails within your local area. Don’t forget city parks and city trails near you.
Try to choose weekdays and early or late hours, which tend to be less busy.
If you choose to venture away from outdoor spaces in your local area, choose less popular trails.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing suggestions on where to go. Do you have any specific needs? Let us know what’s getting in your way and we’ll do our best to find the perfect trail for you.
In the meantime, for those of you in the Greater Seattle Area, here is a list of city trails that you can explore:
Bellevue / Redmond / Sammamish / Kirkland
Mercer Slough Nature Park Trails (6 miles)
Bridle Trails State Park (3.5 miles, 450 ft)
Luther Burbank Park (3 miles, 120 ft gain)
Lake Hills Greenbelt (2.3 miles, 50 ft)
Weowna Park (3.5 miles, 600 ft)
Redmond Watershed Preserve (4.5 miles, 400 ft)
Evans Creek Preserve (4.2 miles, 325 ft)
Saint Edward State Park (3 miles, 400 ft)
Paradise Valley Conservation Area (5 miles, 150 ft)
Spring Lake / Lake Desire Park, Echo Mountain (3 miles, 900 ft)
Magnuson Park (3 miles, 0 ft gain)
Carkeek Park (3.5 miles, 800 ft gain)
Golden Gardens Park (2.5 miles, 300 ft gain)
Discovery Park Beach and Highlands Loop (5.1 miles, 380 ft gain)
Green Lake (2.8 miles, 0 ft gain)
Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop (6 miles)
Washington Park Arboretum (5 miles, 50 ft gain)
Alki Trail (4.4 miles)
Seattle Chinese Garden (2 miles)
Westcrest Park (2 miles, 220 ft gain)
Seahurst Park (3.5 miles, 400 ft gain)