March 26, 2020

Coronavirus & Trail Stewardship


•Make the health of others your number one priority. The COVID-19 epidemic is life and death for many people, conduct yourself with that respect in mind.


•Many people you might see on bike paths and trails could be first-time trail users. Instead of being angry that they might not have the same awareness and trail etiquette as you, take a minute to engage them in conversation about respectful trail use and social distancing. If someone is doing the wrong thing on the trail, it’s most likely because they don’t know any better – not because they’re a  bad person.


•You can still go outside but do it safely. So far in the US, running and outdoor exercise is still allowed (even in areas with shelter-in-place or stay-home orders). DO NOT RUN IN GROUPS. Encourage your friends to practice social distancing in accordance with CDC recommendations.

•Keep it easy. Do everything you can to avoid injury and risk overburdening our healthcare system.


•WE ARE THE CROWDS. It’s not just other people. Plan your run at a different time, or in a different place if you’re concerned about crowding. If you see people not complying with social distancing, kindly explain what it is, and that continued trail use depends on everyone doing their best to respect those guidelines. 


•Respect trail closures. If parks are closed, don’t go. Be mindful that areas might have limited maintenance, and plan accordingly. Pack out trash.

•Stay close to home. The further you travel, the more potential you have to spread illness.  Recreate in your neighborhood, and get to know your home trails.

•Being a runner, or a frequent trail user does not give us any additional privilege compared to a first-time trail user. It gives you the responsibility to practice kindness, compassion, and social distancing. It might feel like there are suddenly crowds on your home turf, but in reality, that’s shared space, and everyone should be welcome for safe, outdoor activity.


•  Let’s hold each other accountable and hold ourselves to the highest standard of stewardship. We’re in this together.