Posted on Tuesday April 14, 2020
RE: To Hike or Not to Hike
Dear valued Members, Partners and the ECTA Community;
Over the past few weeks we have seen an increase in the number of hikers seeking to remain active during this pandemic. In the event that you decide to hike, and not stay at home, we strongly encourage you to follow the advice of our health authorities regarding physical distancing: in the car, at the parking lot, on the trail and walking through communities. The following is a list of challenges you need to factor into your trip planning in order to minimize their potential impact on your effective application of the physical distancing guidelines.
- Car Pooling: Travel to and from the trailhead with members of the same household only.
- Hiking Group: adhere to public health guidelines regarding the limits placed on group size.
- Parking: maintain physical distancing in parking areas on exit and return; if the designated parking area is full consider moving your hike to another path.
- Physical Distance: maintain 2 metres between hikers at all times, even during breaks.
- Trail Passing: when being passed by another hiker, step off the trail at least 2 metres to maintain your ideal physical distance.
- First Aid Kit: Add three additional protective items: mask, hand sanitizer and latex gloves; wear your mask when you approach and pass other hikers/residents.
In these difficult times we must all do our part to help limit the spread of this highly contagious virus both on and off the Trail. We are urging hikers to adhere to public health guidelines, at all times, should you choose to leave your home for a hike. The alternative is to place your hiking plans on hold until further notice; this is the safest hiking option for your protection, and that of your family and friends.
As before the pandemic, we are working with local municipalities, and in this case we are working together to assess how well hikers are practising the public health guidelines of physical distancing and group size. This assessment is critical and will greatly influence our joint decision making process to keep the trail open for hiking. Stay tuned to our website at eastcoasttrail.com for the latest updates on trail status.
If you have any questions or concerns reach out to us at email@example.com or 709-738-4453.
Stay healthy and together we can get through this.
President, East Coast Trail Association