NYS DEC Says YES to Winter Hikes! What to Do to Stay Safe?
So you have been a good human, stayed away from other people for the last few months, worn your mask, washed your hands extensively? Now you want to get out and take a hike? During the winter?
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The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has a few guidelines to help you get outdoors and get fresh air and exercise this winter:
- Stay local. Choose a path near your home, one that isn't too overwhelmed by other hikers. You can also choose to go at a time when less people are hiking.
- Do your best to avoid crowds or groups. Head out with only the people who are in your household and make sure to maintain a 6-foot distance from all others.
- Be prepared and have a mask on the trail as well. When you come upon others make sure to wear your mask.
- Be prepared to move quickly, especially where others may congregate, like the trailheads or parking lots.
- If you see that the parking lot for your particular destination is full, move on to another spot.
- If there is even a small chance that you are not feeling well, stay home. Even outdoors, there is a potential to spread the Corona virus to others.
- Have your hand sanitizer with you and use it when needed.
- Remember when planning your trip to your local hiking or walking destination that it is not always possible to maintain social distance and that you will need to be prepared to make other plans.
All of this being said, do what you can to get outdoors and get that fresh air. Stay safe, dress warm and enjoy the beauty of the Hudson Valley and New York State.