Hiker view of the Lehigh River from the Appalachian Trail, near Palmerton in northeast Pennsylvania
We all need recreation, even in this risky time. One enjoyable thing still open to us is walking outdoors, on our own or with a bubble-buddy or two, whether for a few hours or a few days. And right now trails are uncrowded (especially with global warming conditions) in many areas.
But … in this pandemic year, with the coronavirus very much with us, you really need to consider special situations and follow rules.
State guidelines eased over the summer. Some mountain huts were reopened for daytime use, and many railheads and camping sites were reopened. Covid-19 safety guidelines, including social distancing and masks, continue to be encouraged by the CDC and state departments of health.
The Appalachian Mountain Club urges hikers to be prepared and follow state and federal safety guidelines. Organizations such as RecreateResponsibly.org, a national coalition of major outdoor retailers and organizations, created their own guidelines during the pandemic, to ensure safety while encouraging hikers to enjoy the outdoors.
Some basics to keep in mind, whether you’re off on a multi-day hike or a day hike, close to home. And check ahead for latest info.