Cabin fever setting in? Go take a hike and breathe in that fresh air.
While Gov. DeWine announced a ‘Stay at Home’ order, this does not mean you cannot come to Great Parks and enjoy a hike or bike ride. He actually encouraged Ohioans to get out and recreate. It is good – and necessary – for our physical and mental health.
As you venture out, we ask that you follow the CDC recommendations and practice Leave No Trace etiquette. What’s Leave No Trace, you may ask? Leave No Trace is an organization that helps people who enjoy the outdoors leave a minimum impact when visiting a park, the wilderness or even in your own backyard.
Here are tips to help you protect yourself and our parks while enjoying the great outdoors.
- Plan Ahead & Prepare: Expect closures of playgrounds, water fountains, bathrooms and possibly more. Be sure to pack snacks and a reusable water bottle. Use the restroom before leaving home and bring hand sanitizer and tissues. Check out our Alerts & Closures page for updates on cancellations and closures.
- Stick to the Trails: With more than 17,700 acres and 78 miles of trails, you have options to exercise, meditate, get in touch with your creative side and so much more – all while spending time outside. While enjoying the outdoors, please stick to designated trails and picnic areas. Venturing off-trail can damage the delicate forest floor and wildlife habitats, which can leave an impact for future generations.
- Pack It Out: With limited staff and to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, please plan to take your trash home. We suggest bringing a small bag to pack up your wrappers, tissues, pet waste recyclables, etc. Remember, pack out what you pack in.
- Be Considerate of Others: Even though fresh air and sunshine are good for our health, we need to be respectful of each other by keeping our distance (6 feet apart from people you don’t live with), washing or sanitizing hands, covering our face when we cough or sneeze and avoid visiting during high-peak times. Have you explored all 21 Great Parks and nature preserves? Try taking a hike at a park you’ve never visited before!
Also, consider our healthcare heroes by sticking to activities that are within your regular routine. This is a time to get out and stretch your legs, not begin strenuous training or take new risks. Find your happy place in a Great Park and stay healthy.
Want to learn more about how you can protect and enjoy our world responsibly? Visit Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.
Allison Cone, Adventure Outpost Coordinator