Ontario Nature Trails, following the advice of Public Health Officials, and taking the lead from such organizations as THE BRUCE TRAIL and the COUCHICHING CONSERVANCY, advises everyone to consider not using the nature and hiking trails listed in our database for the time being.

There is no questions that the outdoors offer fresh air and excercise. Important things to take advantage of in these troubled times.
And as we head into spring, usually a time for more walking, hiking, bird watching and other nonmotorized activity it would be nice to achieve these important health benefits on open trails.

However, the advice to stay off the trails is serious advice and should be followed.

You will find that most trail sites like parks and nature centres have closed administration, education and recreation centres and buildings. And most, if not all, activity organizers have cancelled group activity and group hikes.

However, it remains that many of our public trails are still open to the public for individual use. If you wish to ignore the advice to refrain from using the trails please follow these recommendations.

What are some recommendations for when you want to hike.

  • When going outside make sure you stay at least 6 feet away from others. We can’t stress this enough. And if you decide not to venture out on a local Nature Trail, then take a walk around the block with your family or those in your household. Go for a walk with the dog – this is perfectly safe.
  • Check the websites of the various trail owners and maintainers, such as conservation authorities for notices. Although most public trails are still open many are closed.
  • Avoid single track trails, as it will be difficult to keep 6 feet separation when passing others. Instead, opt for wider trails that can accommodate more people.
  • Look for loop trails over out-and-back trails. Not everyone will necessarily be headed in the same direction but there’s a good chance you’ll encounter less return traffic than on an out-and-back.
  • Only venture out with people in your household or by yourself.
  • Over-communicate while on the trail, and announce yourself to others when passing to help maintain at least 6 feet of separation.
  • Look for local trails where you can venture out into nature and keep sufficient distance from others.
  • If you have long-distance trips planned to more remote areas, please reconsider your travel plans to avoid spreading COVID-19 to rural communities with fewer available health resources.

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