10 Tips For Trail Safety During Covid-19
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucially important that everyone follow key safety tips while on public trails to keep trails open!!! If trails become overcrowded and there is a lack of compliance with trail user requirements trails closures may be reinstated!
YOU can help keep trails open by taking the following steps:
- STAY HOME IF SICK – Don’t leave your home if you are sick with a fever or respiratory symptoms or are currently under isolation or quarantine.
- PREPARE – Before you visit a trail, check with the park or trail facility operator to find out what areas and amenities are open (such as bathroom facilities and concessions), and bring what you need with you.
- AVOID CROWDS – Don’t visit popular destination trails that you know are usually crowded and leave a trail that is appears crowded when you arrive.
- FOLLOW THE RULES - Follow all park, trail or nature preserve rules, regulations and any posted access restrictions.
- PRACTICE PHYSICAL DISTANCING – Stay at least six (6) feet from others who are not members of your household & avoid crowded areas.
- WEAR A FACE COVERING – Face coverings must be worn at trailheads, parking lots and on any trails where there are other groups of people nearby. Note that infants and children under 2 should not wear face coverings and children 2-8 should use them under adult supervision to ensure that the child can breathe safely and to avoid choking or suffocation. Children with breathing problems should not wear a face covering.
- PASS OTHERS WITH CAUTION – Communicate with others as you pass and provide adequate physical distance.
- NO GATHERING – Do not gather in groups.
- KEEP MOVING – Save the selfies for another time and do not linger at any one location except as needed for brief rests.
- LEAVE NO TRACE – Pack out all trash.
For a complete list of trail safety guidelines during COVID-19, please visit:
Know Before You Go
Taking a little time before you hit the trails to plan your hike or ride can help to ensure a fun outdoor adventure. Trails can lead you to places that roads can’t reach, offer you new perspective, and give you a chance to reconnect with friends, family, or even with your pup in a stress-free environment.
With the proper preparation, you and your group can find the best trail to meet your needs and have the adequate resources to respond to any challenges. Before you head out:
- Download the Trail LA County app on the App Store or get it on Google Play. Thanks to offline mapping you’ll stay on the trail even when you have no cell service.
- Consider your physical condition and that of your group (including your canine friends), the predicted weather conditions, and the length of the trail and its level of difficulty.
- Make sure to give your basic trip information (where you’re going, when you plan to return) to a friend or loved one who won’t be going out on the trail.
- Contact your local land manager if you are unsure about what you can and can’t do in a given area.
- Recognize that you can shorten or lengthen your planned route to suit your needs or to accommodate the weather.
After you’ve chosen a backpack that fits comfortably, adjust the shoulder straps and hip belt to reduce strain on your shoulders and back. Day hikes don’t require too much, but please review the packing guide for the essentials you should plan on packing:
- Plenty of water – bring enough for you plus enough for your children and/or your dog
- Trail Map, compass, GPS or other navigation tools
- Extra Food – pack high energy snacks, and bring more than you anticipate you’ll need
- First Aid kit
- Insect repellent
- Extra clothing – Don’t forget to layer and plan for sudden shifts in the weather
- Sun protection – Sunglasses, sun hat, and sunscreen
- Multi-Purpose tool or knife – plus any bike or equestrian equipment you might need.
- Flashlight or headlamp (optional)
- Camera and binoculars (optional)
- Trekking poles (optional)
- Cash for fees when applicable