Trails As Health and Safety Inspiration in the Age of Coronavirus
America’s incomparable system of national scenic, historic, and recreational trails is the perfect way to sustain your mental and physical health, while maintaining the social distancing that is required in these challenging times.
With the onset of COVID-19, and the challenging isolation required of us all, American Trails would like to suggest that trails, parks, and outdoor recreation are the ideal way to kick your cabin fever, without exposing yourself to the coronavirus.
Care must be practiced throughout the experience (read up on our synopsis of the guidance provided by many of our public land management partners HERE), but when done thoughtfully and carefully, trails are inherently perfect as social distancing tools. You really can’t help but maintain appropriate social distancing while using a trail.
American Trails and our partners in the trail and outdoor recreation communities invite all of those who are no longer able to visit tourism or hospitality venues during the pandemic lock-down to safely enjoy the healthy option of an independently enjoyed hike, bike, run, or ride on America's system of scenic open space trails!
As schools close and cities cancel public events and recommend people avoid busy places, public health experts say trails and parks are a safer option when looking for recreation. When you head out to a trail, please remember the following:
These are challenging times, but one thing is clear, our fellow American’s will need relief and respite now more than ever. Trails, outdoor recreation, and our amazing open spaces can well serve that need. We are all in this together, and American Trails offers up this inspiration that trails have always and will continue to save people.
Published March 18, 2020
Trails are an important resource, but sadly we are increasingly seeing trails abused by littering and vandalism. American Trails has created a packet to teach kids to be great trail stewards so the next generation of trail lovers can help lead the way towards better care for our trails.
Promoting physical activity among children and adults is a priority national health objective in the United States. Regular physical activity lowers the risk of chronic diseases and is an important strategy for reversing the obesity epidemic.
A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that the creation of nature-rich urban environments, including schoolyards with natural play spaces and gardens, can help improve physical and mental health, cognitive skills, creativity, and social bonding.
The phenomena of thru-hiking has been on a dramatic rise, spurring hikers to venture onto increasingly remote and challenging trails over extended periods of time. Despite the recent popularity of thru-hiking, the field remains relatively unstudied. In recreation, the expectations held beforehand have been linked to perceptions after an activity, but this has not been explored in thru-hiking.