Pick a quiet trail: Tips on hiking safely during the coronavirus outbreak

A man exercises outside Centennial Park’s west entrance in Ellicott City on Saturday where the gates are closed but running, biking and walking is allowed if social distancing guidelines are followed.

Centennial Park’s west entrance in Ellicott City is seen on Saturday where the gates are closed but running, biking and walking is allowed if social distancing guidelines are followed.

People are seen exercising inside Centennial Park in Howard County on Saturday where the gates are closed but running, biking and walking is allowed if social distancing guidelines are followed.

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Taking a hike as the weather gets warmer can be a good way to get some exercise during the coronavirus outbreak, but what steps should be taken when running into others on the trail?

At Centennial Park’s west entrance in Ellicott City, Maryland, people were busy on the paths on Saturday, getting some exercise. The park gates in Howard County are closed, but the parks are available for you to walk, run, hike or bike as long as you are practicing social distancing.

Basketball courts, volleyball courts, tennis courts and other similar areas are closed.

In Montgomery County, the hiking trails are open. But the parks department is reminding hikers that exercise is important but so is social distancing at this time. While on the trail, stay 6 feet away from others.

Also, alert hikers when you see them coming up on the trail ahead to allow them step off the path and maintain their distance. Remember to cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing and do not go on the trail if you’re showing symptoms of the coronavirus.

And, to protect other hikers as well as workers, bring a trash bag with you and take your trash out of the park.

Montgomery County is also reminding people to check their website and find a less popular trail as there are 250 miles of trails in the parks to choose from. In March, the Capital Crescent Trail saw a 155% increase in traffic, the parks department said.


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