With the entire state under stay-at-home orders, fresh mountain air and spending time outdoors may be just what you need. Here are some recommended tips for enjoying the outdoors safely during the COVID-19 outbreak. These tips are shared by Colorado Parks and Wildlife to ensure state park visitors are complying with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) social distancing guidelines.

EDITOR’S NOTE: All 41 of Colorado’s State Parks remain open, but all playgrounds, campgrounds, camping, and camping facilities (including yurts and cabins) are closed. This order is effective immediately until further notice. Restrictions and closures continue to be subject to change.

1. If you are sick, stay home

Please just stay home if you are feeling sick, even with mild symptoms. Follow the guidelines recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to avoid spreading the virus to others. Save lives and stay home!

2. Keep a social distance from others

The key to slowing the spread of COVID-19 is social distancing. Let’s maintain it. Please keep a bare minimum of 6 feet apart from others – and since we’re already on the topic of distance – let’s not forget to keep a safe distance from wildlife.

RELATED: Colorado Springs residents told to spread out — or parks and trails might have to close

3. Avoid high-risk or remote activities

Choose low-risk activities. Backcountry restrictions are currently in place due to “limited medical, emergency, and search and rescue services.” Some mountain communities are even closed off to visitors.

4. Announce your presence to others

Signal your presence by voice or bell before passing others. Call out by saying “passing on your left” and give others time to respond. Whether you’re running, hiking, or biking, giving a signal can help you and others on the trail maintain the recommended 6-foot social distance.

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5. Stay regional

Stay close to home when choosing an outdoor destination. Some of the most popular trails and parks around the state have already closed due to the spread of the virus, including Rocky Mountain National Park and the Manitou Incline.

6. Avoid times and places of high use

Avoid hitting the trails during peak times. Wake up early or start later in the day, and you’ll be sure to skip the crowds, even at some of the most popular outdoor recreation areas.

7. Practice good hand hygiene

Slow the spread of the virus by practicing good hygiene. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, avoid touching your face, and cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue or your elbow.

8. Be kind, say hi

When setting out to explore the trails, remember to always be kind. All it takes is a simple hello or wave to brighten up someone’s day. Greeting others is not only proper trail etiquette, but it also lets others know you’re out there.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Let’s all do our part to enjoy the outdoors responsibly. Be sure to follow all restrictions and closures set forth in the state parks and any other outdoor recreation areas in the state. Maintain social distancing, be respectful to others, and practice Leave No Trace when enjoying our beautiful and wild spaces. 

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