Turning the Dial: State Lands Will Reopen to Hiking
Washington Trails Association worked with land managers and other stakeholders in anticipation of this decision, and in order to balance recreation with public health, we've got some new advice about how to recreate responsibly to keep each other safe and lands open.
- Physical distancing is key. This remains the main way to avoid transmission of the virus. It's important to be able to maintain 6+ feet between you and other hikers for the majority of your outing. If you can't, pick another trail. And right now, stick to recreating with just the folks in your household.
- Passing on trail. Even given these considerations, you'll likely run into other folks on trail. If you do, do your best to maintain physical distance. Determine who will step aside (generally, hikers coming uphill have right of way) and give each other a wide berth.
- Bathroom breaks: BYOTP. For now, assume all trailhead facilities will be closed. Take care of business before you arrive, bring your own toilet paper and brush up on how to poop in the woods. And remember to pack it out — toilet paper doesn't decompose quickly outside.
- Stay local. This reopening applies to day-use of state lands only. Most campgrounds and other facilities will remain closed. Stick to parks you can access in a day, and remember to keep rural communities safe. While we often encourage hikers to shop local and contribute to the recreation economy in rural communities, doing so right now could deplete the resources of smaller communities.