Trail use and the need for trail maintenance is expected to increase with the closure of some recreational and community venues. Trail use remains one of the safest recreational activities during the pandemic and a good way to relieve the stress and anxiety associated with this event. A few simple rules as adopted from other trail jurisdictions will assist in making it even safer:
For Nova Scotia Trail users, distancing yourself from other users and maintaining good hygiene is the best defense for reducing your chances of contracting any illness:
- Wash your hands frequently with biodegradable soap at least 200 feet from water sources. When soap is not available, use hand sanitizer that contains 60-95% alcohol.
- Avoid sharing food. Do not eat out of the same food bag, share utensils ordrink from other users’ water bottles.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing. Use the crook of your arm (inner elbow) or use a tissue and dispose of it using Leave No Trace Principles.
- Keep some distance between you and other users whenever possible, especially if anyone shows signs of being sick. Avoid shaking hands or other close contact —instead, waving is a safer way to greet others.
- Avoid congregating in groups along the Trail.
- If you are an older adult or have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes or lung disease, you are at a higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19 contraction. Hike and camp away from others to minimize the likelihood of infection.
- If you begin feeling sick, stay away from others and leave the trail until examined and cleared for return to the trails by a medical professional.
For volunteers working on the trails, the additional guidelines are also recommended:
- Minimize carpooling to work locations. While this is not ideal regarding environmental impacts, personal safety and health take priority.
- Work in groups of no more than 6 people in any location.
- Avoid sharing tools and equipment whenever possible.
A complete statement from Trails Nova Scotia regarding COVID-19 can be viewed here.
Current Government COVID-19 Restrictions
As restrictions change frequently we recommend that you visit Nova Scotia’s Coronavirus updates page at: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/restriction-updates/ for current government mandated restrictions.
Safely and responsibly during the COVID-19 pandemic
With COVID-19 disrupting our daily lives, it’s been difficult to find the time to get outdoors and exercise. The US National Parks Service has created An Essential Guide to Enjoying US National Parks Responsibly which aims to help people understand the benefits of spending time in nature whilst minimizing the impact on the environment and wildlife of parks and outdoor areas.
You can view the guide by following the link above of by clicking here.
Any updates affecting trail use will be posted on our website and our social media pages.