We are very proud that many of you are already utilizing your community's precious natural resources.
In the coming weeks or months, we hope you'll find solace walking along our local trails, enjoying the peaceful forests and meadows, and being with your families.
Please remember to wear protective clothing and check for ticks after your visit.
When we no longer need to social distance, we'll host several Volunteer Days to maintain the trails you're wandering today. We hope you'll remember your springtime hikes and join us to help keep the trails open and clear!
Below are guidelines regarding social distancing during your hikes.
Enjoy your visit and please, please be safe!
Visiting the outdoors during the COVID-19 outbreak
The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) and the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) encourage New Yorkers to recreate locally, practice social distancing, and use common sense to protect themselves and others.
Getting outdoors to walk, jog, hike, ride a bicycle, or visit a park or state lands is a healthy way to stay active, spend time with your immediate household family members, and reduce stress and anxiety while practicing physical distancing. While indoor spaces and restrooms at State Parks and DEC’s public facilities may be closed to prevent community spread of COVID-19, parks, grounds, forests, and trails are open during daylight hours, seven days a week.
State Parks, Lands, Forests, and facilities are monitored by Park Police, Forest Rangers, Environmental Conservation Police Officers and other staff. These parks, lands, forests, and facilities and visitors will incorporate physical distancing to limit the potential spread of COVID-19. In addition, these officers and staff respond to, and assist, local agencies with search and rescue missions, wildfire suppression, and other response activities. Following this guidance will prevent unnecessary burdens on, and dangers to, state resources and local responders during the ongoing COVID-19 response.
While enjoying outdoor spaces, please continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/State Department of Health (DOH) guidelines for preventing the spread of colds, flu, and COVID-19:
- Stay home if you are sick, or showing or feeling any COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, coughing, and/or troubled breathing;
- Practice social distancing by keeping at least six (6) feet of distance between yourself and others, even when outdoors;
- Avoid close contact, such as shaking hands, hugging, or high-fives;
- Wash hands often or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when soap and water are not available; and
- Avoid unnecessary contact with surfaces that are often touched, such as doorknobs and handrails.
DEC and State Parks also encourage visitors to State Parks, State Lands, and other parks to:
- Stay local and keep visits short;
- Visit in small groups limited to immediate household members;
- Maintain distance from others while in places where people tend to congregate, such as parking lots, trailheads, and scenic overlooks;
- If you arrive at a park and crowds are forming, choose a different park, a different trail, or return another time/day to visit; and
- If parking lots are full, please do not park along roadsides or other undesignated areas. To protect your safety and that of others, please choose a different area to visit, or return another time or day when parking is available.
If you are sick or have had contact with someone who is sick in the last 14 days:
- Stay home; and
- Spend time in the backyard or other personal outdoor space. Do not visit public outdoor spaces.
If you are over 70 or have a compromised immune system:
- Avoid visiting outdoor public spaces;
- Remain indoors or spend time in the backyard or other personal outdoor space;
- Pre-screen visitors by taking their temperature from a safe social distance; and
- Require visitors to wear masks, if available.