Safe Trail Use During COVID-19

Updated May 22, 2020.

The Colorado Stay at Home Order that went into effect March 26 was changed to a “Safer-at-Home” order on April 27th. It continues to allow exercise outside the home, and travel via foot, bike or car to trailheads. Outdoor activities such as walking, hiking, fishing, biking, or running are still permitted under the order. State parks will remain open for the previously-mentioned activities.

The COVID-19 situation and subsequent Stay at Home Order by San Juan Basin Health is not something to be taken lightly. Getting exercise and getting outside is extremely important for our well-being and mental health, but we must keep open spaces safe and uncrowded. Here’s what Durango Trails is doing and our recommendations for safe trail use during this time.

TRAILWORK EVENTS ARE POSTPONED

All Durango Trails trail building events, parties, and other social events are postponed until such time as group activities are deemed safe again. We continue to look forward to our upcoming 2020 Trailwork Kick-Off Event, as well as our 30th Anniversary Celebration, and we will update you when new dates have been chosen for both.

TRAILS: THE GATEWAY TO OUTDOOR RECREATION

The current guidelines list biking, walking, hiking and other outdoor activities as essential, permitted activities while following social distancing. In order to comply with all social distancing orders, do not organize a group activity of more than 10 people and maintain a distance of 6 feet between all. Please remember, no matter how you choose to get outdoors, social distancing is not optional. Please abide by all guidelines and rules listed below.

MOUNTAIN BIKING

Stay alert, slow down, and communicate with each other from a distance about how to proceed. With local gyms and rec centers closed, there may be new users on the trails. Now is a great time to educate the community on responsible trail use, and to be patient, exemplary stewards and neighbors. Remember, great communities build great trails and great trails build great communities.

TRAIL RUNNING

To follow proper social distancing guidelines, please do not run in groups. Please announce yourself.

DOG WALKING

Dogs must be on a leash! Please don’t put anyone at risk by not having your dog on a leash and please, always pick up after your dog.

KEEP OPEN SPACES UNCROWDED

  • Pick off-peak times to ride, or choose less-used trail areas. If there is no available parking at a trailhead, it is too crowded!
  • Ride fewer times a week.
  • Remember to keep your dogs on a leash; this is important to help keep everyone protected and reduce the impact on emergency services.

PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING

  • Don’t carpool, unless with household members.
  • Don’t do shuttle rides.
  • Ride solo. If you do ride with others, the intention is that you only go with people in YOUR HOUSEHOLD, and maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance at all times.
  • Give plenty of room to all users on the trail. Instead of the MTB Lean, step off the trail and lift your bike with you to let others pass. Please don’t take a longer path and ride off-trail to avoid users.
  • Check out our video learning series on current best trail practices
  • When in doubt, remember the llama rule!

AVOID CONTAMINATION

  • While masks are not required while recreating, please be conscious of conditions where passing one another at close proximity is required. Watch our video learning series on safe passing and keep a mask in your pack when needed, or for visiting public areas and shops.
  • Don’t ride if you are sick.
  • Avoid touching others’ bikes, racks or equipment like pumps and tools.
  • Don’t share drinks, food, or anything else that goes in your mouth and can be inhaled.
  • Be mindful of your snot rockets and loogies.
  • Use the bathroom before you leave the house. Some trailhead restrooms are open but aren’t being maintained, others are closed.

KEEP TRIPS SHORT AND CONSERVATIVE

Ride and hike within your limits and don’t take risks. Now is not the time to go big; our healthcare system has enough to do without setting your broken collar bone.

KEEP IT LOCAL

  • If you can safely ride to the trailhead, please do so.
  • Do not get in your car and travel to other communities. Communities like Moab shut down camping and request visitors to stay home. They do not have the resources or infrastructure to handle visitors during this time and are trying to stop the spread of COVID-19 in their own towns. 

GRAVEL RIDING

Our trails have been very busy since COVID-19 was first detected, so now is a great time to explore https://gravelmap.com/browse/colorado/durango.

No special bike required, just turn off your suspension and have a sense of adventure.

BE SAFE AND BE SMART

We want to get outside with you when this is over, please take this pandemic seriously!

 

RESOURCES