Social Distancing Recommendations for Park and Trail Users

Nice weather entices people to get out of the house and use the City’s parks and trail networks. While Indy Parks director Linda Broadfoot is glad to see so many people out using public greenspaces and trails, she also offers the following cautionary advice, “When you visit a park, please make sure you are following CDC guidance on social distancing — give each other space, avoid gathering in large groups, and be respectful of our spaces.”

The National Recreation and Park Association offers these recommendations for  safe social distancing when in parks or on trails

  • Follow CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to heading to trails — wash hands, carry hand sanitizer, do not use trails if you have symptoms, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, etc.
  • Observe at all times CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of six feet from other people. Practice it and know what it looks like. Keep it as you walk, bike or hike.
  • Warn other trail users of your presence and as you pass to allow proper distance and step off trails to allow others to pass, keeping minimum recommended distances at all times. Signal your presence with your voice, bell or horn.
  • Note that trail and park users may find public restrooms closed — be prepared before you leave and time outings so that you are not dependent on public restrooms.
  • Bring water or drinks — public drinking fountains may be disabled and should not be used, even if operable.
  • Bring a suitable trash bag. Leave no trash, take everything out to protect park workers
  • Dog walking presents challenges of its own. In order to maintain safe social distancing, NRPA recommends that all dogs remain on a leash at all times in parks. Dog owners should be especially careful to maintain a distance of the recommended six feet from other dogs and persons.

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