Hiking the Adirondacks? Pack Masks, Maintain Social Distance on Trails
Hikers in New York’s Adirondacks are being asked to wear masks when they cannot maintain a safe distance from others, such as in parking lots, on crowded summits and trails, or anywhere else in the outdoors.
The COVID-19 guidelines from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) follow Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s requirement that people wear a face covering in public if they cannot stay six feet from others. New York City quickly became the US epicenter for COVID-19 in March and April, with more cases than any one country.
People visiting Adirondack Park are also being asked to hike only with members of their immediate household, alert others when they are about to pass, or step aside to let hikers pass. Hikers are also being asked to stay away from crowded parking lots, trailheads, and scenic areas, and seek out lesser-used areas and times when fewer people are on trails.
Occupancy at lean-tos is restricted to members of a single household. DEC is not issuing permits for backcountry camping for groups of 10 or more, and has stopped issuing permits for more than three days at one location on state lands.
DEC-controlled fire towers are closed until further notice.
Hikers are being asked to continue signing in and out at trailhead registers, but with precautions intended to minimize the spread of COVID-19. DEC issued the following guidelines for signing trail registers:
—Only one person per group should register. Others in the group should stay away from the register.
—If someone is at a register, stand at least six feet away and wait for them to leave before you approach.
—Bring your own pencil or pen.
—Minimize touching surfaces.
—Carry hand sanitizer and use it immediately before and after using the register.
—If you must cough or sneeze while at the register, move away and hand sanitize before returning.
More than 12 million people visit the Adirondacks annually, with the 46 Adirondack High Peaks a popular destination. The park’s 6 million acres—2.6 million acres owned by New York and the remaining 3.4 million acres privately owned—make it the largest park in the contiguous United States.
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