In light of the advice of our health authorities, we have considered the ramifications COVID-19 may have on our planned activities, and have therefore decided to cancel any upcoming indoor meetings, such as the March 21 First Aid Course in Midland (tentatively rescheduled to June 6) and the March 26 information evening in Creemore. Our Annual General Meeting is still scheduled for April 18, but we will be monitoring the situation, and may either cancel, or arrange for a meeting by conference call.
With regard to planned hikes, we are comfortable that these can continue, provided proper social distancing (keeping 6 feet away from each other) and other precautions as recommended by the health authorities are being followed. As such, it is suggested that car pooling be eliminated; rather participants should drive directly to the start of the hike, if there is enough parking. With snow banks receding, it may very well be an option to park on the shoulder of the road or in a parking lot that was not plowed during the winter months. When doing a linear End to End, car shuttles between start and end of the hike may be more problematic, so “back and forth” hikes may be more advisable. Obviously, people who are feeling unwell, and/or have been exposed to someone who is sick with a respiratory illness (be it confirmed Covid-19 or not) should not participate. This is our response based on the conditions of today. We will advise if things change in the future, and hopefully we can sooner or later get back to our regular way of doing things, carpooling in particular.
In conclusion, hiking is fortunately an activity where we can easily apply social distances, so we encourage our members to get out there, get your exercise and vitamin D fixes, inhale lots of fresh air, and enjoy all of the beauty our forests and other green spaces have to offer. It’s good for our mental health to switch off from social media, and the news, so, HIKE ON!
President, Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association Inc.