Covid-19 Protocol and Tips

Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association Inc.

Given that we are seeing more hikers on our trail, and members are getting anxious to get out and hike, or do trail maintenance, here are some guidelines that our clubs and members may want to consider under Covid-19:

– large group outings and carpooling are still not allowed

– max. group size of 5

– maintain a physical distance of 2 m at all times

– stay home if you feel unwell or are sick

– stay local

– leash your dog

Know where and when to go.It’s best if we don’t all go to the most popular trailheads or parks at the most popular times of day. Early morning or evening tends to be less crowded. If you arrive at a parking lot and it is full, find another trail.

In planning your hike or trail maintenance, consider that since carpooling is not allowed, that individuals will be arriving in their personal car, thus requiring more parking space. In some spots, this may be problematic as there just is not enough room. Also, do not park in front of any gates, on private lawns, and make sure you leave enough space for farm equipment to pass. 

Keeping a social distance on single use trails can also be problematic, especially on bridges, boardwalks, or a trail on a cliff side, where there is just no way to step off the trail to let others pass. It is therefore recommended to wear a mask (have it handy!) or pass each other back to back. 

When stopping for a snack or picnic, please move far enough off the trail, so that social distance can be maintained when other hikers (or cyclists if you happen to be on a mountain bike or shared use trail) need to pass. 

Slow down, step back, and let people know when you’re approaching. Yield to oncoming trail users. A friendly “Hello!” will alert anyone walking in front of you. If you find yourself coming up behind a slower walker and you don’t have 2 m to pass safely, slow down instead. If somebody is getting too close to you, step back to allow enough space.

Keep single file (even on wide trails). Do not spread out all over the trail. When you let someone pass, step off to the side and stay put — don’t walk alongside the path.

Consider pre-registration with a pre-set maximum, to make sure you are not exceeding the allowable max group size and there is sufficient parking.

When signing waivers, consider having a bottle of hand sanitizer available so participants can clean their hands after holding the clipboard and using the pen. 

Be considerate of other hikers: put your cell phones on vibrate, or silence the ringer, and unless it is an emergency, refrain from talking on the phone while hiking, so that others can enjoy the sounds of the forest. 

Frieda Baldwin (705) 245-1005 – email:

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