Editor’s Note: This article is the second in a mini-series on interactive and safe activities people can participate in during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
COVID-19 has forced people around the globe to abandon their normal activities, hobbies and workout venues, making finding a safe activity to enjoy or finding a new way to workout challenging for many.
Hiking has been a way for people to stay active and still enjoy being outside during this pandemic. There are numerous hiking trails to enjoy in different parks all around Akron, two of which are the Summit Metro Park and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP).
Hiking through these parks is a beautiful experience with their different trails and waterfalls. The parks boast varieties of wildlife, greenery, forests, farmlands and wetlands.
“Summit Metro Parks thanks our community for helping us keep the parks safe, clean and open during this public health emergency, and asks that visitors continue to maintain six feet from other hikers, avoid crowded areas and bring a mask for times when safe distance cannot be maintained,” Stephanie Walton, Chief of Marketing & Communications for Summit Metro Parks, said.
Summit Metro Parks has a unique hiking experience for visitors, with their Fall Hiking Spree 2020 available until Nov. 30. Participants must complete at least eight designated trails to receive rewards including an official Summit Metro Park pin and a t-shirt.
CVNP has over 125 miles of hiking trails through different terrain for all levels of hiking experience. For visitors wanting an easy walk, the Haskell Run Trail is a short 30-minute hike with opportunities for animal sightings. For experienced hikers, the Perkins Loop has a two-hour hike time and a difficult hike rating.
Following all the safety guidelines related to COVID-19, CVNP implemented various strategies to reduce the risk of visitors contracting COVID-19.
Pamela Barnes, the acting Lead of Interpretation, Education and Visitor Services for the park said the information can be found on their homepage.
While the park is working towards creating a fun and safe environment for everyone, visitors are the ones who are truly responsible for their wellbeing and that of other visitors and staff. Barnes states that guests visiting the park should “Be Prepared, Be Flexible and Be Kind.”
To “Be Prepared” visitors should check the CVNP website for the most updated information on the park. Visitors can also call the closure hotline at 440-546-5960 or visit the information center near the Boston Mill Visitor Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays.
“Be Flexible by visiting less crowded areas or on less crowded days of the week,” said Barnes.
This helps reduce the crowding which allows for more social distancing within the park.
“Be Kind by staying home if sick, practicing social distancing, and traveling clockwise on any trail that is a loop,” Barnes stated.
This not only ensures the safety of other visitors but yourself and your loved ones.