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Thursday, April 2, 2020

CNR Provides Guidance on Outdoor Activities During Coronavirus Outbreak

Guidance on Spending Time Outdoors

Protect Yourself and Others Outdoors

Practice Social Distancing and Leave no Trace

Harrisburg, PA – Today, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn reminded Pennsylvanians that being outdoors is good health care and self care, but recommendations for social distancing to slow the spread of the coronavirus still apply.

“During this time of significant changes to our daily routines it’s clear that our need for and appreciation of nature is greater than ever,” Dunn said. “Outdoor activities are a great idea to relieve stress and as immunity boosters, but they should not include exposure to high-touch surfaces or other groups of people -- we need to spread out.”

Dunn noted the best advice to slow the spread of COVID-19 is to stay at home. Engaging in outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking, or running is allowed if social distancing is maintained.

Some tips for avoiding groups of people outdoors include:

If you have a yard, spend time there outdoors every day.
If possible, take a walk around your neighborhood with the people in your family, as long as you can stay six feet away from neighbors.
If you decide to leave your neighborhood, plan for several alternate locations, so if you arrive at your first one and there are crowds, you can move on.
Choose a less busy time of day, such as early morning.
Find a local park or trail that offers enough space for social distancing. Pennsylvania has more than 6,000 local parks that are identified on an interactive map.
Some municipalities have closed local parks to protect visitors and employees, so check the status of the park before you go. If the park is open, bathrooms and water fountains likely will not be, so plan ahead.
There also are more than 12,000 miles of trails in Pennsylvania, most of which remain accessible during this period. Find a nearby trail at

State and local parks, state forests, and trails are seeing record numbers of visitors, with more anticipated as the weather turns warmer and fishing season begins.

From March 17 to 25, Presque Isle State Park in Erie saw an average 165 percent increase in visitation from the same dates last year.

State park and forest facilities such as restrooms, playgrounds, and all overnight accomodations are closed, and staff is limited. The public can access lands and trails.

Be respectful of natural places by practicing Leave No Trace ethics:

Avoid crowded parking lots and trailheads – find a different spot.
Use the bathroom before you visit.
Bring a bag and carry out your trash.
Take your trash home with you, as there is limited staff emptying trash cans.
Clean up after pets and carry out the bags.

Pennsylvania has 121 state parks, and 20 forest districts.

Video clips of Secretary Dunn on this topic are available through PACast.

Information about state parks and forests is available on the DCNR website. Updates also are being provided on DCNR’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.


Anonymous said...

Are we aloud to fish and boat ?? how bout camping is this all aloud? just asking for a friend.

Anonymous said...

the only way camping is aloud is if your radio is turned up to high... other than that, its not allowed at this time. lol

Anonymous said...

It is really irritating to fish or camp near a loud group or person. Please, if we are allowed to do these activities, be a little considerate of those around you.

Anonymous said...

It's allowed, and about. Your spelling is atrocious. Camping is not permitted, Boating is permitted, but concessions such as bait, gas are closed, launches, docks, etc are open, keep social distancing of six feet when boating.