Get Your Covid-Safe Nature Fix Without Leaving Town
The Presidio: San Francisco, CA - Photo Credit: Bryan Donoghue
As cities across the country descend into a new phase of quarantine lockdown, the masses are once again left to seek alternative forms of recreation that are safe, socially distant, and responsible to prevent the further spread of Covid-19. It took quite some time for folks to grow accustomed to the new reality of sheltering-in-place, accepting the fact they won’t be dining indoors, seeing a movie, or going to a club for live music anytime soon. Now it seems cities are in the process of implementing further restrictions - banning outdoor dining and gatherings of any sort - diversions that had previously helped the population adjust to this new, incredibly bizarre version of reality.
While outdoor recreation may not necessarily solve for the lack of social interaction necessitated by the pandemic, it works wonders to alleviate the crushing boredom imposed when one is stuck in their house for days, weeks, months on end. Many of the new wave of shelter-in-place orders have placed strict restrictions on travel outside of one’s immediate area, meaning trips to State and National Parks may have to wait for the time being. But it can be easy to overlook the fact that some of the most beautiful outdoor areas in the entire country can be found either within city limits, or just beyond the borders.
City Park: New Orleans, LA - Photo Credit: Bryan Donoghue
These urban hiking opportunities can provide much-needed food for the soul. A temporary change of scenery can do wonders for the psyche, offering a break from staring at the same four walls (and computer screen) without requiring too much in the way of logistics to realize. Since they’re close by, sometimes a jacket, a water bottle, and maybe a light snack are sufficient to bring with you - no need for an enormous backpack if the entire trip will likely only last a few hours. Depending on the city, some of these locales are even accessible via public transportation!
Often times, these hikes are significantly easier than what one might expect out in the mountains - making them even more accessible for you, your family, or your friends who may not get outside as often as they’d like. Convincing people to walk around in a park in/near town for a few hours tends to be much easier than getting them on-board for a grandiose day-long plan to hike to a National Monument sitting at 7,000 feet of elevation. The accessibility of these local options is a crucial component to giving yourself and your loved ones a break from the monotony of quarantine life, reducing the number of obstacles in the way that might convince you to just stay home - while also doing your part to be responsible in containing the spread of Covid-19.
Central Park: New York, NY - Photo Credit: Bryan Donoghue
For those of us who live in large cities, it’s an all-too-common occurrence for local folks to avoid the ‘tourist traps’ - those locales throughout town that are always crowded, filled with out-of-towners and families who may disrupt the sought-after serenity that a natural area may otherwise offer. It can be easy to take these places for granted - they’ll always be there, and since you live locally you can visit whenever you want - you just haven’t yet. So what better time to visit than during a global pandemic? Tourism numbers have plummeted to levels unseen for decades - and while this is certainly catastrophic for the economy as a whole, it does mean that these normally busy destinations are ripe for a properly socially-distant experience. Make the time, take the trip, get outdoors, and explore!
Check out the Pathloom Blog next week when we bring you our picks for our favorite local hikes for select cities across the country!
Do you have a hike within or close to your city that you’d like to share with our community? We’d love to hear all about it! Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us about it, and we may include it in next week’s article! Please include a picture - we want to show everyone what makes you love that hike so much!
Kennelworth Park & Aquatic Gardens: Washington, DC - Photo Credit: Chase Hahn
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Pathloom is a Bay Area-based technology startup on a mission to get more people outdoors, more often by reimagining the way people discover the outdoors.