Category Archives: COVID-19

Virtual escapes: Videos of the places you’d love to be exploring

Every Thursday until the world reopens, we’re going to share with YouTube videos of the outdoor world. Each week will have a different focus. This week’s: The places our GetBackpacking! program hopes to visit this year.

OK, so maybe we can’t hike some of the places we want. But somebody has, and odds are they’ve posted a video about it on YouTube. They may not be the real thing, but they do provide voyeuristic escape, a bit of humor (both intentional and otherwise), and they can inspire your planning for trips in the hopefully not-too-distant future. And the videos cover just about every trail you can imagine.    read more

Where you can’t, can but shouldn’t, and should hike

A quick recap today of where you can’t hike, where you can hike but maybe shouldn’t, and where you should hike.

Where you can’t hike

Initially, visitor centers, restrooms, camping and cabins were closed. Now, many trails are being closed as well.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The entire park, with two small exceptions, closed March 24, and will remain closed at least through April 6. read more

Social Distancing on the water

Sunday, we expanded our horizons for safe-distance recreation: we took a paddle trip. 

We’ve been walking, walking, walking our neighborhood for the past little bit (check out our Morning Walk with Joe on Facebook Live every morning at 7:30). But Sunday, the weather was grand — sunny, with temperatures in the mid-80s — and it seemed that time on the water would be restorative. And a safe and responsible way to get out. read more

Explore the wilds of your own backyard

Now, the outdoor world begins to shrink. 

A week ago, trails were open. The outdoors were seen as the last open sanctuary to escape The Virus. Then, over the weekend, many of the more popular trail venues drew crowds that made staying 6 or 10 feet apart from one another near impossible. Sunday evening, North Carolina announced that four of its State Parks were closing, two recreation areas were restricting access. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which had already closed certain areas, followed suit, announcing that the park was shutting down, trails included. The number of North Carolina State Parks that are completely closed has since grown to 15 (see the list below). read more