Social Distancing Outdoors
I absolutely love to be outdoors, it's fun, it's refreshing, and good for your physical and mental health. I'll be the first to admit, in the first days of the nationwide shut down due to COVID-19 I was afraid to go to my favorite hiking spots. This was because I knew that many of my favorite hiking spots are popular and have narrow trails that make it hard to socially distance. Thanks to the Santa Clara County Parks department identifying parks with wide enough trails to properly social distance from others, I'm back outside as often as I was before. Here are three county parks that have wide trails for the perfect socially distanced hike.
First and foremost, please remember to be prepared for your hiking adventure. This means bringing enough water, using hand sanitizer, wearing appropriate clothing for the outdoors, and bringing a buddy or telling someone where you will be hiking. Secondly, these trails are socially distant from others but all park goers are expected to follow county COVID-19 guidelines including wearing a face cover at all times in the park. Last but not least, for the most socially distant hiking experience plan your adventure during non-peak park hours and avoid going on the weekends.
The Mt. Madonna county park is a beautiful park with plenty of forestry to make hikers feel at one with nature. Thanks to the Santa Clara County Parks Department you can view a map of wide trails in the Mt. Madonna park to keep your distance from others. As a reminder to prevent the spread of COVID-19, public usage of picnic tables and benches are prohibited unless marked other wise, do not meet up with others outside of your immediate household and avoid crowded trails.
The Coyote Lake Harvey Bear Ranch county park is a recreational diverse park with plenty of activities for the family to partake in all year long. These activities include shore fishing, boating, horse back riding, hiking, kayaking, camping, dog walking and bird watching.
Thanks to the Santa Clara County Parks department you can view a map with highlighted wide trails for socially distant usage. These wide trails allow up to 6 ft. of distance between you and another hiker. Hikers can also avoid large crowds by parking in less used parking spots and using the park during non-peak hours.
The Joseph D. Grant county park is a beautiful park with scenic views of rolling grasslands. This park has stunning views of Grant Lake, which does not allow boating, and of grazing farm animals. Please check the park website for more information on fire warnings before your visit.
Thanks to the Santa Clara County parks department, park goers can plan their socially distant hike using this map. The public is encouraged to use the main parking lot within the park and to not park on the side of the road. Pets are allowed to use park trails as long as they are on a leash.