North Bend area trails have been a popular destination this past year as residents from near and far sought ways to exercise outdoors due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Many local trails have experienced a notable increase in traffic, which often means more wear-and-tear, including left behind trash.
Remember – if you’re using the trails, whatever you bring in with you needs to be brought back out, including food wrappers, empty water bottles, and pet waste.
As we head into spring – with many public health guidelines still in place – here are some tips to #RecreateResponsibly to protect yourself, the community, the trails, and the environment.
Tips to #RecreateResponsibly:
- Know Before You Go: Check the status of the place you want to visit. If it is closed, don’t go. If it’s crowded, have a plan B.
- Plan Ahead: Prepare for facilities to be closed, pack lunch and bring essentials like hand sanitizer and a face covering.
- Stay Close to Home: This is not the time to travel long distances to recreate. Most places are only open for day use.
- Practice Physical Distancing: Adventure following Washington’s Roadmap to Recovery reopening plan ‘Outdoor Social Gatherings’ guidelines. Give others space and be prepared with face coverings if distance cannot be maintained. If you are sick, stay home.
- Play It Safe: Slow down and choose lower-risk activities to reduce your risk of injury. This helps protect Search and Rescue operations and health care resources.
- Leave No Trace: Respect public lands and communities and take all your garbage with you.
- Off-Peak = Less People: Trails are often less crowded on weekdays or during off-peak daylight hours.
If you’re interested in volunteering to help protect the many popular trails in the Snoqualmie Valley, Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust is launching a new Trailhead Ambassador program, which is designed to inspire visitors to protect public lands through learning and teaching stewardship behaviors while recreating on trails.