Public Access Sites & COVID-19

Thursday, April 2nd, 2020

The Governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” addendum to the Emergency Declaration still allows us to enjoy Vermont’s outdoors while staying close to home. This means that currently, VRC’s public access sites remain open for use, with the following considerations. Please also note that Spring weather and continued snow melt from the mountains mean that as usual, Spring is a time to practice extreme caution when visiting rivers. Water levels tend to be much higher and also tend to fluctuate rapidly. Be safe, pay attention to water levels, and please practice social distancing when recreating at or around Vermont’s rivers. Thank you!

Here are tips to recreate locally and stay safe outdoors during this public health emergency (the following message from The Vermont Department of Forest, Parks & Recreation):

Recreate locally: walk on your street or a local wood lot as opposed to hopping in the car to visit a favorite spot. If you must drive someplace, please limit the distance from home to ten miles, and only drive with members of your household. You can find information on local spots on http://www.Trailfinder.info and www.vtfishandwildlife.gov.

We do ask that you follow commonsense behaviors including honoring all signage, treating public areas with respect and giving people space at gathering points like parking areas and scenic overlooks, for example. Visitation and use will be monitored, with closures possible based on overcrowding or additional orders from health agencies. If a parking lot is full, or too many people are gathered at a location, please find an alternative place to recreate. 

Minimize risk to others: Go out only if you’re feeling healthy, have not been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, and/or have not recently traveled from a location with a CDC-issued travel advisory.

Engage in low-risk activities: Now is not the time to try something extreme and end up in the hospital, taxing an already overburdened health care system.

Don’t crowd: Stay at least 6 feet away from others when in a public setting, including the outdoors. Outdoor crowding isn’t any better than indoor crowding. Just because you’re outside doesn’t mean it’s safe unless you are continuing to practice appropriate social distancing, good personal hygiene, and avoid touching your face until you can wash your hands. This includes finding an alternative place to recreate if the area you choose is already crowded.

Please leash your dog! They are members of your household and need to keep their social distance as well (most standard leashes are 6 feet in length).

For more info on COVID-19 and related guidelines, visit: https://www.healthvermont.gov/response/infectious-disease/2019-novel-coronavirus

  • For outdoor recreation COVID-19 related links, visit:

https://fpr.vermont.gov/recreation/outdoor-recreation-and-covid-19.

  • For information on wildlife based recreational opportunities, visit:

https://vtfishandwildlife.com/

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