Physical activity is still considered essential activity, and for the time being, many trails are still open in Boulder for hiking and biking. However, government officials have closed some and considered closing others because of the huge mass of people that keep arriving at them, making social distancing difficult. Here’s six rules for social distancing to ensure that we can keep the trails open!

1. Hike like a pro–know when to go

Expert hikers and bikers know the best time to go is in the early morning and late evening when trails aren’t so full. This is especially true now as families bring their children and are more likely to be hiking midday. Hiking earlier or later in the day can help spread out the number of people on the trail at any given point in time.

2. Find the backdoor

Many inexperienced hikers will only get a couple miles into a trail before turning back. If you know of a backdoor entrance to the trail, you may be able to start further on the trail where it’s less congested than at the beginning/ Use your best judgement when arriving at a hike to determine if you need to start somewhere else or even go somewhere else altogether.

3. Choose better trails

This is twofold: choose trails that aren’t as popular, and choose trails that aren’t as difficult. Popular trails are bound to have more people at them, so it’s important to browse the internet and discover smaller trails. Government officials are also worried about people needing to be admitted to the hospital due to outdoor activities and being exposed to the virus, so make sure you’re sticking to easier trails where you’re less likely to get hurt.

4. Wear a mask

I know. It’s uncomfortable to wear a mask, especially when you’re breathing hard. But your air is going to travel downhill to anyone behind you, and you’re getting the air from anyone in front of you. You don’t have to wear it if there’s really nobody on the trail, but keep it around you neck in case you do stumble across someone.

5. Walk single file

A lot of people are taking this time to spend with their families, which means hiking with multiple people. Don’t make the six-foot rule even more difficult by taking up more space on a trail that you need to. Everyone in your group needs to walk single file at all times.

6. Keep further away than six feet

When you’re exercising you’re breathing harder, and there are many who use trails for biking and running. Breathing hard is going to spread your germs farther than just walking, so keep more than six feet away from people, even if it means walking slower than normal.

Kaylee was raised (but not *technically* born) in Colorado. She graduated from Regis University with a bachelor of arts in English. During her time at Regis she worked as a teaching assistant in a freshman classroom setting and in the writing center helping students on a variety of topics. While there, she discovered Cura Personalis, or care for the entire person, leading to her love of feminism and desire for equal rights for all. Kaylee is the managing editor for AboutBoulder, OnDenver, and a key member of the OnMetro team, launching this platform in cities across the United States.