Love the outdoors? Here is how to enjoy Mother Nature safely during COVID-19

Last updated: August 30, 2021

March 21, 2020

10:30 a.m.

One of West Virginia’s best features is her open spaces, scenic overlooks, hiking trails and more. During times of uncertainty, the Mountain State can provide peace, tranquility, fresh air and calm to our friends and family.

We encourage residents to get outside, but follow the CDC’s guidelines on personal hygiene and social distancing.

Here are some ways to explore our parks safely during the COVID-19 outbreak:

  • Hike solo with your pet. We always welcome four-legged friends to our parks and trails.
  • Be flexible. If your outdoor trail or area already meets the 10-person recommendation, change course or try again another day.
  • Give space on the trails. Allow people to pass, at a safe distance.
  • Avoid touching handrails leading up to steps, etc. Do not allow children to use playground equipment.
  • Bring water or drinks to avoid using any public water fountains.
  • Note that public bathrooms may be closed. Be prepared before you leave and time your outing so that you are not dependent on public bathrooms.
  • Bring a trash bag. Leave no trash to help protect others.
  • Refrain from using parks or trails if you are exhibiting symptoms.
  • Do not plan any overnight trips and always carry a cell phone.

In order to practice social distancing, we ask that visitors and fans of our region join us later, when all health threats have passed!  

This guidance is current today, but parks and recreation professionals and agency director should monitor CDC guidance and local, state and federal updates daily. Information taken from and the

NOTE: By order of the Govenor of West Virginia, the Hatfield-McCoy ATV trails and all state park lodges are closed to the public.