Hiking and Physical Distancing Safe Practices

Be sure to research individual park updates before you visit. 

Hiking to connect with nature can be a great way to stay active and physically distance yourself during these trying times. Active SWV has a great list of trail resources for you to use to find the best trail for you and your family. We would like to share some tips for being on the trail and helping to keep your distance and keep the park clean for other to enjoy.

When contemplating a visit to trail near you, Active SWV asks people to act responsibly with regards to CDC, state, and local guidelines to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Slowing the spread of novel coronavirus is everyone’s responsibility. With more people using our trail systems to take a break and be active, we suggest that you visit less popular trails to minimize contact with people. If you are sick or have symptoms of illness, stay home.

Physical Distancing Safe Practices When Outdoors
  • If you are sick, stay home
  • Keep a social distance from others
  • Avoid high-risk or remote activities
  • Announce your presence to others
  • Stay regional
  • Avoid times and places of high use
  • Practice good hand hygiene
Trail Recommendations

Here are some recommended less traveled trails to explore:

  • Brooklyn Mine Trail – “It has mine work remains, a mine portal, and once you get past the initial climb of about 1-2 tenths of a mile the rest of the almost 2 mile distance is outstanding. Plus, this time of year you get great views of the river,” shares Active SWV Community Captain Levi Moore.
  • Big Branch Trail at Brooks Falls
  • Cliff Side Trail – “I really enjoyed the Cliffside trail at Hawk’s Nest. It’s a beautiful but challenging trail that follows Turkey Creek for a bit. When the creek drops off, the trail takes you along an impressive stretch of cliffs, offering new views of the gorge, dam and river.” Active SWV Board Member Rene Moore.
  • Bridge Buttress Trail
  • Hawks Nest Connector Trail
  • Thurmond Minden Trail
  • Needleseye Trails in Oak Hill

*Find trail maps and directions here: Active SWV Trail Resources for Nicholas, Fayette, Raleigh, and Summers counties.

Here are some popular trails to avoid during peak times. Peak times will be warm, sunny days and weekends.

  • Long Point Trail – Fayetteville, Fayette County
  • Endless Wall Trail – Fayetteville, Fayette County
  • Sandstone Falls – Hinton, Summers County
  • Grandview overlook – Beaver, Raleigh County

The increase use of the trail also means it will be important for everyone to practice the principals of Leave No Trace.

  • Plan ahead and prepare: have a second destination in mind if the first choice has a busy parking lot.
  • Travel and camp on durable surfaces: Be aware of low lying trails that maybe muddy after recent rains.
  • Dispose of waste properly: pack out any of your paper products.
  • Leave what you find: it is not recommended to pick the wildflowers.
  • Minimize campfire impacts.
  • Respect wildlife.
  • Be considerate of other visitors: stop and back away from the trail to allow others to pass, maintain at least a 6 ft distance, avoid busy, narrow trails.

We can all stay active and care for our beautiful lands if we work together to put some space between ourselves and others, be considerate, and prepared. It is also advised at this time to limit extreme high risk adventures and wilderness travel to lessen the burden on the medical community and emergency response. Find ways to appreciate low risk activities close to home.