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‘Hike in Place,’ Recommends Superior Hiking Trail Association

While many states exempt hiking from shelter-in-place orders, that doesn’t mean you should hit the road before you hit the trail.

We’re all getting familiar with “shelter-in-place” orders and what they mean for daily life. You’ve already read the one for your home state, city, or town a dozen times. Don’t leave the house except for exempted work, to get groceries or medicine, or for outdoor exercise.

But that last one seems to cause a lot of hiccups in people’s daily lives. Can I drive up to the mountains to get on my favorite trail? Can I head to a national park or forest?

Increasingly, the answer is “no.” And the Superior Hiking Trail Association has given the “hike local” movement a name: “hike in place.”

Hike in Place: What It Means

Hike in place does not mean to literally walk in place. No, instead, the Superior Hiking Trail Association encourages people to rediscover hikes and nature in your neighborhood.

“Northern Minnesota counties are asking non-residents to avoid coming to recreate there. They’re afraid of a lot of things, but in particular, they fear their small and few hospitals could get overwhelmed if the virus takes hold here,” a release from the SHTA reads.

“We should all take their concern seriously. The Trail itself and thousands of annual visitors who enjoy it depend on these small communities to remain healthy. We all must do our part to protect them; they are a vital part of our trail community.”

Hiking in Place: Inspiration Near Home

Sure, it’s a bummer to be stuck at home as spring weather kisses us with warmth and sunshine. But for now, it’s what we must do.

But you can still enjoy nature, and we have a few ideas. For one, check out bird identification apps. Some even let you ID birds by song!

Try plogging. That means to go for a jog, bring a trash bag, and pick up garbage along the way. It seems prudent to wear gloves or use a pick-up stick as well as to wash your hands after you plog.

Hike quiet streets. You may notice that city park trails are busy. But with hardly any traffic, it’s pretty easy to practice social distancing in quiet neighborhood streets. Just a walk from the house can give you the fresh air you need.

Take a solo bike ride. Yes, you can still get out on your bike. Just don’t undertake any risky behavior. We don’t want to put stress on the already overloaded healthcare system!

Got any other ideas for a hike in place? We’d love to hear them in the comments below.

Sean McCoy

Editorial Director Sean McCoy is a life-long outdoorsman who grew up hunting and fishing central Wisconsin forests and lakes. He joined GearJunkie after a 10-year stint as a newspaperman in the Caribbean, where he learned sailing and wooden-boat repair. Based in GearJunkie's Denver office, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.