King County will reopen trails Friday

King County Parks will reopen regional trails and many parks tomorrow (Friday), the department’s first significant openings since closing all parks in late March.

The county’s network of regional trails had been closed to recreation, though essential workers and people making essential trips were allowed to use them for transportation. Now they will reopen for recreation use, though users must follow social distancing protocols and be sure to avoid crowding. Restrooms will remain closed.

The news follows Washington State’s decision to reopen many parks, trails and other public lands to daytime recreation.

Seattle never closed its trail network, instead making an effort to create more open space for walking and biking in neighborhoods through its Stay Healthy Streets program. It has been a bit confusing to have city trails open and county trails closed since many users are not aware which agency maintains which trails. Hopefully the outbreak numbers don’t surge again and prompt more park and trail closures.

Here are King County Parks’ tips for using parks and trails safely:

  1. Keep your distance – Recreate with those in your household. Give others plenty of room and communicate who will step aside on the trail (trail etiquette gives hikers coming uphill the right of way).
  2. Stay local– Don’t stray too far from home when recreating. Keep rural communities safe by minimizing stops and bringing all that you’ll need for your outing.
  3. Keep it moving Use parks and trails for walking, running, riding, rolling, and passing through.
  4. Plan ahead – And be prepared to go somewhere else if your destination seems crowded. Add hand sanitizer and a face covering to your 10 Essentials.
  5. Play it safe – Keep your activities within your comfort and skill level to reduce the risk of injury and adding to the strain on our health care and emergency services.
  6. Leave no trace Take any garbage with you, including disposable face masks and gloves.
List of King County Parks facilities and their status as of Friday. Screen readable link in caption.

What’s open and closed, from King County Parks.

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5 Responses to King County will reopen trails Friday

  1. asdf2 says:

    If I read the trail closure rules correctly, you could theoretically walk or bike as far as you want, provided that you patronize some essential business along the way, thus making the trip technically “essential”. For instance, you can ride 15 miles from Lake Forest Park to Redmond, hop in a grocery store, buy a banana, then ride the 15 miles back.

    Glad to see this extra step no longer necessary.

  2. Dave says:

    You didn’t have to do anything, there was no enforcement

  3. Stuart Strand says:

    Wear a mask when riding on a crowded trail. You’re sampling the breathed air of everyone in front of you. Don’t be shy. Wear a mask.

  4. Jerrold says:

    If restrooms are still closed where am I going to refill my water bottle?

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