Recreate outdoors wisely in these times

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) At Washoe Lake State Park there's plenty of space.

You can walk on the beach, hike in the sage brush, or sit at a picnic table. There are few people out and about-- an ideal day to take in nature and forget your thoughts. The state park division encourages that, especially in these times.

“We want everyone in the state to benefit from the well documented physical and mental benefits that outdoor recreation provides,” says Colin Robertson, administrator of the Nevada Division of Outdoor Recreation.

Robertson says tough days lie ahead, and all of us need to make it easier on ourselves and our neighbors.

Which means we shouldn't all gather in one spot. And if there's a chance that might happen, we need to move on. That could mean walking or hiking closer to home.

“Stick to walks in your neighborhood,” says Robertson. “Take a walk along the Steamboat Trail. But, make a choice that is not just for your benefit, but for the benefits of others in our community.”

There are plenty of options, US Forest Service land, and BLM land. They may not have the amenities, but Robertson says neither do the state parks at this point. Restrooms are closed, and "pack it in pack it out" now applies.

A parking area full of cars should tell you to find another option. The best advice is to avoid places where people can get bottle necked with more than 10 people, like a trail head.

And at this time, don’t take any unnecessary risks like hiking into the backcountry. First responders may have to come help you, taking aid away from those closer to home with COVID 19.

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