COVID-19 has been a big change for all of us. As we adapt to homeschooling, fluctuating schedules, and more, it can feel like our world is literally shrinking.
So, how do you get the family out into the fresh air during this time? Physical activity and a little exercise go a long way towards heading off cabin fever! We’ve rounded up the latest local information for anyone heading outdoors.
What you need to know about going outside during Covid-19
The coronavirus situation keeps changing, and rules are fluid. When in doubt, refer to the following reliable sources on social distancing guidelines.
- The Washington State Corona Response Page has information on everything from personal protective equipment (PPE) to what’s open, and what will be open soon.
- The official Centers for Disease Control and Infection (CDC) site has not only the latest information on Coronavirus, but also encourages everyone to get out and exercise safely. Their information on how to safely visit parks is comprehensive.
No matter what your destination, there are some general guidelines that will help keep your family safe while you’re getting a dose of Vitamin Nature.
- Before You Go
- Check to make sure your destination is open, and plan for day trips only.
- Take only your immediate household members
- Be prepared with essential supplies: toilet paper, soap, hand sanitizer, masks, etc.
- Make sure everyone is feeling well and not feverish.
Which parks and spaces are open?
As the state reopens, more spaces will be welcoming for visitors. Currently, most parks are open for day use. Here are some destinations to explore now.
- Gingko Petrified Forest, as the name indicates, will introduce young naturalists to fossils. It also has an interpretive trail.
- Ike Kinswa is great for fishing trips and memories. The lake is perfect for kayaks, and there are short hiking trails for shorter legs.
- Lime Kiln Point offers some of the best whale watching around, with pods passing by May-September.
- Millersylvania can keep everyone busy, with fishing, forested hiking and biking trails, and picnic areas.
- Olmstead Place is filled with history, as it’s sited on an old farm site. Interpretive trails and fun photo opportunities will keep everyone entertained.
- Paradise Point presents visitors with easy trails and a chance to explore their 5 miles of sandy river beach.
- Rainbow Falls invites families with gorgeous forests and 3 miles of hiking trails where families can spot all kinds of wildlife.
- Rockport is an old-growth forest with gentle trails that take you among the huge trees. It will make an impression on your family!
- Scenic Beach State Park is a great place to pack a lunch and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
- Sun Lakes-Dry Falls is a geological wonder and a dramatic landscape. It’s a fantastic learning opportunity for any young scientists, and offers open-air interpretative centers at viewing areas.
Which parks and spaces are still closed?
Although Washington State parks are open for day use, there are still some restrictions. Interpretive centers may not have all areas open, or may only allow small groups. Some parking will be reduced, to limit crowds.
- All ocean beach parks and Columbia River Gorge parks remain closed. The closed locations are:
- Anderson Lake
- Beacon Rock
- Bottle Beach
- Cape Disappointment
- Camp Wooten
- Cedar Falls Trailhead (on Palouse to Cascades Trail)
- Columbia Hills (fishing access available at Horsethief Lake, no river access)
- Crawford State Park and Gardner Caves
- Damon Point (DNR property)
- Doug’s Beach
- Fort Columbia
- Fort Simcoe
- Goldendale Observatory
- Grayland Beach
- Klickitat Trail
- Kukutali Preserve
- Leadbetter Point
- Loomis Lake
- Ocean City
- Pacific Beach
- Pacific Pines
- Peshastin Pinnacles
- Pleasant Harbor
- Maryhill (watercraft launch will open)
- Spring Creek Hatchery
- Twin Harbors
- Westport Light
- Wallace Falls
Be safe. Have fun. We’re in this together.
This article was prepared by Generation Homes NW, a homebuilder in Ridgefield, WA who has been serving homeowners in the Pacific Northwest for more than 30 years. If you would like to discuss the opportunities we currently have for you, please contact us today.