• Kathy Schrenk

Updated: Mar 26, 2020

I'm featuring low-traffic hikes to help everyone get outside while still practicing safe social distancing. Check out my posts on Victoria Glades and Valley View Glades for options south of St. Louis.

Today I'm featuring Indian Camp Creek park in St Charles County. As of now St Charles County Parks are open. It's always a good idea to check the park website before you go in case of trail closures due to construction, flooding, etc, but especially now. Have extra water in your vehicle and in your pack -- even if the water fountains are on, using them is a bad idea.

The park has almost 10 miles of trails winding through forests and meadows and across creeks. And for fishing in those creeks and lakes, there is a temporary moratorium on the permit requirement for fishing.

Also check out the "ghost cabin" -- an approximation of an old settlers cabin.

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  • Kathy Schrenk

This is not a post about staying safe from COVID while hiking, but a post about hiking safely at all times, with extra focus on some of the most important guidelines to focus on right now.

I've written a lot on this blog about what to do to stay safe and what NOT to do. When I speak to groups like Girl Scout troops I always focus on one first and foremost:

Any time you go on a hike, tell someone (preferably multiple someones) where you are going and when you'll be back.

This is especially important right now. If something happened to you -- getting lost, twisting an ankle -- it might take even longer than normal for someone to notice you're not keeping appointments. Because there aren't appointments. Sure there are Zoom meetings but I worry about people falling through the cracks if they're not showing up at an office five days a week with coworkers to check on them.

Also, tread lightly. This is not the time to try to balance on a rock wall or try out some parkour moves on a fallen tree trunk. If you get injured, you're inserting yourself in to an already overwhelmed medical system. Everything entails risk (driving to the trailhead is more dangerous than hiking, statistically) but this is the time to think before you act and take it slow.

Finally, stay close to home. People in rural communities can't handle an influx of visitors from the city, especially with the current strain on grocery stores due to panic buying. Wherever you are there are likely hikes less than an hour drive away.

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