Under Austin’s ‘Stay at Home’ Order to combat the spread of COVID-19, the City’s parks and hike/bike trails will remain open, but the The Trail Foundation is urging the community to honor Mayor Steve Adler’s guideline of reducing social interaction by 90 percent and stay off the Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail, noting that parts of the Trail that make it difficult for people to stay the recommended six feet apart.
“According to our Trail counters, usage on the Trail has not decreased in the past two weeks,” says TTF CEO Heidi Anderson. “And as local media has reported and we’ve observed, many people are not practicing social distancing and other critical steps to avoid spreading the coronavirus,” she says.
TTF does not have authority to close the Trail which is managed by the Austin Parks and Recreation Department.
While City hasn’t closed its parks and hike/bike trails, the Parks and Recreation Department has closed and prohibited the use of the City’s playgrounds and exercise equipment stations .
Safety on the Trail during shelter-in-place
- For outside exercise, the best idea is to stay close to home. Wherever you are, make sure to practice social distancing (at least six feet away from any other person).
- Don’t leave home if you are ill or exhibiting any symptoms such as a fever, cough, or shortness of breath.
- Practice Trail etiquette: alert others to your presence by saying “on your left” when you pass.
- Step aside to let others pass.
- Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer frequently.
- Exercise equipment will not be available to use during this time; restrooms and water fountains remain open for now but we highly recommend NOT using them as it’s not possible to guarantee safe levels of hygiene.
“Our message to those who love the Trail is this: it will be there for us when this season passes. Now is the time to let the Trail rest while we do. We need to do our part, stay home, take care of ourselves and our families, and also the larger community,” added Anderson.