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NCTA COVID-19 Response for the NCT Community

Categories: Advocacy


North Country Trail Association Guidance for COVID-19

Dear Friends,

The Coronavirus/COVID-19 health concern is evolving quickly and at this time the health and safety of our trail community is priority. Older adults and people with serious chronic conditions are the most at risk but public health experts urgently advise those at lower risk of illness to also take proactive precautionary measures (like social distancing, self-quarantining when sick, and being diligent about personal hygiene) not just to protect themselves, but to protect the most vulnerable and slow the spread of the disease.

For more information, please see the following links from the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization or check out your state and county health department resources.

In order to do our part to ensure we slow the spread and keep our staff, volunteers, partners and trail lovers healthy, we’re offering the following guidance and support to our staff, volunteers and hiking community.

For All: Help Stop the Spread!

  • If you are sick with any illness stay home. If you have a confirmed case of Coronavirus and have had contact with others in our community, please notify us.
  • Limit your exposure to large groups.
  • Practice good personal hygiene. Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water. Wash hands after shaking hands with others or touching common surfaces.

Guidance to Chapters/Volunteers:

  • We are suggesting to our Chapters and Volunteers that you postpone or cancel events that you are hosting or attending, especially those expecting more than 10 people, including but not limited to trail work events, group hikes and meetings.
  • Many states are issuing state-wide guidelines so please be aware of the state and local guidance that may impact your decisions.
  • Please contact your Regional Trail Coordinator, Matt Davis or Kenny Wawsczyk, or Director of Trail Development, Valerie Bader, for guidance on specific events.
  • NCTA will assist Chapters and Volunteers if they’d like to hold an online meeting and conference call instead of an in person meeting. Please contact Alison Myers to inquire about availability.

Staff Schedules and Availability to the Public:

  • We are limiting our travel and have asked staff to not attend events.
  • NCTA staff will be working from home but this will only impact our availability to the walk-in public at our headquarters in Lowell, Michigan.
  • All staff will be available via email and our main office phone number will be monitored: (616) 897-5987; hq@northcountrytrail.org; northcountrytrail.org/about/staff

Considerations for Trail Use and Our Hiker Community:

  • Although we may be discouraging group gatherings, we are not discouraging use of the Trail. It’s critical that we have a venue for physical health and mental wellness at times like this and the trail is a perfect venue for that. We are encouraging people to use the trail but to avoid locations that are known for heavy use.
  • The people and communities along the Trail are critical to support of the Trail, the Association and our hikers. Be aware of how the spread of the virus can impact a small community and do your best to mitigate those impacts by using hygiene best practices.

Thank you for your patience. We believe these practical measures and looking out for one another will keep our trail community healthy. NCTA is working with our Federal Agency partners and other National Trail organizations to share best practices and may offer many updated over the coming weeks. Stay healthy and please do reach out to me with your questions: aketchmark@northcountrytrail.org



Andrea Ketchmark, Executive Director, North Country Trail Association

Visit our Trail Alerts page for updated guidance and recommendations.