SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Keep a six-foot distance. Only meet your friends outside. Those have been some of the guidelines for life during the COVID-19 pandemic. For many, a fun way to do both is by hiking.
A Run Repeat and AllTrails’ study found hiking across the United States was up in 2020 by 171.36%. And the number of individual hikers increased in 2020 by 134.7%. Both are compared to 2019 numbers.
Last summer, the Santa Barbara County Trails Council encouraged hikers to explore some of the county’s lesser-seen trails. While Sansum Clinic Infectious Disease doctor, Dr. David Fisk, said hiking can be a safe activity during COVID-19.
“The ability to catch COVID also depends upon the amount of time you're within close proximity with another person,” said Dr. Fisk. “We don't think there's a significant amount of this disease transmitted by people who run by each other on a trail."