The HRCA Backcountry Wilderness Area can be a refuge as our community deals with the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Free day with no plans … where do you go? Most of us would choose to be outside. Fresh air, check. Among the trees, check. Following a dirt trail to anywhere, let’s go. But right now, in the time of health crisis and uncertainty in every part of our lives, the outdoors have become the sole place—outside of our homes—where we can take a deep breath and feel “normal”.
We’re grateful that nature stands as a place of refuge during the COVID-19 outbreak. Each individual has a responsibility to practice social distancing, respect for others if we aren’t well, and continue to engage a Leave No Trace mentality. Yet, a dose of outdoor recreation might be one of the key ways we get through the 2020 pandemic. The fact that our community hosts 25-miles of natural surface trails in the Backcountry Wilderness Area, gives us room to spread out, ditch the cabin fever, and cue up some endorphins. And parents, you’re in luck. Whether you find yourself on an unpopulated trail or just taking a walk around the block, the outdoors make a perfect walkable classroom that conveniently burns pent up energy. Heading outside comes so naturally for many, but not for all.
For people who thrive on an outdoor escape of any duration, the trail treats us like an old friend. For many, even in our community, the Coronavirus has forced fun outdoors as a new, unexpected acquaintance. And, we couldn’t be more excited about that. How exciting is it to see people with unscuffed sneakers hiking up to Highlands Point and families with sprouting kids out testing the trails on a bike ride? Maybe they feel out of other leisure options, but this might be just the spark needed to start loving life outside. We’re searching for a silver lining in this unpredictable predicament. Could it be that this forced break in our lives is extending a dirt-laden welcome (or welcome back) to people to connect with the wild places around them? Either way, we're thrilled to see you in the Backcountry Wilderness Area.
Just know that the Backcountry Wilderness Area is here for you … the trails and the staff. As long as it is allowed, we are keeping the trails open and ready for you as well as the archery ranges. We want to help not just in this time of quarantine, but always. If you need nature-inspired know-hows, ask! If you want an idea of how to incorporate wildlife into your newly-setup kitchen table homeschool, ask! If you just want a silly elk photo distraction, reach out.
We’re doing our best to keep our social media abuzz with information, tidbits, trailcam photos, wildlife videos, and more. Our staff is available to answer questions about things like the upcoming summer at Camp Backcountry or how our nesting golden eagles are progressing. Our nature programs, horseback rides, and community events are put on hold for now, but we’re still here. We're still taking care of the 13-square-mile property, 25 miles of trails, and archery ranges. We're prepping Base Camp for when things return to normal, caring for our livestock that miss the revolving gate of kids coming to visit, and also preparing for summer of adventure Camp Backcountry.
So, after you’re done reading this, go outside. While you’re gone, we’ll try to find an irresistible video of Thor the Donkey for you. And if you don’t see one, send us a message and we’ll get right on that.
Keep planning your big summer adventures and stay safe!
Head to our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/hrcabackcountry and feel free to send messages.
For direct emails:
AnnaKate.Hein@hrcaonline.org: Program Supervisor
Gus.Brunger@hrcaonline.org: Property Coordinator
Lindsey.McKissick@hrcaonline.org: Outreach & 501c3 Coordinator
Jessica.Fangman@hrcaonline.org: Education Coordinator