We know we don’t need to tell you that these are tough times, or that COVID-19 is changing everything about the way we live, work, and play right now. But we want to share a few tips from all of us at Catskill Mountainkeeper about ways to stay happy and healthy as we navigate this crisis together:

  • Care for yourself and for others as you enjoy the Catskills. Being outside and active in fresh air is a great way to reduce stress, boost your immune system, and restore your spirit. We all need the comfort of being out in the natural world right now. Our Catskills region is blessed with beautiful trails and plenty of open space to spread out in, so as long as you maintain the recommended social distance (six-feet, or about one couch-length apart from others), use local trails, and do not add to overcrowding at our most popular trails and trailheads, you can get out there and enjoy the land that sustains us while protecting yourself and others.

  • Eat fresh, local food. Governor Cuomo named farmers markets an “essential service,” so our farmers are doing all they can to get their great food to market. In Sullivan County, the Callicoon Market moved outdoors to Callicoon Creek Park last Sunday (March 22) to give everyone plenty of space, and Mountainkeeper’s Food & Agriculture Advisor, Eugene Thalman of Sprouting Dreams Farm, reports that the relocated outdoor market is already a great success.

Click "Read More" below for resources to guide you to some of the best outdoor spots, rules for hiking and walking safely and responsibly, as well as what you can do to combat invasive species while you’re on the trail. Below that you’ll find additional information about where to find a farmers market near you and some best practices to keep us all healthy while we shop locally. 

Remember--whether you’re on the trail or at the market, keep your distance. Six feet is about the length of a typical, three cushion couch--so stay a couch-length away from the people around you, unless you live with them. And though you’ve heard it a million times already--wash your hands for a full 20 seconds before you go and after you return.

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