Since hikers have not been observing social distance, the Sonoma County Interim Public Health Officer has ordered the closure of all City, County, and State parks. This even includes the Sonoma Plaza. Therefore, all trails on the Sonoma Overlook and Montini Preserve are closed until further notice. Please observe this order. We will let you know as soon as they are open again.
As volunteers tasked with taking care of our beloved trails, we love anyone who also loves to get out on those trails and experience the beauties of nature. But in these days of a global pandemic, it’s very important that we heed the warnings to stay away from others at least six feet.
I’ve been out on the trail a lot in the past several days, and I’ve been dismayed to see the increased number of hikers simply passing each other on the trail, barely a foot away. Whenever I see someone coming, I get off the trail, and afford us both at least six feet of distance. I implore you all to do the same. If just one party leaves the trail, that’s all we need. Be that party.
As a volunteer trail steward, I hike the trail knowing that I have special responsibilities. I can’t just breeze through on my daily hike thinking I can ignore things like branches across the trail, invasive thistles sprouting up in the way of hikers, and trash carelessly tossed aside. I just can’t. And since I hike the trail nearly every day, I’ve pretty much seen it all. Oddly enough, the single most common piece of trash I’ve ever seen is facial tissues. I’ve even written about this before, three years ago nearly to the very day, and nothing has changed.
I think that perhaps those who toss tissues believe they will quickly degrade and not be noticed. But as reported by the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), toilet paper, which is designed to degrade quickly (unlike facial tissue), can last one to three years in the outdoors before it totally degrades. So perhaps you’re counting on me to pick it up, and I suppose you’re right, as I do.
But in this day of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), is that really something you want to put on someone else? So please just carry your own tissues out. Thank you for your consideration.