Mountain biking provides safe outdoor exercise as trails reopen

May 29, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

With the weather finally starting to be more summer like, people around the region are hoping to spend more time in the great outdoors. 

With most sports leagues under a COVID-19 enforced suspension, there are limited options for team sports.

However, the recent opening of parks and trails, in a limited capacity, has at least allowed for people to get outside and enjoy some fresh air.

With trails now open at the Island Lake Conservation Area, may people are enjoying hiking and biking along the waterfront. However, social distancing rules are in effect and you can’t meet in large groups for a hike.

The Conservation Area has trails from a short 1.5 k route, up to several kilometres around the entire park, which takes around two hours to complete.

It’s a good opportunity for families to get outside and get some exercise.

The Kuchurean family, dad Kevin, mom Jessica, and kids, Daniel, Paisley, and Brody, brought their mountain bikes to the park to spend a few hours staying fit and shaking off the winter rust.

“We were down in Alton and came back here to do this as part of our day,” Kevin said, as they unloaded their mountain bikes from their pickup truck, “We try to figure ways to get exercise. This is something we can all do. It’s a nice way to get out as a family.”

The fact that mountain biking is an outdoor activity means people can get outdoors while still staying a safe distance from strangers on the trail.

“I think it’s great,” Kevin said. “I really don’t see the risk of walking or riding on a trail. As long as everyone is keeping their distance from everyone.”

Daniel who plays minor atom AA hockey, had his hockey season cut short but said he enjoys getting on the trails for a good ride.

“I like going up and down the hills,” Daniel said.

He as been mountain bike riding for a couple of years.

With the nice weather over the weekend, there was a line-up to get into the Conservation Area.

The number of people allowed in the park is limited and parking has been restricted to certain areas with some parking spaces temporarily eliminated to force people to keep a distance apart while keeping the number of people to a certain level at any one time.

Fishing is also now allowed, but only from the shore. No boats are being allowed to launch.

With team sports not happening yet this year, the Conservation Area provides a good space to keep active.

Some outdoor sports venues in town have been opened, however, they are not open for team practice or games.

The outdoor venues are open only for limited activity with close family members.

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