COVID lockdown unleashes swarms of visitors at parks, trails

July 8, 2020 Bay Journal
PEC in the News

Lynne Napoli of Boiling Springs, PA, lives near the Appalachian Trail, normally her refuge for quiet mental sustenance.

But, this spring, things changed. “It has been so packed I don’t go,” she explained. “When I do, it is trashed. Other sites have been ridiculously spray-painted. I’m glad people got out, especially children. Unfortunately, not many seemed to respect nature. This makes me so sad.”

Parks, trails and natural areas in Chesapeake Bay states have been slammed this spring and early summer as the masses head outdoors seeking relief from coronavirus stay-at-home orders. The effects have been widespread and varied across Bay states. Hiking, hunting, boating, paddling and fishing have all been affected.

According to the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, use of 67 trails, parks and natural areas around the state spiked as much as 200% during March and April over the same period a year ago.

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