Hikers will have access to trails at the Rock Dunder and J H Fullard Nature Reserves beginning May 30, 2020.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Rideau Waterway Land Trust (RWLT) did not open its Community Lands to hikers on May 15 as it normally would have. The extra two weeks has provided the Trust with time to coordinate its actions with government and health guidelines and other conservation organizations, and to develop and implement new safety protocols to protect staff, volunteers and visitors. New signage is now being put in place to clarify the new rules and help ensure the safety of everyone.
At Rock Dunder on Stanley Lash Lane the trails are now one way (clockwise on the Summit Loop and counter-clockwise on the Morton Bay Loop), minimizing the potential for the 2m minimum physical distancing requirement to be violated.
Visitors are now asked to wear masks when interacting with staff and volunteers. This applies primarily to drivers of vehicles arriving at the trail head during the few minutes it takes to check in.
It is not feasible to sanitize the washroom facilities (vault privies) at Rock Dunder. They are CLOSED for the 2020 season. This has important implications for visitors. It is imperative that used toilet paper not be left in the woods. Animals dig it up and scatter it, creating potentially hazardous conditions for staff and volunteers. This and all other trash is to be bagged and taken out by the hiker. There is no waste disposal of any kind permitted on site.
At the JH Fullard site on Davis Lock Road, the grassed trails are being mown wider where possible to help facilitate the 2m minimum physical distancing requirement.
At both sites, benches and other structures will not be sanitized.
It may be necessary to implement additional protocols as the season moves ahead and the effectiveness of these protocols is evaluated. Please check the official RWLT web site for new information.
At RWLT we understand the need for outdoor recreation opportunities during these stressful times. The new procedures are designed to protect everyone as well as the sensitive environmental features on the properties while still allowing hikers an opportunity to experience nature. The Board of Directors wishes everyone a safe, healthy summer.
The Rideau Waterway Land Trust (RWLT) is a charitable organization that has been working to preserve significant natural lands within the Rideau Corridor since 1996.
Release | Photo: Rideau Waterway Land Trust