High Peaks suspends group hikes over coronavirus

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Although High Peaks is suspending group hikes for the next few weeks because of the coronavirus, the club encourages small groups and families to go hiking on their own. Check the club's website, www.nchighpeaks.org, and the interactive trail map to find a hike. (Submitted)

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The NC High Peaks Trail Association will suspend all hikes for the next few weeks on the advice of public health officials who say groups of more than 10 should not gather even for healthy recreational activities. 

But the club encourages the public to go hiking with family members or small groups of vetted friends, although hikers should of course scrupulously follow federal precautions about “social distancing” to avoid spreading the Coronavirus. Would-be hikers in the “high-risk” categories – the elderly or those with underlying health problems – should exercise extreme caution before undertaking any outdoor activities.

The High Peaks website, www. nchighpeaks.org, is an excellent resource for finding a hike that suits you, with interactive maps of all nearby trails showing length, elevation change, difficulty, plus directions to the trailhead and advice about parking spots. You may also email info@highpeaks.org with specific questions or for hiking suggestions.

The High Peaks Board will continue to assess the situation and will resume its schedule of monthly hikes as soon as authorities say it is safe to do so.