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Hikers should practice social distancing while on Washington trails

The Washington Trails Association, as well as health officials, say even in the wide-open spaces you still have to socially distance.

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — With restrictions eased on state lands and some county parks and trails, many are taking advantage of this weekend's good weather to go for a hike. 

Trailheads around King County were packed with cars Saturday as people rushed outside to try and get a break.

The state and county have urged caution for those rushing into the great outdoors, reminding people that even in wide-open spaces, you still have to socially distance. 

The Washington Trails Association has some suggestions, and they include lots of communication with other hikers about who is going in what direction when they encounter each other.

RELATED: Get outdoors without getting quarantine-shamed

“Ideally the trail is wide enough that you can pass with 6 feet between you, but if you can't, do cover your mouth. That's another thing, we recommend you bringing a face covering or a mask,” Hiking Content Manager Anna Roth said.

Roth said WTA always suggests people plan ahead and remember things are still different. Some trails still remain closed, so the WTA is keeping a list on its website. 

“You're going to want to have a full tank of gas before you leave and do use the bathroom, a lot of trailhead facilities will not be open,” Roth said.

The Trails Associations says if you decided to head to the mountains and see a crowded parking lot at the trailhead it might mean you need to go somewhere else. 

Hikers out on the trails Saturday said everyone was good about keeping their distance. 

“We would step aside or they would step aside and we kind of like said you could go first. Everyone was cognizant of still doing social distancing,” Rios said.

RELATED: King County parks, trails reopen Friday with restrictions

RELATED: No bonfires: Major Seattle parks to close at 8 p.m. during stay-home order

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