A Cure for COVID-19 Cabin Fever

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —

I took the one less traveled by” — Robert Frost

Image9Cabin Fever is usually a winter phenomenon, but this spring many of us are experiencing the COVID-19 version. If standing in line for the grocery store or going on a toilet paper scavenger hunt isn’t curing your itch to get some outdoor recreation, consider a walk through the neighborhood or walk to trails in local parks.

Going outside safely may help to cure those cabin fever blues by giving you a physical and mental boost. But if you do journey outside, please do so safely by maintaining social distancing. This is not the time to expose yourself or others to the coronavirus by gathering in groups or crowded areas.

COVID - Little Space FB

Long before anyone heard of COVID-19, American poet Robert Frost wrote:

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”

To borrow from Frost, taking the less traveled path these days could make a huge difference, too. As we all work to flatten the curve, carefully consider where to get your exercise. If you arrive at your destination and find lots of cars or people, find another spot or consider walking at a less popular time of day.


IMG_6875The parking lots at county parks and many trailheads are closed now to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, so look around, and you might just be able to find a place nearby to take that walk or take the dog for a walk through your neighborhood.  There are more than 330 miles of trail in Fairfax County, and that means for many, trailheads can be discovered nearby. Check the Trails web page or Trail Buddy to find a spot to explore.

sign02When you go out, please don’t make this a group outing. Use your walk as an excuse to get a little alone time, or head out with just the members of your household. Whichever you choose, just remember to keep your distance from others along the trail. Step to the side. Walk single file. Do keep the recommended six feet of space between you and others. But don’t forget to say “hi” to folks as you pass. You can still be friendly at a distance and maybe bring a much-needed smile to someone else’s day.

As you head outside, embrace the idea of packing out whatever you pack in. Trash collection in parks is limited at this time, so please do your part to help the environment.

Finally — and maybe most important —  please don’t go to a trail if you or your family members are sick or experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19. Consider making a virtual visit to a park until you’re ready to go out exploring again. You can find information about county parks on the Park Authority website.

Here are some other links to help you safely treat your case of cabin fever:

Park Information and a Park FAQ

The Fairfax County COVID-19 website

Parks with Trails (use the filter to select Trails)

Trails Web Page

Trail Buddy

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About Fairfax County Park Authority

About Fairfax County Park Authority HISTORY: On December 6, 1950, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors created the Fairfax County Park Authority. The Park Authority was authorized to make decisions concerning land acquisition, park development and operations in Fairfax County, Virginia. To date, 13 park bond referenda have been approved between 1959 and 2016. Today, the Park Authority has 427 parks on more than 23,000 acres of land. We offer 325 miles of trails, our most popular amenity. FACILITIES: The Park system is the primary public mechanism in Fairfax County for the preservation of environmentally sensitive land and resources, areas of historic significance and the provision of recreational facilities and services including: • Nine indoor RECenters with swimming pools, fitness rooms, gyms and class spaces. Cub Run features an indoor water park and on-site naturalist • Eight golf courses from par-3 to championship level, four driving ranges including the new state-of-the-art heated, covered range at Burke Lake Golf Center • Five nature and visitor centers. Also nine Off-Leash Dog Activity areas • Three lakefront parks including Lake Fairfax, Lake Accotink and Burke Lake, with campgrounds at Burke Lake and Lake Fairfax. The Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole at Lake Fairfax, Our Special Harbor Sprayground at Lee as well as an indoor water park at Cub Run RECenter • Clemyjontri Park, a fully accessible playground in Great Falls featuring two acres of family friendly fun and a carousel, as well as Chessie’s Big Backyard and a carousel at the Family Recreation Area at Lee District Park • An ice skating rink at Mount Vernon RECenter and the Skate Park in Wakefield Park adjacent to Audrey Moore RECenter • Kidwell Farm, a working farm of the 1930s-era at Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon, now with historic carousel • Eight distinctive historic properties available for rent • A working grist mill at Colvin Run in Great Falls and a restored 18th century home at Sully Historic Site in Chantilly • A horticulture center at Green Spring Gardens in Annandale • Natural and cultural resources protected by the Natural Resource Management Plan and Cultural Resource Plans, plus an Invasive Management Area program that targets alien plants and utilizes volunteers in restoring native vegetation throughout our community • Picnic shelters, tennis courts, miniature golf courses, disc golf courses, off-leash dog parks, amphitheaters, a marina, kayaking/canoeing center • Provides 263 athletic fields, including 39 synthetic turf fields, and manages athletic field maintenance services at 417 school athletic fields. PARK AUTHORITY BOARD: A 12-member citizen board, appointed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, sets policies and priorities for the Fairfax County Park Authority. Visit https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news2/social-hub/ for Fairfax County Government's Comment Policy.

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