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Trail Foundation urges Austinites to stay off Butler Hike and Bike Trail during stay-at-home order

The foundation has a message for those who love the trail: "It will be there for us when this season passes."

AUSTIN, Texas — Despite the City of Austin's shelter-in-place order issued Tuesday, usage on the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail has not decreased.

Now, The Trail Foundation is urging residents to stay home and exercise as close to their own homes as possible.

"As local media has reported and we’ve observed, many people are not practicing social distancing and other critical steps to avoid spreading the coronavirus," TTF CEO Heidi Anderson said in a press release.

The trail, a 10-mile path in the heart of Downtown Austin, typically sees more than 4.4 million visits every year. While the foundation does not have the authority to close the trail, they urge everyone to honor Mayor Steve Adler’s guideline to reduce social interaction by 90%. 


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Along certain points in the trail, the foundation said it is difficult for people to remain the recommended six feet apart.

“Our message to those who love the trail is this: It will be there for us when this season passes," Anderson said. "Now is the time to let the trail rest while we do. We need to do our part, stay home, take care of ourselves and our families, and also the larger community.”

For those who do use the trail, the foundation compiled a list of safety measures to take:

  1. For outside exercise, the best idea is to stay close to home. Wherever you are, make sure to practice social distancing (at least six feet away from any other person).
  2. Don’t leave home if you are ill or exhibiting any symptoms such as a fever, cough, or shortness of breath. 
  3. Practice trail etiquette: Alert others to your presence by saying “on your left” when you pass. 
  4. Step aside to let others pass.
  5. Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer frequently.
  6. Exercise equipment will not be available to use during this time; restrooms and water fountains remain open for now but we highly recommend not using them as it's not possible to guarantee safe levels of hygiene.

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