Great Outdoors: Practicing Social Distancing at Jay Cooke

While a majority of businesses are shut down to COVID-19, state parks staying open gives people the chance to get out of the house and enjoy the nicer weather.

ESKO, Minn. –  It’s been one week since a majority of businesses have shut down due to COVID-19, but many state parks have remained open, giving people a chance to get outside.

“The sun is shining and social distancing is a little boring, so we thought we’d make it interesting,” Kate Spaulding, who was visiting Jay Cooke with her kids, said.

With nicer weather lately around the Northland, many people decided to take advantage of it and hit the trails at parks like Jay Cooke.

“Well the exercise of course, and just getting out of the house,” Ramona Rice said, who visited Jay Cooke over the weekend on her birthday with her husband.

The parks staying open gives people the chance to stay active and get some fresh air during a time when many usual schedules have changed.

“We’ve been trying to limit a lot of what we’re doing. My husband had time off anyways so we’re just hanging out and cooking a lot,” Rice said.

“We’ve been inside for a few days with our spring break canceled so just looking to get the kids some fresh air and see some of Minnesota and enjoy some state parks,” Trent Olson, who was visiting Jay Cooke with his family for the first time, said.

While going to Jay Cooke gives people a chance to get outside, it also allows them to still practice social distancing.

“You don’t have to breathe on anyone or touch anything. You can even say hi to the people who’s kids are sliding down the hill and it’s still pretty safe,” Rice said.

“There’s some people on the trail but not too many so it’s nice, it’s a nice walk,” Spaulding added.

For some, going to Jay Cooke is a regular activity, while some are using this time to make their first trip.

“This was one that’s on our list so we thought we’d check it off. Just the scenery and having the kids be outside and see some of nature and Minnesota in the winter,” Olson said.

Many say that as long as Jay Cooke and other state parks stay open during this time, they’ll continue to get outside and enjoy the outdoors.

“As many days as the sun is shinning. Being outside is probably the one thing that breaks it all up.” Spaulding said.

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