Hamilton conservation areas may close due to capacity on weekends

Though most of Hamilton’s conservation areas and beaches have reopened for passive recreation such as hiking, biking, and bird watching, be forewarned: if areas get too congested with visitors, the Hamilton Conservation Authority (HCA) could close those areas from further foot traffic.

The HCA warns that this is especially possible on weekends and holidays; dates where many of Hamilton’s conservation areas are known to see higher levels of visitors.

“With the beautiful summer weather now here, we are expecting our conservation areas and beaches to be quite busy,” reads a statement from the Hamilton Conservation Authority. “Some areas may reach maximum capacity and may have to close for the day, especially on weekends and holidays.”

The HCA will be providing up-to-date information regarding closures on all of their social media and they encourage the public to check the latest status before heading out to one of Hamilton’s conservation areas. They also encourage locals to make use of trails and areas that are overall less popular and congested, such as Eramosa Karst or Westfield Heritage Village.

While the policy may bum out some locals who end up getting turned away from areas that have reached a maximum capacity, it also makes good sense: though the outdoors is thought to be less conducive to the spread of COVID-19, risk only goes up if areas get overly congested with visitors and physical distancing becomes more challenging.

If Hamiltonians decide to make use of local conservation areas, the usual COVID-19 protocols still apply: keep a physical distance of at least two metres from other people, don’t gather in large groups, and stay home if you’re experiencing any potential coronavirus symptoms.

Currently, Hamilton’s waterfalls and escarpment areas remain closed until further notice, since they offer less room for proper physical distancing.

For more information, check out the Hamilton Conservation Authority website.

Lead image courtesy of @Hamilton_CA

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