For those venturing off the beaten path, be advised — it’s a little crowded out there. By nature’s standards, anyway, as the great outdoors has become the great escape.
Hiking trails, parks and other open spaces were packed in 2020 with a cooped-up population searching for fresh air during the coronavirus pandemic.
Locked down, shut in or just fearful of crowds, people took up hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, camping, tennis and golf — to name several — in significant numbers. “It’s both heartening and a little bit mind-blowing to think how things are going this year,” said Richard Hodges, the Nordic director at White Pine Touring in Park City, Utah. “It’s been really fun — a lot of work, but really fun.