Rock Dunder visitors to be limited due to overuse during COVID-19 pandemic

The Rideau Waterway Land Trust will be limiting the number of visitors at Rock Dunder starting this weekend.

According to a statement from the trust issued Monday, the trails at Rock Dunder have been experiencing record-breaking turnouts since May due to the “increased demand for outdoor recreational activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Read more: Coronavirus: Kingston-area trails to close after reports of some not practising social distancing

Staff have been concerned lately that proper social distancing on the trails was impossible with the influx of people visiting the site.

On Saturday, Sept. 5, the land trust staff recorded over 220 groups at Rock Dunder, which they determined was over the safe capacity for the site.

As a result, starting Sept. 18, only 30 groups an hour will be allowed on the site.

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“We understand the need for outdoor recreation opportunities during these stressful times. The new procedures are designed to protect everyone as well as the sensitive environmental features on the property while still allowing hikers an opportunity to experience nature,” the land trust said.

Read more: Kingston’s public health unit advises CRCA to open trails if COVID-19 numbers stay stable

In order to facilitate the change, tickets will be sold on Eventbrite for a specific entry time between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.

The land trust suggests buying tickets in advance in order to guarantee a spot. People without a pass will be asked to come back later if all spots are already reserved for the hour.

All other COVID-19 mitigation efforts previously implemented at the site are still in place, such as closed washrooms and mandatory masking when purchasing passes at the trailhead.

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