Enjoy the Custer Gallatin, while Giving Space

Contact(s): 406-548-1174

Bozeman, MT – The continued health and safety of visitors, as well as Forest Service employees and volunteers is the utmost priority during the COVID-19 pandemic.  As part of our effort the Custer Gallatin National Forest is working to support social distancing guidelines from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the State of Montana and South Dakota, and local county health officials across our forest, to help reduce the spread of the virus.  For full success of these guidelines we need your help. 

“As Forest visitors get out on the Custer Gallatin National Forest for fresh air, we are hopeful people will do their part and be diligent in following social distancing guidelines and recommendations from their state and local health officials,” said Mary Erickson, Custer Gallatin Forest Supervisor.  Governor Bullock’s Stay at Home directive did provide for outdoor activity, while also complying with social distancing.  To do so appropriately the Custer Gallatin National Forest encourages visitors to keep the following in mind:

  • If you are sick or exhibiting any symptoms (fever (>100.4), cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, muscle aches or headaches) please stay at home.  Your body needs rest.
  • Always practice social distancing – giving other trail users space (6 feet or more), step to one side of the trail, look for a wide spot and gently step off; enjoy the view for a moment, take in the fresh air, the birds singing and the sun, letting others pass then continue your hike when clear.
  • Stay friendly and Stay local: say hi from afar and ideally stick to your immediate family.  Then head home, letting others have a moment to enjoy the fresh air as well. 
  • Avoid overcrowded trailheads and parking lots, we are fortunate enough to have plenty of trails to explore.  Adjust your schedule to go during off-peak times, find a trailhead you haven’t explored, or go throughout the week, instead of hard-hit weekends. 
  • Avoid using trail amenities such as restrooms and benches.  Plan ahead and know that most developed recreation amenities are closed at this time to help limit the spread of the virus.  Pack in and Pack out what you bring. 
  • Visitors are discouraged from outdoor recreation activities that pose enhanced risk of injury or could otherwise stress the ability of local first responders.

“Being outdoors and enjoying our communities extensive trail system is great for our mental, physical and emotional well-being, especially at this time, but please help us, by doing so responsibly,” said Erickson.  To stay abreast of forest information follow Custer Gallatin National Forest on facebook or visit us online at www.fs.usda.gov/custergallatin