Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - Rochester’s dozens of parks and other recreational sites are expected to become more inviting as the weather warms and the city has issued another advisory to residents.

The Rochester Parks and Recreation Department “is asking for your help to keep our local parks and trails open during the Stay at Home order.”

“We realize people are feeling cooped up and anxious to get out of their homes,” said Mike Nigbur, Park and Forestry Division Head, “but if you are visiting one of our city’s parks or trails right now, you must practice social distancing.”

To help reinforce this message, the department has started a new campaign and corresponding signage to encourage Rochester residents and visitors to “Enjoy Your Park, but Stay Apart.”

The Governor of Wisconsin has closed down many of their state parks due, in part, to crowds,” said Nigbur. “We don’t want that to happen here in Minnesota.

Nigbur says there are more than 4,500 acres of parks that are managed by the City of Rochester with around 50 miles of paved trails and sidewalks. “If you arrive at a park or trailhead and find it to already be crowded, take this opportunity to explore somewhere new.”

Need more ideas of activities you can do while adhering to social distancing? Below is a list of options to get you started.

Pick a new park to visit. There are over 125 parks in the system, from very small to hundreds of acres. One is probably within walking distance of your home.
Take a hike in the Oak Savanna or go Fossil Hunting at Quarry Hill.
Your pets are feeling cooped up too! Take your dog for a walk in a park or on a trail.
Walk the historic arch bridges at Silver Lake.
Try your hand at tree identification.
Play catch at your neighborhood park.
Take a hike or go walking on our natural or paved trails.
Go bird watching at one of the reservoirs.
Get that bike out of storage and take it for a spin!
Play Disc Golf.
Geocache in one of the parks.
Read a book under a tree.

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