Updated – October 12, 2020

CORE Hiking and Trip Planning in the Time of COVID

Special recommendations for planning and executing events during the pandemic while keeping members safe and respectful of others on the trails

  1. Consider going during lower traffic days and/or quieter times (i.e., early in morning)
  2. Choose less popular trails and areas; avoid trails where the main attraction is a viewpoint
  3. Consider areas with wide trails, and preferably closer to home
  4. Avoid congested city pathways, especially on the weekends
  5. Limit the trip to 10 participants
  6. Do not ask members to sign a Trip Report at the trailhead
  7. Remind participants to read CORE’s COVID-19 Guidelines; send them a link to the latest Guideline newsletter
  8. Post events on the calendar, as per usual
  9. Postings should also include:
    • Meeting time for the trailhead (but wait an extra 10-15 minutes if not everyone has arrived)
    • Note saying: “Directions to trailhead will be emailed to participants”
    • Reminder that participants must stay away if they are sick or have knowingly been in contact with COVID-19
    • Number of people allowed on the trip
  10. When replying to participants, coordinators should:
  • Provide clear, concise directions to the trailhead, and a Google map, if possible
  • Request that participants provide their cell or home phone #, and emergency contact # prior to the event
  • Provide coordinator’s cell/mobile #, if possible
  • If requested by a participant, provide a city meeting place or junction along the route for convoying (up to the coordinator’s discretions)

Special consideration: Please use your discretion with carpooling. If a participant cannot drive (due to a medical condition or does not own a vehicle, for example), it may be possible to allow carpooling if someone else is willing to drive them.


The remainder of these guidelines were written for more normal times and serve as a framework for the preparation and coordination of CORE events. The content is not meant to be a catalog of DOs and DON’Ts, but a fairly comprehensive list of suggestions for anyone whose proper objective is enhancing the safety and enjoyment of all trip participants.

The “Quick Tips for Coordinating Events” are offered below as a quick pre-trip review of the essentials for making the best of every trip, and may be downloaded at this link. For the full Coordinator’s Guidelines, click here.

The initiative and efforts of our volunteer trip coordinators are necessary and are greatly appreciated by all members. A trip coordinators’ prime objective should be to maintain the highest level of awareness for the safety of all participants. To this end, preparation, organization and communication are very important.

First time coordinators: Please contact CORE’s Executive Trip Coordinator, either in person (at a monthly club meeting) or by email through the link on the CORE Executive Contact Info page prior to posting an event. New coordinators are expected to have an experienced CORE coordinator along to help manage their first event, and CORE has a mentoring program in place to provide assistance.


Quick Tips for Hosting/Coordinating Events

  • Research your trip. The Internet is a great resource for planning and researching your hike, or any other type of event. As well, guidebooks like the Kananaskis Country Trail Guides by Gillean Daffern and topo maps such as those created by Gem Trek are extremely useful. But don’t overlook the resources available at your fingertips on CORE’s website, particularly the Resources/Links page where you will find listings of useful phone numbers and Internet sites, and reports on weather, road, camping, and trail conditions.
  • Post the event on the CORE calendar. Before doing so, make sure you have the following information available: Date and time of event; return distance, elevation gain and difficulty rating (if it’s a hike or walk) and a description of some of the highlights of your event. For instructions on how to post events, refer to the Guides/Calendar Posting page.
  • Ask questions in a positive manner if you are unsure of a member’s ability for a particular trip, e.g., previous experience/physical ability. Inform participants whether you intend this to be a leisurely trip at a slower rate or a faster paced event.
  • Note phone numbers (cell and/or home phone) in case you need to cancel an event. If you must cancel, inform participants by email, text message or home phone, with as much notice as possible. Cancel the event on the CORE calendar. Provide your own cell number, if possible.
  • Confirm club memberships by contacting the Executive Trip Coordinator or Membership Coordinator, if you are uncertain about whether a participant is a current member. Refer to Resources/Protected: Executive Contact Info for their contact details.
  • Arrange a convenient meeting place, preferably at one of CORE’s designated carpool locations, and make sure participants are aware that the posted time is the carpool departure time. See CORE’s Guides/Car Pooling & Locations page for potential car pool meeting locations
  • Arrange carpooling and ensure that each driver knows how to get to the trailhead. Provide maps if necessary. Let drivers know the return distance from the meeting place to the trailhead by researching the distance on Google. Know the current carpool rate.
  • Consider asking another member to co-coordinate with you. Having someone to share the “duties,” can help, even if that person just helps you at the carpool location.
  • Introduce participants to each other at the trailhead and/or carpooling lot.
  • Speak to your group at the trailhead. Tell them what you expect on the event. Let them know that they must wait at all junctions for the slower group to catch up. Try to establish a suitable place for lunch, reminding participants to reconvene there.
  • If you have a large group, it is best to split into a faster and slower group, Ask for a volunteer to “coordinate” the slower group, and establish a tail-ender (sweep) for each group. Make sure participants understand that everyone should be travelling in groups of four or more, for safety.
  • If a sub-group wants to go beyond the scheduled destination, you, as the coordinator MAY permit this, provided there are at least 4 people in the group. Make it clear that they are fully responsible for themselves. Any necessary carpooling adjustments should therefore be arranged before they set off.
  • Make sure everyone arrives back safety at the trailhead before you leave. Remind participants to pay the driver when they are back in Calgary. Assist drivers in figuring out the carpool contribution costs, if necessary.
  • Once you have left the trailhead, your responsibility is over and each car can make its own way back.
  • Above all, remember that you are all there to have fun; try to make it an enjoyable experience.
  • Fill in the Trip Report. Record all participants and trip details on the Trip Report. Submit the Trip Report to the Executive Trip Coordinator via email, mail or at a meeting.
  • If you are unable to lead the trip, try to find a substitute coordinator before cancelling or postponing the event. Reminder: If you cancel your trip but fail to contact all who have registered, you must go to the meeting area and wait a reasonable time for them—otherwise they may be tempted to drive to the trailhead expecting to find you there.
  • Remember that you need at least 4 people (including yourself) for the trip to qualify as a club-sanctioned event.