Hikers can register with iSportsman to explore recreational areas
Warmer weather is on the way, and Col. Eric Towns, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood commander, is urging post residents to take advantage of the season with their families, get outside and walk or run to reduce stress while keeping social-distancing practices in mind.
“Spring has definitely sprung here in the Ozarks, and it’s time to take advantage of those natural resources that only this part of the country can offer,” Towns said Wednesday during the installation’s seventh COVID-19 virtual town hall.
As changes to schedules and lifestyles stretch into weeks due to ongoing COVID-19 precautions, Fort Leonard Wood senior leaders are urging community members to do whatever they can to de-stress. However, everyone should remember to avoid grouping up with anyone outside their household.
Col. Kimberlie Biever, General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital commander, who outlined several stress-reduction techniques, pointed to exercise as a vital component.
“Make sure you’re getting outside, getting up and moving frequently and getting the exercise you need every day,” she said. “Relax, unwind and reduce stress.”
Towns urged residents to take advantage of the Engineer Troop Trail, a 5-mile wooded trail starting at Morelli Heights, and the Mickey Zaun Troop Trail, a 10-mile paved trail which starts near the corner of South Dakota and Iowa avenues.
“As you know, we have the Engineer Trail or the Troop Trail here on the cantonment area where you can get out and run or walk – or even bike out on the Troop Trail. Please get outside and take advantage of those,” he said.
Towns also urged residents to get out and explore some of the areas open to hiking outside the cantonment area. However, he noted that outdoor recreationists of all types should first register with Fort Leonard Wood’s iSportsman system, available online at https://ftleonardwood.isportsman.net.
“I would urge you to explore some of the tucked-away places that you maybe haven’t seen before. Places like Sandstone Spring Trail or Stone Mill Spring Trail – it’s a great time to get out there and take advantage of those,” he said. “I would say that if you go for a hike outside beyond the cantonment area to sign up through iSportsman. It’s super easy. When you bring up the page, right there you can click on the link under ‘Outdoor Enthusiasts’ and click ‘Outdoor Enthusiasts’ – because that’s you. It will lead you through how to sign up for that.”
The iSportsman site notes that all recreation, including walking and hiking outside the cantonment area, requires an Outdoor Recreation Permit. Walkers and hikers must also use the iSportsman system to check in and check out of open areas. Free 2020 Outdoor Recreation Permits are available on the iSportsman site, but visitors must pre-register to receive them.