BOSTON — The Trustees of Reservations on Wednesday announced it plans to reopen more than 70 properties across Massachusetts, including several in and around the Berkshires, on Thursday to provide residents with more opportunities to spend time in nature during the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization encourages a "stay local" practice and continued strict adherence to social distancing guidelines while visiting the sites, all of which are outdoors only.

"Now more than ever, we recognize that offering access to our special places provides respite, solace, fresh air, and a physical outlet during this unprecedented time in our world," said Trustees President and CEO Barbara Erickson in a prepared release. "At the same time, we know that it is so important that visitors follow the CDC social distancing guidelines for everyone's safety and that they stay close to home."

The Trustees closed all its 118 properties on March 24 and has since been working with local and state officials to determine how to open some of the properties for the public's use while keeping staff and visitors safe, according to the release. The properties that will reopen include those that do not require staffing and that did not experience overcrowding prior to the closures.

Other properties, including farms and sites with narrow trails, will remain closed until May 4, however, farms will continue to offer curbside food pickup.

The Trustees is asking visitors to abide by the following social distancing guidelines:

- Limit visits to open Trustees properties in your respective town or neighborhood;

- Stay at least 6 feet from other visitors, including stepping aside on the trail to let others pass;

- Please keep dogs leashed and away from other visitors at all times;

- If a parking area is full, please come back at a less busy time.

For a complete list of property openings and more information about what The Trustees is doing to limit the spread of COVID-19, visit