The Green Mountain Club urges hikers to avoid muddy trails

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STARKSBORO, Vt. (WCAX) – Using muddy trails causes erosion and makes them harder to maintain. It also has environmental implications.

“Be aware that the tread is in a fragile state right now,” said Keegan Tierney, director of field programs for the Green Mountain Club. “A lot of people tend to try to walk in the mud and it damages all the vegetation on the side of the trail, widens the trail and impacts the soils which are even more fragile than what is in the tread of the trail. path.”

Tierney recommends sticking to gravel or paved trails, like Mount Philo or Ravens Ridge, until things dry out. They are also much safer this time of year.

“Even though it’s definitely mud season, what we’re actually encountering are freezing conditions and people weren’t expecting it,” said Brian Lindner, manager of Waterbury Backcountry Rescue.

He says it’s still too early to trust the good weather.

“Even though they leave base on a hot day, when they go up in altitude, it’s still winter up there,” Lindner explained. “Something happens, they slip and fall and get hurt or lost, they’ll be up there for hours.”

Melting ice and rain can also create dangerous conditions at this time of year.

“There are places where the streams are full, they are full-banked and it is very dangerous to cross them through the cold waters by section”,

“It’s important that we find a balance with the natural environment and the trails are there to reduce our impact,” Tierney said. “A lot of us use the mountains which is a good thing and we want everyone to be there, but knowing how to do it the right way is also important.”

Tierney says most of the trails should be dry by Memorial Day weekend.

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