Mud season returns, trail groups urge caution
VERMONT- The Green Mountain Club, maintainer and protector of Vermont’s Long Trail and advocate for other hiking trails, along with the department of forests, parks and recreation, manager of Vermont state forests and parks, and the Green Mountain National Forest, announce the return of mud season to Vermont.
The wet soils on and around hiking trails are very susceptible to erosion at this critical time of year. To protect fragile soil and surrounding vegetation, some trails may be closed by the land manager during this time. Please respect the signage. Hikers walking on saturated soils or on the sides of trails cause damage to surrounding vegetation, widen trails, and inhibit natural drainage of our beloved hiking trails.
The period of snow melt and muddy trails varies considerably throughout Vermont depending on elevation, solar orientation, depth of snowpack, and amount of spring rainfall. Even as it warms up in town, mountains are hiding cold, wet, snowy, and icy conditions that may persist deep into spring.
Hikers who find themselves at high elevations will need better traction and warmer clothes than the valley may hint at. The GMC encourages hikers to use their best judgment. If not prepared for conditions, please turn around. The mountain will be there another day. If a trail is muddy, even if it is not officially closed, please find an alternative area to hike in.
The Green Mountain Club, the department of forests, parks and recreation, and the Green Mountain National Forest thank hikers for their cooperation.
For information on mud season and alternative hike suggestions call the visitor center at (802) 244-7037, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (888) 409-7579 Monday through Friday from 9 am to 4 pm.
In addition, a weekly trail update with the latest conditions and a list of alternative hikes will be posted on the Vermont State Parks website at www.vtstateparks.com/hiking.