Mud Season 101

April 12, 2023
Mud Season 101

It’s that time of year again… Spr— Mud Season. We’ve compiled this short list of reminders and how-to’s for anyone who regularly blocks out this time of year or is new to the area.

Muddy hiking boots (photo: Canva Commons)Hike Responsibly

Bring the proper gear: Wear sturdy hiking boots and spikes for traction, and use trekking poles to check for mud depth & keep your balance.

Choose your steps mindfully: Pay attention to your surroundings and walk through the water or mud rather than around it. You’ll be more stable, prevent erosion and trail widening, and avoid trampling young vegetation.

Select drier trails: Avoid highly trafficked trails (constant footprints keep the trails muddier longer) and consider strolling along gravel roads while you wait for the trails to dry out.

Turn around if necessary: Don’t be afraid to call it and turn around if a trail proves too unpleasant or unsafe.

Keep it CleanA hand holding an orange dog waste bag (photo: CanvaCommons)

As you visit our trails over the coming weeks, you might notice that the snowmelt is leaving behind more than just mud — it seems that, for a short period of time at least, newly exposed dog poop and trash are as much harbingers of spring as are dainty daffodil blooms and the peents of woodcocks. If you’re up for it, we humbly ask that you consider focusing some spring cleaning energy on our trails next time you visit one, and be sure to pack out any dog waste if you bring your dog on the trail. Picking up after our dogs keeps our waterways safe and clean, removes dangerous pathogens from our environment, and ensures that our trails remain pleasant for all. Get the scoop on poop here.

While we’re on the topic, we want to gently remind everyone that we love having your dogs on the trails — as long as they’re leashed.

A tick on an index finger in the foreground; a dog in the background (photo: CanvaCommons)Check for Ticks

Believe it or not, we’re already receiving reports of tick sightings! It’s time to get vigilant once more and practice tick safety in the outdoors. To avoid tick bites, treat your clothing and gear with permethrin, wear long sleeves and pants, use EPA-registered insect repellents, avoid areas with high grass and leaf litter, and walk in the center of trails. Upon returning home, check your clothing and pets for ticks, shower, and conduct a full-body tick check. If you do get bitten, remove the tick as quickly as possible, and as close to the skin as possible, using fine-tipped tweezers; then, watch for symptoms.

Learn how to do a tick check.