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Mud Season Hiking

by Linda Cassella

With ski season winding up, you don’t have to give up time outdoors. Why not turn your sights to a day of hiking on many of the great trails in Vermont?

mudThe term mud season is a period between winter and spring when the snow has finally melted causing muddy conditions on dirt roads and hiking trails.  Mud season might not sound like a time you want to be outdoors, but think again. Early spring hiking is great in Vermont. There are no bugs to deal with, no need to worry about you and your dog running into poison ivy, and you don’t have to worry about the warm temperatures like you do in the summer months. With no leaves on the trees, you get some amazing views. Plus you might see some of the forest creatures just venturing down from the heights and preparing their summer homes.

However, there are precautions that you need to take when walking on the soft and muddy trails. It is best to stay off trails in higher elevations where rain and melting snow keep many of them wet and muddy later into the season.  Walking on these trails can not only damage the trail and the surrounding vegetation, but also can cause soil erosion.

Here are some great guidelines to follow from the Vermont State Parks if you plan to hike this time of year:

mudhiking1If the trail is to muddy turn around.
Go on your hike in lower elevations and hardwood forests.
Don’t plan your hike on Camels Hump or Mount Mansfield. They are closed through Memorial Day Weekend.
It is best to stay away from trails above 3000 ft.
The Green Mountain Club is also urging to hikers stay off muddy trails this time of year.

Vermont State Parks has a great list of places that you can enjoy your hike during mud season. For other great outdoor activities in Vermont visit Sports & Recreation Page. And, before you hit the trails check out the latest weather conditions.

Put on those hiking boots and hit the trails for a great day outdoors.




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