March 23, 2022
Contact: Chloe Miller, Communications Manager
[email protected]; (802) 241-8324
Green Mountain Club Asks Hikers to Help Protect the Trails this Mud Season
Waterbury Center, VT — The Green Mountain Club reminds hikers that mud season is here, and we ask all trail users to stay off the wet and muddy high-elevation trails until they dry out, around the end of May. This will allow the trails to dry and reduce erosion and maintenance needs. Many trails are closed by the state of Vermont, and we ask you to stay off any muddy trails especially those above 2500’.
- What: Mud Season Trail Closures and Hiking Guidance: Mud Season is the period from snowmelt (late March) through Memorial Day weekend when many hiking trails are closed and we encourage hikers to stay off all high-elevation trails.
- When: Now through May 27, 2022
- Where: Throughout Vermont, though trails above 2,500 feet are the most susceptible to damage and the most important to avoid. Check closures with FPR and TrailFinder
- Why: Hiking through or around muddy trails causes soil erosion, trail widening, and tramples fragile vegetation on the edges of trail. For more about why mud season occurs and why it’s bad for the trails, contact GMC or visit: https://www.greenmountainclub.org/hiking/mud-season/
There’s plenty of places you can hike this season. Think low elevation trails and durable surfaces, like gravel trails or mountain roads. Dirt roads around the state are in especially rough shape this year, and excess car traffic exacerbates the problem. If you’re going hiking, be a good neighbor and check road conditions on the way to trailheads, and avoid closed roads. Check out tons of mud season hike recommendations, or try one of our favorites:
- Bristol Trail Network – 2.4 miles of low-elevation, well-draining trails circle the town and the New Haven River. Try an out-and-back for 5 miles of mud season-suitable hiking.
- Mount Ascutney Toll Road — 7.4 miles round trip with 2,300’ of elevation gain for a challenge and views without damaging the trails.
- South Shore Trail, Willoughby State Forest — Two-mile loop skirts the edge of Lake Willoughby
- Appalachian Trail from Gifford Woods State Park to River Road, Killington — This 2.7-mile section of the AT (5.4 miles round-trip) travels along the south shore of the beautiful Kent Pond. It then gradually descends through the woods to the Thundering Falls universally accessible spur trail, which leads to the base of a waterfall.
- Colchester Causeway on the Burlington Greenway/Island Line Trail – This 4-mile, 10-foot-wide gravel path extends out in the middle of Lake Champlain, giving you water views all around. Access the Causeway from Airport Park and or Mills Point Road Lot in Colchester, or add miles on with the Burlington Greenway.
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