FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — April 7, 2021
CONTACT: Alicia DiCocco, (609) 410-0841, [email protected]
Protect the Trails and Stay Busy this Mud Season with Green Mountain Club’s Social Media Challenges
Waterbury Center, VT — As the spring thaw begins early in the Green Mountains, the Green Mountain Club invites hikers and outdoor enthusiasts to have fun on trails and roads on lower elevations. The club has also created weekly challenges and giveaways inspired to help folks get outdoors while staying off high-elevation trails this mud season.
“This was a really difficult winter for everyone, so we know that folks are eager to spend time in the mountains,” says Alicia DiCocco, Director of Development and Communications. “The wet and muddy mountain trails just need time to dry out before they are ready for us, so we are excited to help everyone have low elevation fun and explore parts of Vermont in a potentially new, less muddy way.”
There are many ways for individuals to enjoy mud season this year:
- Join GMC’s Instagram challenge #GMCMudMadness (@greenmountainclub) for ideas and prizes
- Visit greenmountainclub.org for mud season hiking recommendations.
- Plan and train for hiking season: instead of hiking the higher elevation mountains during mud season, plan your trip for hiking season and train on the lower elevation trails and roads.
- Try a new outdoor activity like gravel biking or paddling
- GMC’s full guide to making the most of mud season is available at www.greenmountainclub.org/mudseason
“With more people looking to get out on the trail and the early warm weather, it is more important than ever to take care of mountain trails during mud season. We are asking for everyone’s help to stay on dry, lower elevation trails until the end of May,” says Green Mountain Club executive director Mike DeBonis.
Why is it important to stay off muddy trails and find other places to hike? Using muddy trails during this season causes damage including:
- Erosion: extremely wet trails are vulnerable to damage from every footstep because footsteps compact the trail, reducing its ability to absorb water, causing more flooding that carries the soil away.
- Trampled Vegetation: Hikers tend to walk around mud puddles, which makes sense. The only problem is that by doing so it tramples the vegetation and causes damage to the trail.
- Widened Trails: By walking around mud puddles, especially by multiple hikers, the width of the trail increases. This may not seem like a problem, but once it begins, it tends to accelerate as folks continue to use a trail, which means we are all having a larger impact on the landscape than needed for a sustainable hiking trail. It also leads to further erosion and trampled vegetation.
Participating giveaway sponsors include The Mountain Goat (Manchester); Johnson Hardware (Johnson); Outdoor Gear Exchange (Burlington); REI (Williston); Skida (Burlington); King Arthur Baking (Norwich); Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel (locations throughout VT); Happy Vermont, Athletic Brewing Company, Darn Tough Vermont (Northfield), and others.
About the Green Mountain Club : Established in 1910 to build the Long Trail, the Green Mountain Club is a member-supported private non-profit organization. The GMC is dedicated to maintaining and protecting Vermont’s historic Long Trail, Appalachian Trail, and Kingdom Heritage Trails in the Northeast Kingdom. Every year more than 1,000 volunteers work so that future generations will enjoy the 500-mile Long Trail System. Contact the Green Mountain Club to learn more or to become a member.
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