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Public Post is a community reporting initiative using digital tools to report on cities and towns across Vermont.Public Post is the only resource that lets you browse and search documents across dozens of Vermont municipal websites in one place.Follow reporter Amy Kolb Noyes and #PublicPost on Twitter and read news from the Post below.

Stay Off The Trails, Mud Season Is Officially Here

Amy Kolb Noyes
It will be a few weeks before muddy trails, like this one in Wolcott, dry out.

Although it may have been evident in your neck of the woods for some time, this week the Green Mountain Club officially announced the start of mud season and urged hikers to stay off muddy trails "unless they still have extensive snow or ice cover," and until the trails dry out.

High elevation soils take until Memorial Day to dry out, especially on north slopes and evergreen shaded trails.

According to the club's press release, "high elevation soils take until Memorial Day to dry out, especially on north slopes and evergreen shaded trails."

“Please give our trails time to dry out for the summer hiking season,” said Dave Hardy, Director of Trail Programs for the Green Mountain Club, “Until the end of May, consider hiking on south facing slopes and lower elevations where the sun can dry out the trails sooner. And please stay on the trail rather than walking around puddles so the trails don’t widen and create new erosion problems.”

The release added, some state-managed trails do not open to hikers until Memorial Day weekend, when seasonal state parks open:

Hiking trails on state lands managed by the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation and Green Mountain Club are closed until Memorial Day weekend. Hikers are also strongly discouraged from using hiking trails in the Green Mountain National Forest until Memorial Day weekend. Generally, along the Long Trail, the National Forest extends south from Mt. Ellen in Warren to Massachusetts, and the state parks and forests run north of Appalachian Gap in Buels Gore to Canada – including more than 25,000 acres conserved by the Green Mountain Club.

The Green Mountain Club's website has a list of suggested Mud Season hikes in various parts of Vermont.

Amy is an award winning journalist who has worked in print and radio in Vermont since 1991. Her first job in professional radio was at WVMX in Stowe, where she worked as News Director and co-host of The Morning Show. She was a VPR contributor from 2006 to 2020.
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