Mud Season Hiking: Tips and Tricks
Vermont's hiking trails wet and muddy. When hikers tramp on saturated soils, they cause soil compaction and erosion as well as damage to the trail and surrounding vegetation. Please help protect the fragile trails this time of year by staying off muddy trails.
Higher elevation soils take longer to dry out. And after an epic snowfall this winter, and heavy spring rains the trails will take longer than normal to dry out. A trail may be dry at the trailhead, but is muddy at a higher elevation this time of year. If you notice this happening, please turn around! Trails at lower elevations, dirt roads, and recreation paths provide excellent places for early spring walking.
Below is a list of great places to hike during mud season - enjoy!
• Mt. Ascutney State Park Parkway (after mid April, when the ice has melted)
• Harriman Trail
• West River Trail
• Jamaica State Park Trails
• Delaware and Hudson Rail Trail
• Emerald Lake State Park roads
• Button Bay State Park roads
• Woodford State Park Trails
• Burlington Bike Path
• The Austin Brook Trail in Warren/Granville
• Travel Around Middlebury Trail (TAM)
• Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail
• Cotton Brook Area - Moscow/Stowe
• Alburgh Recreation Trail
• Mallets Bay Causeway
• Cambridge Greenway Recreation Path
• Mount Philo State Park
Northeast Vermont:• The Cross VT Trail - runs west to east across VT
• Thresher Hill; Pine Brook Trails
• Liberty Hill; Contest Trails
• Lefferts Pond
• Robert Frost Interpretive Trail
• Stowe Bike Path
Along with the warmer weather, there are many aspects of nature beginning to emerge for us to enjoy. Thank you for helping to preserve our beautiful natural resources!
Guidelines to follow when hiking this time of year
• If a trail is so muddy that you need to walk on the vegetation beside it, turn back and seek another place to hike.
• Plan spring hikes in hardwood forests at lower elevations.
• Avoid spruce-fir (conifer) forest at higher elevations and on north slopes before late May and from the end of October until frozen or snow covered.
• Camels Hump and Mt Mansfield trails are closed from April 15 through the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend. Please do not hike here. Stay below 3000 ft during these times of year.
Staying away from certain places during mud season makes them ready to enjoy this summer. Have fun out there!
For more information, and other mud season hiking options, check out the Green Mountain Club Mud Season Hiking page.
Have fun out there!