April 20th 2021
Mud season is here
Now that spring has sprung, you’re undoubtedly craving some time outdoors. As snow is slowly replaced by mud, the natural habitats bordering trails are at their most fragile state. To preserve nature and trail conditions, we must accept to face mud and water.
We suggest wearing proper footwear for the season, so you can stay on the trail even when the ground is covered with mud or water. A little foresight can go a long way in helping preserve the flora and fauna along the trail.
Tips for spring hiking
To really get the most out of your mud season hike, why not stash a bag and an extra pair of shoes in your car? That way you can switch out your footwear when you get back and keep your floor mats clean. Gaiters are also a good way to keep your boots and pants from getting muddy, and wool socks will keep your feet warm even if they get wet. Some people like to layer a plastic bag between two pairs of socks to keep their feet dry. You could also look into waterproof socks. Any of these options will make it easy to stay on the trail.
In the springtime, the freeze-thaw cycle (and the rain that sometimes comes with it) prevents the soil from draining properly, causing trails to become muddy and forming puddles. While it may be tempting to go off trail so you can sidestep the wet and muddy spots, other hikers might follow in your footsteps and trample the surrounding vegetation, widening the trails and making them more vulnerable to erosion.
We sometimes have to close certain trails in spring to protect fragile ecosystems. We thank you in advance for respecting signage indicating trail closures.
Randonnée printanière : renoncer aux sentiers ou affronter la boue (in French) by Amélie Cléroux, published April 2nd, 2021 in Protégez-Vous.