Please stay off the wet trails!

Published by Steve Clark on

Most trails in our local area don’t respond well to rain. They turn into sticky, slippery muck that binds to everything it touches. It builds up on feet and hooves. It builds up on tires. When mud sticks to things, it leaves the trail with holes, grooves and ridges. These become as hard as concrete when the trail dries and are good for twisted ankles, trips and falls.

On wet trails, bikes make grooves down the middle. These grooves collect water when it rains again, turning first into little channels to move the water downhill, then into little ruts, and eventually into large ruts that destroy the trail.

And the mud is particularly hard to remove. It sticks to the bike and shoes, no matter the efforts to remove it, rubbing off on car carpets, pedals and bike racks.

For the sake of the trails, the trail users and yourself, you are well advised to stay off the trails after a rain until they have dried. How long does that take? That depends on a number of factors including the particular trail, how much rain it received, how much sun it gets after the rain (is it in the shade or face south?), how warm and windy the weather is, and so on. After an isolated light rain you may be able to go out the next day. After a heavy rain, you should wait several days. This is something where common sense and experience will help. In general, if you leave obvious tracks, the trail is still too wet to use.


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder