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Muddy trails causing erosion

Caroline KingsleyThe Park Record

Late snow storms have Summit County trail advocates concerned about residents recreating in post-storm mud.

"With this snow we’re getting, people need to make sure people stay off the trails until it’s really dry," said Charlie Sturgis, Mountain Trails Foundation Executive Director. "It makes for more erosion and worse riding and running if people are out there right now."

Residents should avoid running, biking, hiking and other recreational activities on trails for the next several days, Sturgis added.

"Riding on the snow isn’t so bad, but when they get out in the mud afterwards when the sun comes out, it creates erosion," he said. "It funnels the water down into the water tracks and it will just dig things out deeper and deeper. If you are a runner or an equestrian on those trails, when those tracks set up they become unridable and unrunnable. Sometimes if you get horse hooves there, it basically becomes unwalkable, so we discourage any use like that."

Using muddy trails creates a situation where something has to be repaired, which takes time and money before the Mountain Trails Foundation, which is responsible for the development and maintenance of the local trail system, can get to it," he said.

"And we have other projects we’d like to be doing then going around fixing things that don’t have to be ruined in the first place. So avoid the muddy trails and stay off them until they are very dry," he said.


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