Here’s why you shouldn’t use muddy trails

Photo Credit: Yarygin (iStock).

Next time you encounter a muddy trail, think twice about traveling it – and not just for the sake of your boots. Traffic on muddy trails – whether it’s foot traffic, bike traffic, or otherwise – leads to erosion and soil compaction that can cause long-lasting damage and be expensive to repair.

Erosion often comes in the form of travelers taking odd lines down the trail opposed to the norm. For instance, if a hiker is avoiding a mud puddle in the middle of the path, they may walk along a weaker edge of the trail not meant to bear weight. This breaks down the edge of the trail, often widening the path and destroying nearby vegetation. Pressing into the mud on a trail can also displace parts of the path – another factor that leads to misshapen or uneven trails.

Soil compaction is also a scary result of muddy trail usage. When soil compaction occurs, it hampers the ability of a trail to absorb precipitation. This can result in flooding and additional erosion.

Tips for muddy days:


Get OutThere

Signup today for free and be the first to get notified on new updates.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.