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GMC trails closed for mud

It's been mud season on The Valley floor for several weeks now, so it's easy to forget that snow takes longer to melt in the mountains.

On Monday, April 15, the Green Mountain Club (GMC) announced the start of mud season on Vermont's higher elevation hiking trails. During this time, the club discourages hikers from taking these routes in order to minimize damage due to erosion and the trampling of vegetation.

"Every step not taken on a wet hiking trail today helps assure a stable tread way tomorrow and reduce future costly tread repairs," GMC executive director Will Wiquist said, as it's important that trails have the time to drain and dry before they experience heavy use this season.

Hiking trails on land managed by the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation and the Green Mountain Club are closed until Memorial Day. Hikers are also strongly discouraged from using hiking trails in the Green Mountain National Forest.  Generally, along the route of the Long Trail, the national forest exists south from Mt. Ellen in Warren and the state parks and forests exist north of Appalachian Gap in Buel's Gore.

In the meantime, however, hikers are encouraged to explore trails at lower elevations. General guidelines for hiking during mud season: Walk through the mud, not around it. If it's too deep to walk through, then turn around!

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