Boulder, CO- It's not spring yet, but when the weather warms up, it is hard to resist the urge to hit the trails with our furry friends. During warm ups, there are a few things we can do to help keep our trails in great shape. Here are a few tips to remember for your next adventure.
1. If planning a trip to a popular day use area, be sure to check with a local land manager for the trail conditions and park regulations. Once you know trail conditions and park regulations, choose a trail you're equipped for. Is it icy? Muddy? Do your have shoes that have good traction? Are you wearing items that can get muddy or wet? Safety is always the most important, so choose the option that keeps you safe, but also allows you to minimize your impact.
2. Even though we might see people walking around the edges of the trail, we want to try and stay on trail as much as possible. To keep from wiping out if trails are icy, try to choose trails that have little to no elevation change, and are exposed to the sun. A boot traction add on may also help. Remember safety first!
3. Areas that are located in the sun may be muddy. This is an especially important area to try and stay on trail. Avoiding the mud and walking along the edges can cause the trail to widen. This accumulated impact can quickly cause a trail to double or triple in width. Keeping safety at the forefront, when going through the mud we should make sure we have boots that are both waterproof and have good traction. Planning ahead and preparing for muddy and icy weather can help ensure we are going to have an enjoyable time while recreating responsibly.
4. As always when bringing our canine friends for an adventure, it is important to bring a leash and pet waste disposal bags. Keeping them on leash will help ensure the safety of your pet, the wildlife, and other visitors. Bringing or using provided pet waste disposal bags helps us keep our parks and watersheds healthy.
So before you head out the door, remember to be safe, have fun, and don't forget the sunscreen!
Until next time,
Court and Nick
Leave No Trace’s Courtney and Nick Bierschbach are part of the 2015 Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Program that provides free, mobile education to communities across the country. Proud partners of this program include Subaru of America, Coleman, Hi-Cone, and Smartwool.