Please Steer Clear of Muddy Trails

Conservation // February 23, 2016

It’s Mud Season in Wissahickon Valley Park, and FOW is urging park users to refrain from using muddy trails.

If you are leaving prints (hoof, tire, or boot), the trail is too wet to use. On wet days we recommend using Forbidden Drive which features a wide gravel surface which can be used in any weather condition. If you do happen to approach a muddy spot please continue to hike or ride through it, rather than around it which widens the trail and can cause damage to the surrounding habitat.

According to Henry Stroud, all the upper trails can become muddy in the spring and are highly susceptible to erosion and long term damage, especially ones that face north and do not receive as much sunlight. As the ground thaws it releases water and the trail surface loosens. If disturbed before they have time to adequately dry, the trails will become muddy which causes damage and accelerates erosion. Freeze/thaw cycles are explained in more detail here.

Park users can also consult the Map of the Wissahickon Valley Park for alternative trails. Trail maps are available here.