How to protect the hiking trails during the winter

Hiking is a year round activity in Colorado, but sometimes the drastic changes in the weather can have some negative impacts on the trails. “That quick thaw of the snow creates havoc on the trail, you get all the mud and you get individuals that choose to walk or run through it,” Steve Hitchcock, Founder of Upadowna.

Walking through the mud can cause ruts where water can build up and cause damaging erosion to the topsoil. “And a lot of these plants in the high desert need a lot of that nutrient rich top surface level, when that’s washed away the erosion continues,” Hitchcock said.

Another issue is making the natural paths wider than they should be. “As you widen those trails by going around, all of the sudden you have compromised the beauty of the single track, you’ve increased human foot print if you will on the natural environment,” Hitchcock said.

In order to stop the decay, people should avoid hiking paths that are muddy. But if you’re already on them there are a few things you can do to help preserve the trail.

Learn more…

 

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