Tips for Hiking in the Catskills During Mud Season

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What's mud season? It's early spring when snow is melting or has just melted and is when our trails here in the Catskills are extra wet. 

We want you to be able to enjoy our trails any time of the year, but we want to make sure you can enjoy mud season's soggy trails safely and without damaging them or the surrounding environment!

Trails are slippery when wet and muddy!

As ice and snow melts, you might be tempted to think trails become easier to walk, but a muddy, wet trail forces you to pay attention to where you step. First of all, mud-caked boots don't grip as much, second Catskill rocks are slippery when wet! Expect to hike slower than normal and proceed with caution during your hike.

Trekking poles are always helpful, but especially so on wet, muddy trails. They help you keep your balance and make hiking easier.

Our highest trails in the Catskills often keep snow and ice late into the spring! Traction aids, such as microspikes can be essential these conditions.

Our wet trails can be easily damaged!

Wet, muddy trails are more prone to erosion, as is the soil surrounding our trails. Mud season hiking requires walking in the center of the treadway and/or sstepping on our many Catskill rocks wherever possible. This preserves both the trail and your footwear. 

If you are tempted to walk around a wet area, remember that you are damaging plants and loosening soil, which will result in erosion and natural resource damage.

Find your trail!

We do have trails that you can enjoy in soggy spring conditions without causing damage. Stop by the Catskills Visitor Center or give us a call (845-688-3369) for suggestions! 

Keep Feet Dry and Comfy

You need the right gear! Be sure to wear waterproof boots in the spring. Gaiters will also help keep your feet dry. With proper waterproof boots, socks and gaiters, you can keep your feet warm, be steady on your feet and be able to walk in the middle of the trail to prevent additional erosion and trail damage!