Unmanaged water erodes our trail resources quicker than you can say, “mud puddle.” Trails are only as safe and sustainable as the maintenance they receive, and our local land-management agencies are stretched to the limit—every user must become a trail steward.
Trails are designed to shed water with diversion features like grade reversals and water bars. Spring snowmelt and rain, however, wash sediment onto the trails and often clog these features with debris, preventing proper drainage.
If you encounter water running down a trail, or a puddle blocking the way, take the time to investigate why it’s trapped there. Is the water diversion feature filled with sediment? Is the low side of the trail blocked by a ridge of mud? Use a stick, the heel of your shoe, or your hands to clear the debris and restore the water flow off the trail. It doesn’t take long and will help keep our trails healthy.