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Mud and More


Image description: A wet, gooey trail is host to several mud holes.

by Jo Swanson, NVC Executive Director


If you’re like me, you’ve traded out your normal shoes for mud boots more than once this past month. While we commiserate over the seemingly relentless rainfall, it’s worth remembering that our beloved trails are impacted by rain as well.


Wet conditions harm trails in many ways. When soils are soft, they are easily damaged. If trail users leave deep footprints or tire tracks behind, those holes and ruts fill with water. Mosquitoes love this; humans don’t love it, and they often skirt the wet areas, further damaging the ecosystem around the trail.


Whether you hike, bike, or recreate with motor vehicles, think twice about heading out to your favorite trail when conditions are soggy. Consider alternatives that may be more sustainable in wet conditions. If you’re going to the Superior National Forest, the SNF website is a great place to check for updates on road conditions, ideas for where to explore, and more.


If you’ve never given back to a trail by volunteering, now is a great time to join our effort to improve Moss Lake and South Lake Trails! Volunteers will work July 11-14 and August 1-3 to improve trail conditions. These beautiful trails near the Gunflint Trail have some wet areas where we'll work to make the area more sustainable. First-time volunteers are encouraged! Together, we can make sure these trails are around for generations to come. Learn more and sign up here.


Image description: A foggy lake in early-morning light is accessed by a volunteer-maintained trail.

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