Leave no footprints


By: Margaret Rohde, Conservation Manager


Since it is spring and we’re entering the muddiest trail season, and since so many of us are seeking the peace and comfort of nature right now, we want to remind our community about a few guidelines for trail use.


Bikes are not allowed on the portions of the Green Ribbon Trail that we manage, nor on most of our preserve trails. While we recognize all trail use causes some degree of trail erosion, the primary concern is safety. Our trails are not designed for bike traffic - they are narrow with difficult sightlines and blind curves, which means a biker coming around a bend quickly could take a pedestrian or equestrian by surprise and cause an accident.


Boots can be washed, so please, if you are passing through a muddy spot, embrace it and stay in the middle of the trail as best you can. When you walk around muddy spots and puddles to avoid them, it damages vegetation on the sides of the trail, eventually widening it and making a problem area worse.


While it’s true that environmental factors (like trail slope and precipitation), have much more to do with where trails become muddy and eroded, that erosion is accelerated when trails are used under significantly muddy conditions. If you are leaving deep footprints, the trail is taking a hit, and it’s best not to travel on it.


Visit Before You Go for trail rules and a list of nearby bike-friendly trails.