Hiking the trails of Lassen County is a pastime of many during the spring to late fall. But in the winter the trails can offer a bounty of challenge, fun and sights to see especially once the snow falls and blankets the county in a beautiful winter wonderland.
But the wet weather also can be a detriment to the trails when the rain makes them muddy and prone to damage. There are a few things you can do to help minimize damage to places such as Ranch Park and the Bizz Johnson this winter season.
The simplest way to minimize damage after rain when the trails become muddy is to follow one simple rule, if it’s soft, stay off.
When the trail freezes, however, you are free to hike on them, but once it starts to soften, get off to prevent any damage.
Riding bikes in the muddy trails can create long-term damage, as it creates canals that can carry water and erode the trails even further.
Same goes for those who go about the trails on horseback. Muddy trails not only can be severely damaged, but horses have been known to get stuck and at times get injured.
Once the snow falls and sticks, it’s best to use snowshoes. Not only will it make your life easier but it will keep damage to the trails under the snow to a minimum. Also if you find yourself on a ski track while hiking, it is highly recommended you stay off them so cross country skiers can still have use of them.
Whether the weather is a snowy or raining, it is always a must to pick up after our four-legged family members when walking the trails.
So if you’re out walking on a winter filled hike, whether with a friend or a four legged companion, be conscious of the trails and the damage the wet weather and you can cause.