View Full Version : Too Much Rain

Mother Natures Son
05-28-2018, 06:59
Here in S.C. PA, it's been raining for almost two weeks! Next week, more of the same. Some are saying to stay off all local trails (And maybe the AT.) due the threat of damage to the trail. Could you damage the trail by hiking on it during this time? :confused:

05-28-2018, 08:15
In most areas in PA the AT is on very durable surface. However, anywhere that the trail goes through boggy areas you can see a lot of damage caused by two things. Walking right down the trail churning up the boggy soup. Or avoiding it and causing the "trail" to widen. Pick your areas wisely both to avoid damage and frankly enjoyment.

05-28-2018, 08:37
As Malto said, trails get "braided" when it's muddy. In one tundra section on a popular horse trail along the CDT in Wyoming, I counted thirteen parallel trails. Most trail users, human and animal, naturally try to avoid the mud.

New trails in my home county are being built to stay open in mud season, but that can be difficult and limited due to surface materials available and terrain. If your local parks department closes a trail, or you hear of poor conditions through social media or word of mouth, please stay off it.

And be sure to volunteer to maintain trails, if you possibly can. It was interesting to me to learn about the drainage features being designed into the trails. And to see new features being incorporated for bike use, where allowed.

05-28-2018, 12:13
The AT, while soggy and slippery, probably isn't too bad for the most part. Crossing gaps could be a problem, with flash flood possibilities at some river crossings. If the ground is saturated in the Cumberland valley, crossing there would be a messy walk. PA didn't really have boggy areas along the ridges like we have in New England (which are very wet right now).

I hiked PA mostly in the rain a couple of years ago and it was more pleasant then the other times I did the state in heat and humidity. But it was mostly light rain showers, not the deluge you've been getting this year.