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Megapixel
10-17-2010, 20:46
When does mud season end in Vermont? Or maybe a better question: how early would be too early to get to VT heading Northbound?

4eyedbuzzard
10-17-2010, 21:16
Early May would generally be too early, but sometimes not, as in 2009 trails were pretty good in early May. Late May generally depends upon how the thaw goes. Many years, the Green Mountain Club often "politely requests" that hikers stay off most of the trails until Memorial Day - again, it depends on how the thaw is going and how much melt and rain has been absorbed and how the trails are drying out. But there can still be mud in many places well into June. They don't call it Vermud for nothing.

Moose2001
10-17-2010, 21:27
Mud is the least of your worries in VT during May. The black flies will eat you alive!

Megapixel
10-17-2010, 21:35
thanks for the help. so when do black flies end in VT? I thought they were a Maine thing, so when do they typically settle down in Vt?

4eyedbuzzard
10-17-2010, 21:46
You'll have at least some right up through mid to end of June. Same goes for northern MA, VT, NH, ME. Some local areas are worse than others, some weeks are worse than others, it all depends upon the thaw and the hatch (unlike mosquitoes, they breed in running water). The worst I've ever seen them was in the Pemi Wilderness Area in NH at the very end of May. They were so thick it was hard to breathe without sucking them in. I got about 20 bites in the 2 minutes or so I spent outside the truck. About 100 got in just from opening the door to get in and out. But conversely we hiked in late May in 2009 on the AT in the area of Norwich VT / Hanover NH and had very few, so you never know. There are actually several different species of "black flies" and they hatch in different locales and at slightly different times. There's also a milder late summer (late August) hatch in some areas.

Megapixel
10-17-2010, 21:47
You'll have at least some right up through mid to end of June. Same goes for northern MA, VT, NH, ME. Some local areas are worse than others, some weeks are worse than others, it all depends upon the thaw and the hatch (unlike mosquitoes, they breed in running water). The worst I've ever seen them was in the Pemi Wilderness Area in NH at the very end of May. They were so thick it was hard to breathe without sucking them in. I got about 20 bites in the 2 minutes or so I spent outside the truck. About 100 got in just from opening the door to get in and out. But conversely we hiked in late May in 2009 on the AT in the area of Norwich VT / Hanover NH and had very few, so you never know. There are actually several different species of "black flies" and they hatch in different locales and at slightly different times. There's also a milder late summer (late August) hatch in some areas.

thanks a bunch. very helpful!

10-K
10-17-2010, 21:58
I hiked through Vermont the 3rd week of May this year and didn't find it particularly muddy. In fact, MA was muddier than VT.

No black files either though there was 1 night the mosquitoes literally ran me into my tent.

Jeff
10-17-2010, 22:01
Best hiking in Vermont is the month of September.

July and August are OK.....but June is always iffy.

Megapixel
10-17-2010, 22:02
I hiked through Vermont the 3rd week of May this year and didn't find it particularly muddy. In fact, MA was muddier than VT.

No black files either though there was 1 night the mosquitoes literally ran me into my tent.


Yeah, I'm reading a trail journal online, Lil'buddah 2010 ECT, and he hit terrible mud in mid june. Lots of rain though.

4eyedbuzzard
10-17-2010, 22:07
I wouldn't put off hiking in mid-May in MA or VT on if the trails are dried out. Usually if the trails are reasonably dry the flies won't be a constant issue as the worst of the hatch has likely passed. They don't fly well in the wind, so any breeze tends to keep them at bay as well, and they are out mostly in the earlier morning hours and late afternoon hours and they don't feed at night. I've found that Sawyers DEET Plus (formerly Sawyers Gold) which is DEET plus a fly repellent works pretty well. http://www.sawyerproducts.com/SP728.htm Some people use head nets, but I've never tried one.

Here's some more black fly info http://www.ultimate.com/washington/wla/blackfly/

fredmugs
10-18-2010, 08:12
I did two section hikes in Vermont this year. The first was in July when the temps where in the upper 80s and covered Kelley Stand Rd to the NH border. There was a lot of hit and miss mud but not all that bad. Just a PITA because you're constantly looking down for the mud and the roots.

The second trip I just came back from. It was about a week after the hurricane dumped a ton of rain on the trail. I hiked SOBO from Kelley Stand Rd to the Mass border and it was very wet when I started and got increasingly drier as I headed south. First night I spent at Kid Gore shelter with 3 GMC trail maintainers and they said they saw water on the trail where they had never seen water before. And these guys were old!

Water was everywhere and I'm guessing next year will be wetter than the norm.

canoehead
10-18-2010, 08:14
Mud season doesn't end it just freeeezes up a little

elizardph
10-19-2010, 14:51
mud season never ends...did the LT last summer ago and didn't have dry boots once.

Jeff
10-19-2010, 15:12
mud season never ends...did the LT last summer ago and didn't have dry boots once.

Mostly true...but 2009 was a very wet summer.

DinnerFer2
10-25-2010, 00:42
Started July 25th 2008 SOBO on the LT and boy was it muddy! :D Found myself knee deep within the first mile of my thru-hike. I knew I had to make peace with the mud right then.