It’s going to be a wet winter.
With the leaves off the hardwoods and the pines going dormant, the trees aren’t soaking up or deflecting as much rainfall as they did during the spring and summer months. The trails are going to take longer to dry out or ‘stabilize’ between rain events from December through March. Periodic trail closures are going to be more frequent.
Staff and volunteers are working on simple trail maintenance tasks like de-berming and draining problem spots, raising the trail tread in really sticky areas, and even re-aligning worn-out segments. The goal is to get the trails ‘weather-proofed’ so that they’re closed less frequently due to weather and for shorter periods of time. Until we make more progress on that goal, wet trails will remain wet trails. Continued use while they’re drenched contributes to bad trail habits – like trail widening and braiding – or sedimentation and erosion of trails and streams and wetland habitats – including the many vernal pools where long-lived salamanders return to breed every year.
This web page and our Facebook feed remain the primary outlet for information on trail conditions. TriangleMTB.com also offers trail status updates.
On the ground, the black and white ‘Singletrack Trails Closed’ signs that hang near the main trail access points are used when there are prolonged periods of wet trail conditions or intense rainfall (like today). We use the signs more in the winter months than during the active growing season. The Forest roads are still okay to use; we’re asking visitors to give the single track trails under the Forest canopy a chance to drain and dry out for a day or two or three after a significant wet weather event.
We strive for consistency across our informational outlets – especially on the ground – and try to be as prompt as possible in assessing and updating trail conditions. We really appreciate your patience, cooperation, and consideration for the Forest landscape!