An unusually warm spring is ushering Summit County residents and visitors outside for trail activity that typically doesn't commence until mid-June.
Though it's warm and there's not much snow left, many hiking and biking trails remain muddy and snow-covered. Those trails should be avoided, Breck officials say.
U.S. Forest Service officials say the same: Stay off trails that haven't dried out, because damage - particularly from bikes - can ruin trails for the season.
"Spring is always a challenging time of year, when people want to get out and enjoy the local trails," said Breckenridge Open Space and Trails planner Scott Reid. "Unfortunately, this is also when our trails are most vulnerable and sustain the most damage because of wet and muddy conditions."
Trail users are encouraged to avoid wet trails, be prepared to turn around when encountering wet and muddy conditions, and to ride or hike through (not around) any isolated muddy spots.
The Town of Breckenridge has an updated list of trail conditions posted weekly on www.BreckenridgeTrails.org. It's Breckenridge's go-to site to find out what's out there before departing on an adventure.
Some fully dry trails in the Summit County area include Betty's Trail, Jack's Cruel Joke, Lincoln Trail, Lower Flume, Main Street Junction, Pump Track, River Trail, Vista Point, Washington Trail and the Frisco Peninsula. The Oro Grande Trail in Dillon has also seen traffic and successful, dry riding.
Other resources include the Friends of Breckenridge Trails Facebook and Twitter accounts - www.facebook.com
/breckenridgetrails and twitter.com /#!/BreckTrails. The recpath is always an option, officials add.
"Our trails are wonderful community assets that take significant resources to build and maintain. Please stay off muddy trails until they are dry and passable. Better yet, join us for a volunteer day to help repair the damage wrought by early-season users," said Breckenridge Mayor John Warner.