Trails aren’t drying out as fast as last year, so stay off them |

Trails aren’t drying out as fast as last year, so stay off them

This same day last year, options for local trail use whether on bike, foot, or horse were pretty darn abundant.

Ain’t so this year, at least not yet. Trails are drying out pretty quickly but even lower-level trails – Horseshoe Gulch, portions of the Upper Flume in Breck, to name a few – still have a lot of very wet spots.

Improper use, and in many cases any use at all, of wet trails causes nasty, ugly, hard-to-fix damage to our trails. the International Mountain Bike Association’s (IMBA) Rules of the Trail No. 2, “Leave No Trace,” pretty much sums up how to treat our trails and applies to all trail users:

“Be sensitive to the dirt beneath you. Recognize different types of soils and trail construction; practice low-impact cycling. Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage S consider other riding options. (Stay) on existing trails and (don’t) create new ones.”

If you must use a trail and encounter a wet, muddy area, first of all, consider why you are there in the first place.

If you continue on, move through the center of the trail. A little water and dirt won’t kill you, or your bike or boots. I’ve tested this out.

If there are options to pass the wet or muddy trail section on either side without inflicting any damage to the soils next to the trail, this could also be a good option depending on the trail and surrounding areas. Use common sense.

I rode through Horseshoe Gulch Monday morning and was dismayed to find what was once 18-inch singletrack, is now a 100-inch swath of “shmutz.” That’s Yiddish for dirt, and yes, it’s politically correct to reuse the word shmutz in mixed company.

I hope the Summit Daily News editor will include the picture I sent of this section of trail, because in this case, a picture is really worth 1,000 words.

Folks, let’s keep it single.

For IMBA rules, go to


Rick Eisenberg

secretary, Summit Fat Tire Society


Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User