COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Heavy rains can take a toll on our trails and open spaces but when people use them before they’re dry, they get damaged even more.
For the past 45 years, Ernie Baca and his wife have enjoyed living in the Pikes Peak region.
“You’ve got the mountains, the beauty, it’s just wonderful and we love it,” said Baca.
They wouldn’t call themselves avid hikers but they’ve been volunteering with the Department of Parks and Wildlife for the past 5 years, so a few times every month they walk the trails while monitoring bluebirds.
Baca said, “You’ve got to watch where you step.”
Wet weather makes for muddy trails and when folks continue to use them after it rains it makes them even harder to travel.
“They leave tracks in the trail and it degrades the trail,” said Susan Davies, executive director of the Trails and Open Space Coalition. “It can make it a tripping hazard and then you have to have the friends groups come out and fix the trails and there’s so much work for them to do anyway.”
They say the rule is if you leave a track, you should pick another path.
Davies said, “When the trails get muddy people have the tendency to walk around the edge of the trail and avoid the mud and when they do that they widen the trail which isn’t good for the park.”
“People are making it easier for them to go around but by doing that they’re obviously destroying some of the vegetation,” said Baca.
While some places close when the weather is wet it’s up to you to determine if your hike will hinder the trail and make the trek tougher for everyone.