“Spring rains can bring flooded streams and rivers and floodwaters can cover and block low paths,” he said. “Know before you go.”
Navigating slippery, muddy trails takes preparation and patience. The Dayton Hikers give some tips for conquering tough trails.
Navigate the trails
“If there is a puddle, take a moment and pull a large stick through the edge of a lower side to allow the puddle to drain.” –Andy Bergeron
“I recommend bringing trekking poles when hiking in the slippery and muddy areas. Sunscreen is good because the leaves haven’t come out on the trees yet. I like hiking boots over shoes for more ankle stability. – Terri Reinheimer-Kerivan
“I swear by my Merrell hikers and my Bombas socks, but there are plenty of other great choices out there. I always bring a light backpack for water and snacks, maybe sunscreen and bug spray for the warmer months. –Alan Limke
“For beginner hikers, I highly recommend waterproof boots and gaiters to stay comfortable in case you hit mud. Trekking poles are useful for balance in thick mud. –Kristen Beireis
“Gaiters will keep some of the mud out of your pants. Walk more slowly on muddy trails to avoid falling. If you fell in the mud, you are officially baptized as a real hiker. – Laurel Slate
“Having a clean pair of shoes waiting in your car for the drive home is often a good idea. Muddy boots can go in a plastic bin on the floor of your car or in the trunk, so your car doesn’t get muddy. – Elisabeth Delaney
Steering clear of mud
If you prefer to keep your hiking boots clean, there are alternatives to natural surface trails. Dayton Hikers offers some suggestions.
“For people who don’t have specialist equipment or don’t want to deal with all the mud, any of the area’s cycle paths offer the opportunity to get out into nature. My favorite is the Little Miami Scenic Trail, especially the sections from Xenia to Yellow Springs and from Xenia to Corwin. Both sections cross or skirt rivers and streams and are beautiful at this time of year. There are several access points, so people can choose the length of the hike that suits them. –Luwanna Linkhart
“The forested portions of the Possum Creek and Germantown purple trails are in good condition at this time. The same goes for the Heron and Ghost trails in Sycamore State Park. For cobblestone, I’m a fan of the Woodland Cemetery and the bike path that goes from Deeds Point to Wegerzyn. Our cycle paths are a very good option right now, because not only can you still enjoy the flora and fauna, but you help give those swollen paths a chance to rest. – Katie Thimons
“The purple trail at Bill Yeck (Smith House entrance) is a good choice for something that’s fairly mud-free. And the yellow trail at Cox Arboretum MetroPark is generally a good option. – Elisabeth Delaney
“For people who want to avoid the mud, I recommend the bike trails, Charleston Falls and Stillwater Prairie Reserve, where they have gravel on the trails.” –Denyse Moore Carone