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Mountain bikers asked to stay off trails, for now

WILMINGTON — The state Department of Environmental Conservation and Barkeater Trails Alliance ask mountain bikers to stay off trails and access roads until mud season dries out.

In a press release, the DEC said trails are still too soft and wet to withstand bicycles.

“Mud season in the Adirondacks is a very sensitive time for mountain bike trails,” BETA Executive Director Josh Wilson said. “Some trails dry out relatively quickly in the spring or after periods of rain, while others remain muddy for weeks on end, regardless of weather. Riding on wet and muddy trails can cause lasting damage very quickly.

“If you are leaving ruts in the trail surface, the soil is definitely too wet to be riding. It’s time to call it a day and wait for better conditions. Ride dirt, not mud, and help us keep the trails in great shape for you and others to enjoy.”

BETA builds and maintains mountain bike and ski trails on both private and public lands in the Tri-Lakes region. The group has trail conditions listed on its website (www.betatrails.org) and also uses a phone app called Trail Forks. Mountain bike riders can check trail conditions before going out to ride.

“Biking on muddy trails damages tree roots, erodes slopes, and widens trails, making them difficult for riding,” the DEC wrote. “DEC asks bikers to help protect the trails, natural resources, and surrounding habitats by checking trail conditions and advisories and avoiding all wet, muddy trails.

“Bikes should also not be taken on seasonal access roads that are closed for mud season. These are also best left to dry and harden before being used.”

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