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Wissahickon Park Urges Users to Stay Off Muddy Trails

The Friends of Wissahickon Park urge users to avoid muddy trails where possible.

The following is a press release from the friends of Wissahickon Park.

It's Mud Season in Wissahickon Valley Park, and the Friends of the Wissahickon (FOW) are urging park users to refrain from biking, hiking, or horseback riding on muddy trails, particularly in meadow areas. The trails in the Houston and Andorra Meadows become particularly muddy during this time of year.

 "Spring is the time of year when trails are most vulnerable to erosion and long-term damage," says FOW Executive Director Maura McCarthy. As frost thaws, it releases water. During this period, it is important to leave the soil undisturbed so it can mix with organic leaves and other organic matter and dry out naturally into trail dirt. If disturbed while muddy, the soil will be washed away leaving exposed rocks and roots.

When coming upon a muddy trail, FOW advises that park users consult the Map of the Wissahickon Valley for alternative trails. Maps are available from FOW at  http://fow.org/about-park/maps. A new edition will be published in Spring 2013.

About Friends of the Wissahickon

The Friends of the Wissahickon, founded in 1924, is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the Wissahickon Valley. FOW works in partnership with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation to restore historical structures throughout the park, eliminate invasive plant species, monitor watershed management issues, and restore trails throughout the Wissahickon Valley Park with its Sustainable Trails Initiative. Follow FOW on Facebook and Twitter. For more information or to become a member, visit www.fow.org.

Kevin February 23, 2013 at 08:31 PM
I know the trail in that photo very well - it goes right past the hermit's cave. It is extremely muddy ALL year long due to heavy use by mountain bikers even though this is a "no bike" route. The ruts cut by bike tires in this area are so deep and lasting that they've restricted and redirected the flow of a nearby vernal stream. If you bike in the park, please respect the rules of the trails and stay only on permitted bike paths.

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