Most people know about the four seasons, winter, spring, summer, and fall. But in Vermont, we have six seasons. There is stick season, between fall and winter, when the leaves have fallen from the trees and the snow has yet to blanket them. And our current season, mud season.
Vermont experiences mud season as temperatures rise, melting snow and ice, as rain begins making more frequent visits. Our dirt roads have a hard time adjusting since it’s not quite warm enough to dry the ground out, making travel a little difficult for a few weeks. For Vermonters who live on back roads – most
do – this can cause some disruption, which is why we are sharing advice to not get stuck in the mud.
If you relocate to a more rural area, or are vacationing, investing in a good pair of rubber boots before the start of mud season will be a game changer. Anytime you are outside during mud season, you will want wear your boots, so you aren’t ruining any of your nicer work shoes and sinking right into the mud. After a long winter it’s tempting to break out those cute sandals, but you’ll probably regret it.
Avoid Hiking for a Few Weeks
This is a hard one for our outdoor enthusiasts who have been anxiously waiting for warmer weather. Hiking during mud season when it is really wet can cause permanent damage to our well-maintained trails. In fact, you will find that almost all public trails are closed in Vermont for a few weeks. Some remain shut off until Memorial Day or even later. Trails at higher elevations will have muddy trails for longer, so this is the time to hike those lower-elevation trails! You can check out what trails are open in your area here. But don’t let this get you down, there are still plenty of other outdoor activities such as paddling, kayaking, and walking, running, or biking on our paved roads.
Mud season can really do some damage to our dirt roads so if you live in an area that requires you to travel on a dirt road on a regular basis, be sure to put your car in four-wheel drive and give yourself some extra time. But most importantly, don’t stop on our dirt roads – just keep moving! You may find yourself sinking into the mud if you stop for even just a moment. We encourage you to order extra fuel (or whatever heat source you use) ahead of time before mud season starts. Larger vehicles such as fuel delivery trucks have a really hard time navigating our dirt roads during mud season.
Our intentions certainly aren’t to scare you away from Vermont during this time of year but to simply let you know what to expect! After a long Vermont winter, we are all usually pretty excited to start seeing warmer weather in sight and mud season is the first sign that warmer days are ahead. So, break out your new rubber boots and go splash in some mud puddles!