It’s spring! The snow melts and you want to get out and frolic on the trails! But PLEASE WAIT!
With your help we can keep the Birch Hill trails in great shape, but we do NEED your help. Please stay off the trails until they firm up. The snow is melting and the frozen ground is thawing. Together they create MUD!
But Just Walking in the Mud Won’t Hurt, Will It?
People who use the trails too soon create tracks and ruts in the soft ground. Those tracks and ruts stick around long after the ground gets hard. Sometimes all summer. That makes our smooth trails a lot rougher and less pleasant. People can also trip or lose control of their bikes when they hit those hardened rough spots.
Those tracks and ruts can also keep water from flowing off the trail. When water continues flowing down the trail it erodes the surface of the trail, which can create large holes.
When Can I Use the Trails?
It takes a while for the trails to dry out enough to use without damaging them. The NSCF trails guru and Borough staff will confer and regularly and determine when the trails are ready for use. We will let you know when they are ready. Signs will be posted at Birch Hill and we will post updates via the listserv and Facebook.
What Am I Supposed to do Until Then?!
Lots of others trails are in the same situation throughout the Fairbanks area. However, some are ready sooner than others. Look for well-drained hillside trails with lots of southern exposure. They typically dry out the quickest. Just be ready to turn back if you run into a lot of muddy areas.
Another idea is to explore your community! Get out on foot or by bike and go explore quiet subdivision roads new to you. You get to be outside, be active, and probably find out new things about your community. Just remember to be careful and watch for cars. We want you to enjoy the trails when they are ready, not be laid up in the hospital!
Also, check out the Fairbanks Cycle Club, Running Club North, and Fairbanks Area Hiking Club calendars. They have several events planned for this awkward time of year.
Fairbanks Cycle Club
Running Club North
Fairbanks Area Hiking Club