Mid-April Trail Report

     It has been wonderful to see so many families out enjoying the Whitefish Trail these days. With everyone driving separately, the trailheads have been busy, and we have been pleased with the community effort to socially distance while out recreating on our local lands. We hope you’re getting outside to soak up vitamin D and to ease any stress or anxiety that has come with the shutdowns.
     Did you notice the trails got muddier last week without any rain? The trails were tacky and drying out nicely and then long sections of the trail became muddy and wet without any precipitation. How does that happen? With the recent deep freeze (nighttime temps in the teens), moisture was squeezed out of the warm ground and froze in the form of ‘needle ice’. When those strange looking ice crystals melted in the afternoon, the top layer of ground could not reabsorb the moisture before it happened all over again the next night. With warmer nighttime temps lately, the trail is drying out again.
     We have been taking advantage of the weather to get some maintenance projects done this spring. Did you know Lion Mountain turns 10 years old this year? Normal wear and tear is expected over time, so replacing signs and posts is an annual task, and YOUR donations make it all possible. Some of the first generation signs have become brittle over time, so we are updating trail signs with a more durable, UV-resistant material and replacing sign posts that have broken.
     These projects are made possible by your support. If you have been enjoying the trail this spring, pitch in to help us keep the trail in great shape this year and every year.
     If you arrive to a full trailhead, consider driving to another nearby access, or better yet, leave the car at home and run or bike from town! The DNRC helped clear the 1.5 mile loop at Swift Creek, while trails at Smith Lake are still impassable from downfall. We have gotten reports of 8-10 trees down around Woods Lake, and local mystery volunteers have magically cleared trees from Lupfer. Thank you! We are working to get all trails open and appreciate your patience as we get to those harder to reach sections.
As you get out to explore the Whitefish Trail this spring, we’d love to see your photos and hear your trail reports!