The “sunny” season is trying to arrive here in The Great NW, which for many means the opportunity to finally get outside and stretch our legs on outdoor trails and paths. But, while we’re continuing our endeavors to make our bodies healthy, let’s not forget about keeping Mother Nature Healthy as well!
Take a quick look at these 8 tips to keep the trails you’re running in tip top shape so they will last and allow the outdoors to be enjoyed cardiovasculary for years to come.
According to Ben Lawhon, Leave No Trace Education Director, “Trail running is one of those outdoor pursuits that, while not entirely mainstream, continues to grow at a surprising rate. You’re seeing it occurring in more places every year such as Grand Canyon National Park, where people are now running from the North Rim to the South Rim and then back again in one outing.”
Due to this growing interest and participation in trail running, the Center offers the following tips to help enthusiasts responsibly enjoy the trail where they run:
- Be prepared to run down the middle of the trail even when wet or muddy
- Wear water-resistant or water proof footwear. Consider wearing gaiters to help keep your feet dry
- In the spring, run in the early morning or late afternoon when the muddy areas are more likely to be harder (colder air temps) and less messy
- When possible, stick to south-facing trails, they tend to be drier during spring thaw
- When conditions are icy, consider using small sheet metal screws in the bottom of your soles to increase traction
- “Pack it in, pack it out” – GU packs, water bottles, and other trash items should be packed out to the nearest trashcan
- Respect wildlife along trails – avoid approaching wildlife either on purpose or by accident. If you encounter wildlife along the trail, wait for them to pass or reroute your course if possible
- Share the trails with others. Not every one likes having trail runners blazing by, so offer a friendly greeting, yield to those moving slower such as hikers or horseback riders, and pass other trail users on the most durable ground possible