Keep A Slower Pace
A muddy, wet trail forces you to slow down and pay close attention to each step. One small slip could lead to a major injury. Expect to hike slower than normal and plan a shorter hike than you would when trail conditions are more ideal.
Stay On Trail
Stepping into water and mud when necessary will help minimize overall trail damage. You may be tempted to walk along the sides of the trail in order to keep your feet dry and shoes free from mud, but doing so can loosen the soil and result in erosion. Early spring hiking requires walking in the center of the trail and sticking to rocks wherever possible.
Use Trekking Poles
Trekking poles are extremely useful when hiking on wet trails. They help keep you upright and help indicate the depths of water you are stepping into.
Avoid hiking after it’s rained a significant amount so that you allow time for the trails to dry out. Wet trails can trigger both minor and major injuries.
You might be tempted to carry less gear on a spring hike because the temps have warmed up, the snow is melting fast, and the air feels lighter. Be aware that winter continues to linger in the higher peaks throughout the spring season – quite often into the early summer months.