Trail running season is in full swing and the West Coast is finally beginning to dry out after the wettest winter in over a decade. After years of drought and wildfires, this winter’s flooding caused excessive damage from mudslides and erosion. There were daily reports of road closures along major highways and even emergency evacuations because of the risk of dams breaking.
This was the wettest winter I’ve ever experienced as a runner (cue the laughter from the other Saltines) and I sloshed my way through some very wet and muddy runs. Trails turned into creeks of running water, already rutted trails turned into giant mud pits, and “runs” turned into a fun combination of slip and slide and full body mud baths.
As a trail user, I like to *think* that I follow proper trail etiquette rules. But, after an incident in which I was called out on Strava for breaking park rules after a rainstorm, I realized that, perhaps, living in seasonless, dry, Northern California, I’ve grown used to running wherever and whenever I feel like it, unaware of official or unofficial rules of trail stewardship. Now that the weather has turned glorious and the trails beckon, I thought it would be a good time to brush up on my own knowledge of trail etiquette.