With the weather this weekend it seemed like a good time to remind people about when not to use the trails.  Our trails hold up well to the amount of use they get and because they get so much traffic they tend to be very compressed and shed water well, especially with the 1000’s of drainage features we have installed and clean out each year.  Because of this my rule of thumb is after it rains, if the roads in town have dried out, the trails are good to go.  That comes with some caveats.  Another thing I look at is the total rainfall, usually 0.3 inches of rain in a 24 hour period is what the trails can handle before they get saturated.  So if it rains hard 3 days in a row the trails might be muddy for a bit longer.  Then when you throw colder temperatures into the mix things get tricky.  When there is a good freeze thaw cycle each day the trails tend to be good/frozen in the morning, followed by a thaw period where the top frozen layer of dirt gets really slimy, you know that kind of mud that sticks to everything.  Then if its sunny, by the afternoon they tend to dry out and be at a good tacky consistency.  With all of this use your own judgement and be aware of what activity you are doing on the trails.  While you may be able to use a trail on foot or bike shortly after a storm, riding a horse may have more impact and it may be better to stay on the roads where the surface is more compact and rocky.  In general take the time to look behind you and see what type of tracks you are leaving and think of the poor trail workers who have to fix those foot prints, hoof prints, and tire ruts.  So get out this afternoon while its nice and if you’re looking for a rainy day project on Saturday morning come out to Wyoming Public Lands Day and volunteer at one of the many projects around the valley.