Don’t be stuck in a rut! That’s the message from staff at the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and Mat-Su Trails and Parks Foundation. They're urging people to be careful when hiking or biking around the Valley right now.

With the early break-up and sunny weather, many people are eager to hit the trails, but even though the ground is frozen in the morning, it can turn to a muddy mess by the afternoon.

Walking or biking on the soft surfaces creates deep ruts that can be costly to fix.

“There's not a lot of money for that so being able to stretch that investment as far as possible,” said Wes Hoskins, the executive director for the Mat-Su Trails and Parks Foundation. “I think it's everyone's good duty as good stewards of this area to kind of wait on recreating.”

While the Mat-Su Borough can’t officially close trails, it does have a list of places it recommends people avoid until the trails harden.

Right now the list includes the West Butte (stair side) trail head and the Crevasse Moraine system.

In the meantime, there are paved bike trails around the Valley as well as groomed ski trails in Hatcher Pass and Government Peak Recreation Area.

“I know the riverbank by the Matanuska bridge outside of Palmer is very popular. It’s a great alternative. You’re not going to disrupt that trail since it’s just open river bank,” said borough trail specialist Alan McClain.

McClain said he’s going to ask people to stay off the Lazy Mountain, Mat Peak and Pioneer Peak trails for the next week or so as well.

For Alaska State Parks conditions visit the state's website.

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