Each spring, with the advent of mud season, the Town publishes the following set of, “frequently asked questions.”
“The water for which we may have to look
In summertime with a witching wand,
In every wheelrut’s now a brook,
In every print of a hoof a pond.”
– from Robert Frost’s, “Two Tramps in Mud Time”
What is mud season?
Vermont’s unofficial “fifth season,” mud season occurs during the transition from winter to
spring, when the many miles of dirt roads in Vermont become muddy, rutted, and occasionally
impassable. In Waitsfield, nearly two-thirds of the road miles are unpaved.
Why does mud season happen?
Excess water produced by melting snow and ice does not have anywhere to go (the ground may
still be frozen, for example, preventing absorption). With nowhere to go, that excess water mixes
with the road materials to make mud.
What, if anything, can be done about mud season?
Unfortunately, not much. Adding more material to roads would simply make more mud.
Improvements to subsurface materials and drainage infrastructure can help by preventing water
from reaching the road surface, but can be costly to install and would not eliminate mud.
The Road Department works hard to keep roads passable for emergency vehicles and other
traffic. Please be patient, plan ahead, and exercise caution. The Town will do what it can to keep
roads open, but may not be able to in all cases. For better or worse, mud season is a part of life in
Vermont – thankfully this unofficial fifth season is also the shortest.
If I have a question or concern, whom should I contact?
To report an issue, please contact Road Foreman Rodney Jones at (802) 496-8897, or email
[email protected] (through April 9th).