The ice is melting and we're all anxious to get out on our trails to enjoy the unfolding of spring. The Conservation Commission reminds you to keep in mind the following rules and etiquette of trail use.

The trails are vulnerable to rapid degradation in a few weeks of mud season. When the ground is thawing, frozen air pockets collapse underfoot, creating potholes, erosion and hazards to people and horses. Please use caution and restraint walking at this time of year and stay off the trails when conditions are at their worst. Horses and bikes are not permitted on trails when conditions are muddy. Please refrain from trail riding until the earth has firmed up.

Remember not to cut through fields on conservation land unless on a trail. Fields are protected for wildlife and agricultural use. Riders may pass around the periphery of fields, but may not use conservation land for rings, exercise or jumping.

Horseback riding and trial biking are not permitted on secondary trails, designated by blue blazes, unless otherwise marked. Horses are permitted on primary (yellow) trails.

For the full text of policies on horseback riding on Harvard trails, see the town's website. Contact either Candy Frazer at or Conservation Agent Liz Allard at 978-456-4106 with questions. The Conservation Commission and Agricultural Advisory Commission thank you for your help.