Trail Tips Poison Ivy ‘Leaves of three, let them be’ is a familiar saying about the pesky plant that is as common as stone walls in our parks and forests. It is extremely easy to get a little too friendly with poison ivy, and you're left itching all over. Follow these guidelines to limit your exposure to poison ivy: Stay on trail and help keep trails maintained. If you maintain trails, be sure to wear long pants and shirts as well as gloves. Do not touch anything that has been exposed to poison ivy! Ticks If there is another thing that can make your skin crawl, it’s ticks. And even worse than the idea of one attaching itself to you is the diseases they can carry, most notably Lyme disease. Not all ticks carry Lyme disease, just the small black legged tick (also known as a ‘deer tick’). To lessen your exposure to ticks: Stay on trail and help keep trails maintained. Ticks love tall grasses and overgrown brush. Wear long sleeves and long pants. Tuck your pants into your socks or boots. Check yourself often. Use an insect repellent on exposed skin and clothing. Keep dogs on leash and use tick prevention. More Information on Lyme Disease: Click here Ticks Carrying Lyme NH Map Lyme Disease Primary Care More Information on Ticks: Click here Tick Update 09 Mosquitoes Mosquitoes are not just annoying creatures that leave you itching, they can also carry diseases such as West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). These diseases are spread to humans by an infected mosquito. Use these guidelines to prevent the spread of these diseases. Weeds, tall grass, and bushes provide an outdoor home for adult mosquitoes, so stay on trail and away from standing water where mosquitoes lay their eggs. Wear long pants and shirts to cover exposed skin. Also use an insect repellant that contains DEET. More information on West Nile and Equine Encephalitis: Click here. General Outdoor and Trail Tips The outdoors can be your best friend or your worst enemy. To be sure to have a great experience, be sure to follow these principles: Be prepared and HikeSafe! Make sure someone knows where you are going and the approximate time you will be returning. Wear appropriate clothing and footwear and bring extra for changing conditions. Bring plenty of food and water, even when going out on a short day trip. Make sure you have a map! Hunting is allowed in most of our state parks and forests. Be aware of hunting seasons and be sure to take appropriate steps to be visible and safe during firearms season. For more information on hunting dates, go here. Minimize your impact and remember to follow the Tread Lightly! Principles for Responsible Recreation. Lakes, rivers and streams can contain water-borne parasites and microorganisms that can cause illness. Bring your own or filter your water. Let the slowest person set the pace when hiking, biking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing. Share the trail! Wear proper safety equipment for your activity. Pack in and pack out your trash. If you have some extra room, pick up and take out trash to keep our parks beautiful! Keep pets on a leash and be familiar with our pet policy Respect private landowners. Some trails continue on to private land from state parks and forests.