By Alicia Dziak

It’s that time of year when the snow has (mostly) melted, but the grass has yet to turn green. Even with only slightly warmer temps, who can wait any longer to get outside and enjoy? Don’t fret—there’s plenty of outdoor fun to be had during “mud season.”

If you’re feeling adventurous and can’t wait for the mud to dry, put on some waterproof hiking boots and tackle the area trails on foot. A great option is the trails at Holiday Valley, which lead to nearby McCarty State Forest.

Eager to get out for a hike but want to take it easy on the footwear? Allegany State Park boasts a lengthy paved biking and hiking trail that surrounds Red House Lake, as well as a shorter paved path that runs next to ASP 3 on the Quaker side. Or for a more leisurely stroll, check out Ellicottville’s Nannen Arboretum, open every day from dawn till dusk.

Trout season opened April 1, and that means plenty of opportunities to try your luck at area creeks and lakes. For more information, visit www.dec.ny.gov.

Need that extra adrenaline rush? Try whitewater rafting in Zoar Valley, where you can take a guided trip down the Cattaraugus Creek and make new friends along the way. Early spring is the ideal time to go, as water levels are at their highest. For more information, visit www.cattraftingadventures.com or www.zoarvalleyrafting.com.

Of course, April is the perfect time to get out and act like a kid again. Grab your rain boots, skip down the village streets and plan to jump in some puddles!