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Beavers Flood Part of the Appalachian Trail

A group of the crafty rodents rerouted a creek onto the path in Massachusetts.

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Fires, snow, aggressive bears: Long trails put reroutes in place for all sorts of reasons. Now, we can add a new one—beavers.

On Friday, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy wrote that a family of beavers had flooded a mile of the trail in Massachusetts, located near Tyringham. In a blog post, the ATC said that heavier-than-usual rains had caused the beavers to relocate closer to the trail from nearby Hop Brook. The rodents subsequently built a dam, causing water from the brook to flow directly onto the path.

While the flooded section of trail is technically not closed, the ATC suggests that hikers avoid that section via a short reroute shared on its site.

“We expect this water to recede shortly and for the beaver family to move back to their original homes,” the group said.

Beavers are the second largest rodents in the world and the largest in North America, weighing in at approximately 40 to 70 pounds, and their dams can have major effects on the environment where they live, including, occasionally, its hiking trails. While trail closures and reroutes due to beaver-caused flooding are rare, they do occasionally occur. In 2019, a Texas park district attempted to relocate a group of the animals after their dams caused local hiking and biking trails to flood.