Recently, we received the following comment by a trail user:

“Two days ago my wife and I hiked the BVT from the parking area at River Rd and Adams Rd toward 115 along the river. It is our favorite hike. Both sides of the trail are bordered by a luxuriant stand of poison ivy.  This didn’t bother us, but I noticed a young girl and her mother standing on the side of the trail in flip flops in poison ivy, and bending down to coax a dragon fly onto their fingers which brushed against the leaves of the poison ivy. I stopped and let them know what they were into. They had no idea and were alarmed. I suggested they go home right away and wash as much of the oil off as they could. I’m sure this has happened before with others.”

We thank the trail user for their comment and being good stewards of the trail and as a result, we have placed signs along the trail near spots where you see a lot of poison ivy.

How to Identify Poison Ivy

Poison ivy is typically a stem with a larger leaf at the end, and two smaller leaves shooting off the sides. The leaves can be notched or smooth on the edges, and they have pointed tips. The plant is reddish in the spring, green in summer, and yellow/orange in the fall.

Here are some pictures we took of poison ivy growing along the trail while we were out installing the signs.

Some Helpful Info about Poison Ivy

Poison ivy rash is caused by an allergic reaction to an oily resin called urushiol (u-ROO-she-ol). This oil is in the leaves, stems and roots of poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac.

If you’ve come in contact with this oil, wash your skin with soap right away. Washing off the oil may reduce your chances of getting a poison ivy rash. If you develop a rash, it can be very itchy and last for weeks.

You can treat mild cases of poison ivy rash at home with soothing lotions and cool baths. You may need prescription medication for a rash that’s severe or widespread — especially if it’s on more sensitive areas of your body. Scratching rashes with dirty fingernails may cause additional inflammation. Check with your health care professional if you have any concerns about a poison ivy rash. If you think your pet may be contaminated with urushiol, put on some long rubber gloves and give your pet a bath.