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Hikers warned of dangers from weakened trees on rural trails

MARIN COUNTY -- While the rain and wind have moved out of our area, we're literally not out of the woods yet when it comes to storm damage and danger.

Hikers say it's extremely tempting, especially since the waterfalls are spectacular after the storm, to head out on rural wooded trails.

But authorities are warning people the trails pose a danger with trees holding an excessive amount of water and the soil over-saturated.

Some hikers in Marin County put their boots on to see the waterfall at Buck Gulch Falls. 

"It's the strongest we've seen it," said Joseph Smith.    

Joseph and and his wife Carol moved to the area just a couple years ago. They try to come out on this trail everyday.

The trek to the waterfall has been impacted by the storm. Three years ago,  there was just a trickle of water flowing down the falls. 

Now swelled into a powerful stream by storm runoff, it's making hiking the trail treacherous downstream. Angela Ernst found a clever way to get across the creek, but added -- "You definitely should be careful."

Part of the trail is now covered by a raging creek, but after getting through the obstacles, many of the hikers say it was worth it to see the waterfall.

"Unbelievable," Ernst said. "Gulch Falls is something to see. Impressive."

Earlier this month, a mother hiking with her son's Boy Scout troop died after a tree fell on her on a trail just outside of Cupertino.

"I think I would be somebody who would be concerned about that because in my hometown, a tree fell on one of our trails and unfortunately somebody died,"  Ernst said. "So I guess I'm willing to take the risk to be outside in this incredible land we live in in Marin County so it's worth the risk for me."

Hikers say they try their best to be careful and stay on trails that have been well maintained. 

"We're careful," Carol Smith said. "We look at the wood to make sure it's solid. Otherwise, we worry but it's not worth risking our life but I don't feel dangerous."

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