BOYLSTON (CBS) – Tick season is underway in New England, and it’s already interfering with outdoor plans.

Tower Hill Botanic Garden had planned a nature walk Thursday evening on a trail at Wachusett Reservoir, but organizers have decided to cancel it “due to an unreasonable risk presented by the spike in the tick population.”

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Derek Lirange, who was supposed to lead the walk at the reservoir, found 26 ticks crawling on him as he scouted out the one-mile route.

He says he was too freaked out to take any pictures, but didn’t hesitate to protect other people by canceling the nature walk.

Derek Lirange (WBZ-TV)

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“I grew up walking in the woods and they were walking up my pants and I got to tell you I was a little freaked out, they were having a steady pace marching up those pant legs, and I did find a few underneath my pants as well, and even under my shirt,” Lirange told WBZ.

“I’m used to going out and usually picking one or two off, but 26 was really exceptional.”

The walk to look at trees recovering from the Asian longhorned beetle infestation may be rescheduled for later in the year.

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A recent Centers For Disease Control report found that the amount of tick, mosquito and flea-transmitted diseases have tripled in the United States from 2004 to 2016. Experts are urging people to protect themselves against ticks by wearing pants and long-sleeved shirts in wooded areas, and using a repellent called permethrin.