Project Leader: Project Dates: May 27, 2010 - September 20, 2010 Email Address:
Corridor clearing 10,560 ft
Retread 1050 ft
Check steps 18
Blow down Trees removed 60
Drainage dips installed 78
Bern removal 450 ft
Garbage removal (campsite) 48 lbs
We ha another fantastic week in the Joyce Kilmer/Slick rock Wilderness! The focus of this hitch was Stratton Bald trail. This beautiful trail is located on the western edge of the wilderness. The trail mostly follows a ridge line from Rattler Ford campground at 2000 ft 61/2 miles to Bob Bald at 5341ft. The forest is diverse along the way ranging from old growth popular stands, to Hemlock forests, and Rhododendron thickets. There are many blueberry bushes along the way to which we stop for an occasional berry here and there. Of course we make sure there are plenty for the bears! We have noticed on the ground the presence of black bears getting plenty of black and blueberries!
The group faced the challenge of digging drainage on a 0% slope in many places. The water has nowhere to go but down most of this trail, so getting a slope in drainage is a ton of work. We installed 78 drainage dips in about ¾ of a mile of damaged trail. In that one section 18 more check steps were installed and we plan to do more! Since we have witnessed all kinds of trails we are really learning why trail science has come so far! This trail was not built like they teach us today and the repercussions of that are some extreme maintaince issues due to heavy erosion.
The lower half of the trail does not have the same problems. It was well designed and is benched into a side hill. There were sections that we needed to rebench, but the trail was in overall good shape. We are also working on reestablishing the corridor on this section. The wilderness always tries to fill in a trail and we work hard to open it back up. Over 2 miles were trimmed back using loppers and the weed whip. Also 60 trees were removed from across the trail tread.
The group is all troopers about digging and lopping. Our trails have needed a bunch of work and everyone puts in their fullest each day. We had several heavy rains this week and everyone remains in good spirits. A wise man once told me “A rainy day on the trail is better than any day in an office”. I thought of this quote several times this week, and found myself smiling at the rain.