SCA Cleveland Metroparks Trail Corps


I have to cover what….lessons in building water bars.

Welcome to our trail crew – SCA Trail Corps Gabrielle, Miranda, Chad, Ryan, and Alexis. Follow our summer journey as we build mountain bike trails with the Cleveland Metroparks! If you want to get to know us a little better take a look back at our first Welcome Blog and you will find bios about each one of us as well as a little more history on the Cleveland Metroparks! You can continue to follow our crew and our adventures through August 15th 2014. 

Water Bars…perfectly placed timber (sometimes stone structures) placed on a hill that look amazing once place that you then cover with a dirt mound so it blends in with the trail. The purpose is to help direct water off of your trail and reduce the water erosion on the trail. With that being said this week the crew learned a very valuable lesson in trail work…The best trail work is work that cannot be seen. In this case several members after much protesting and questioning finally covered their perfectly placed timber post water bars with dirt. Why do we cover with dirt? 1. Due to this being a horse trail you do not want structures that stick up off the trail as the horse could kick the structure and potential cause harm to the horse and rider. 2. The horse may not be familiar with this type of structure and not want to step over wooden post. 3. We do not want water draining directly next to the wood as it would over time wash our sturcture away. Thus, we cover the post with a nice well shaped dirt mound so it blends in with the trail. 

We are currently working on the Bridle Trail on the lower portion of the Hinckley Reservation. Due to the major flooding that happened in May (one of Gabrielle’s first nights here) this project was at the top of the list and will a few short meetings our crew was allowed to step in and help this trail open ASAP! We are currently working on about a mile of the hardest hit trail. This trail was quickly washed away with 5 inches of rain that fell in this area in about an hour that night.

This trail had no drainage built in and sadly you can see the effects that occurred. Our crew is coming in and really upgrading this trail. This week we have placed 20 water bars. We are sculpting the drains and with the recent delivery of 20 tons of dirt we began hauling dirt to fill in the holes left in the wake of the rainfall. We had our fair share of rain this week which is great to let us know where the water wants to go but turn our trail in some sections into great mud pits that turned us into what looked like creatures from the black lagoon! After digging out the super muddy parts we left our trail to dry out with this weekend’s great weather so we can then continue our sculpting! We have seen several salamanders, grubs, and more worms than one can count…as stated by Ryan “Due to all our digging we are going to be on the Worm’s Most Wanted list!”

During all of our digging we kept digging up these white roots that smelled like onions but looked like garlic. Upon further investigation we learned that this reservation and several of the other reservations have these…what are they you ask? RAMPS! We were given one to cook and taste. On this note as a visitor to these parks you are NOT allowed to just go digging up their ramps as this can result in fines!

After another long week we started our weekend off with another farmers market – Medina Square Farmers Market located in Medina, OH. What a great community example this town has set and amazing farmers market with over 50 local farmers. See pictures below of our haul that will feed us all this week!

The boys took the night to go to an Indians game and tomorrow we will be going to CEDAR POINT! Those pictures will be in next week’s blog. Another great week of work followed by a great weekend of fun and relaxation! Peace and Love from Cleveland! 

Student Conservation Association