It seems like we’re entering a new phase of trail care at this time of the year. Most everyone enjoys lower temps and lower humidity, and the autumn days are some of the best to spend in the woods and on the trails.
This is all well and good, for we are finding some trail sections that have had little or early maintenance, and now are getting overgrown. So it’s really important that we get out there and stay the course. A few hard frosts will help us out, but in the meantime we’ll be at it with the mowers, brushcutters and weedwackers.
As for keeping up with the blowdowns, seems like this has been a good year for those too — or a bad year, if you are a tree.
Speaking of blowdowns, some refer to them as windfalls or crashes, but basically they are just trees across the trails, and they range from small enough that one or two people can drag them away, to some that we just look at in awe and think “We need a bigger saw.”
But I have to say our 14-inch Stihls have handled everything we’re encountered so far. Sometimes it does take some creative sawing.
Unfortunately we are going to be needing a maintainer — or two or more — for the East Fork crossover trail. This trail connects the southbound STS, at Mile-14.20 to northbound STS at Mile-73.92, giving hikers a few more options for loop hikes.
The beauty of this particular trail is that almost the entire stretch can be mowed with one of our walk-behind mowers. That and the usual branch lopping and the inevitable blowdown is the extent of its upkeep.
It’s 8.3 miles, but its ease of maintenance makes a big difference, and even can be split up into about 3-4 sections between roads, which helps a lot. It’s also quite scenic, following old RR grades, woods roads, about three small stream crossings (one with a bridge), beaver dams and some big timber.
If you are looking for a summer job that is non-paying, but quite rewarding and with lots of fresh air and good exercise, let us know.
Other than that, this fall we’ll be working at putting in some bridges, trying to mitigate some mucky spots along the trails, and placing some log benches at numerous locations. So come along anytime; you’ll like it.
If you would like your name/email put on the Trail Crew email list, let me know. No obligation on your part, just that you will be informed of our plans in case you are interested. And thanks!