Well, summer is on the wane, and we’re transitioning to autumn, bringing us to some of the nicest weather of the year.
Warm days, cool nights and a crispness to the air sort of urges us to head for the woods and the trails. And we have October, November and a lot of December yet to spend some time on our trail duties.
When the snow begins to blanket the woods it’s time for some easing up for the trail maintainers, although we still try to get out there and keep some stretches of the trails free of blowdowns for the cross country skiers. So it’s time to grab the skinny-skis and head out and join them. Quite often though we have good working conditions right up to near Christmas.
As for the next couple of months we’ve identified a few sections that we need to do some work on, mainly the Scoval Branch from our first trail shelter south at least to the junction with the Donut Hole Trail.
Also we intend to make some improvements on the Hogback Trail; there are some sidehill seeps that make for mucky crossings and we’ll see if we can put in some bog bridges for those spots.
I even have a list of minor improvements that I’d like to get done on my section which runs from Patterson Park to Sunken Branch Road. And we keep finding more stretches we can mow with the DR; it sure saves a lot of weed whacking, and makes such a nice walking path.
Then the KTA plans a bridge project for the Greenlick Run section on Oct. 24-26. Over the years the old grade has washed out in several places creating sometimes wet crossings. A log bridge and some trail relocation will solve that problem.
And the ever-present blowdowns will keep some of the maintainers busy on all of the other sections. So we’re not likely to get laid-off from this job anytime soon.
I would like to mention the importance of getting the guide-book and maps if you are going to hike the STS. We keep hearing these stories about hikers missing a turn or getting off the trail somehow, which most likely would never happen if they had with them the book and maps. They’re $15, but money well-spent.
The book has a wealth of info about the trails and lots of other things like the geology and history of the area; stc-hike.org is the place to go. Even the free DCNR public use map is a big help. It’s available at DCNR headquarters.