Summer is almost officially here and the Forest is buzzing with activity. Trail work is a big part of that activity as our volunteer clubs work each week to do maintenance and keep trails clear.
As another part of our National Forest Foundation grant, we hosted a volunteer work day with REI. Eleven volunteers with the company came out to help TPC, the Forest Service and the Pisgah Cowboys volunteer trail club fix numerous issues with boardwalk bridges on the Estatoe Trail and they helped carry in six 20-foot stringers and 40 sections of deck boards for a bridge going in on Sycamore Cove Trail.
On the Estatoe, the group replaced over 20 individual deck boards, along with three sections of stringers that had to be replaced. These repairs have made the boardwalk more accessible and safer for the many users on this busy trail thoroughfare in Pisgah.
In addition, REI volunteers brushed the trail corridor, cutting out overhanging rhododendron that was pushing hikers and bike riders out to the edge of usable space. Volunteers also cleared drains and fixed a small wash out with a locust rail and rock fill. In total, volunteers contributed over 70 hours of work on the Estatoe work day
More work days are planned through the summer to fix other boardwalk issues on the Estatoe Trail.
This season we have also worked on the Art Loeb Trail near the Davidson River Campground, laying gravel down in low-lying spots. This work day was a collaboration with Pisgah Area SORBA and Carolina Mountain Club (CMC). SORBA provided a UTV and operated the Forest Service’s Bobcat mini-loader for moving gravel into the UTV, and CMC helped hand-spread the gravel into place.
This tread-hardening will keep users on-trail and prevent the trail from widening further when people walk or ride around muddy areas. Thanks goes out to REI for working with us on the Estatoe Trail and to the Pisgah Cowboys, SORBA, and CMC for helping out on these work days!
We are sure to stay busy as the summer picks up and our trails get more use and more love. Stay tuned, as there will be more trail projects to report throughout the season!
To learn more about the National Forest Foundation, visit nationalforests.org