Fall is in full swing in Pisgah and it’s a great time to be out on our trails! While I have been able to get out and work with more of our volunteer crews – such as the “Pisgah Cowboys,” a small group of determined mountain bike trail maintainers – I have also been doing a good amount of coordination and planning for trail projects and trainings in the near future. This work includes getting ready for trail training courses this Spring and piecing together potential work projects for next Pisgah Pride Day.
In exciting news, the Cantrell Creek Trail Relocation and Stream Restoration Project has gotten a big step closer to reality due to a repair of the Turkey Pen Ford across the South Fork Mills River. This repair project, completed by the Forest Service, will not only make it easier for equestrian riders to cross the ford, but will allow for trail-building equipment to more easily make its way to the construction site of the new trail. The repair itself fixed both entry-points to the river but focused on the western bank, where erosion had created a steep, washed out incline.
The next step for Cantrell Creek will be putting in a flag line for the new reroute of the trail. This process should be completed by the end of November and will allow trail construction to occur through the winter.
This month I will be riding with the Backcountry Horsemen of Pisgah into Shining Rock Wilderness in order to clear downed trees from the Little East Fork Trail. Since we’ll be in designated wilderness, our crew will be using primitive tools like crosscut saws and axes to clear the timber. Another trip this month will be a couple of overnights partnering with the Forest Service and the Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (SAWS) in order to clear trees and do trail maintenance in Middle Prong Wilderness on the Green Mountain Trail.
Both of these trips will hopefully lead to more partnerships over remote, backcountry trail maintenance, of which the District has many needs. Continue to stay tuned as I begin to develop more trail volunteer opportunities and as next Spring comes closer, bringing potential trail maintenance trainings.