Pisgah Pride Day is almost here and there are an exciting number of trail projects lined up for our busiest volunteer day of the year! We’ve been staying busy in March and April putting up our Pisgah Pride banner, gathering building materials needed for projects, and doing all the other prep-work for projects we look to complete during the event.

Two of the biggest trail projects will be on the Exercise Trail near the Ranger Station / Visitor Center and on John Rock Trail off of Cat Gap Loop Trail. Volunteers and the Forest Service will help build turnpike with gravel and locust rails in order to raise up muddy areas along the trail. This project will be funded with grant money from the National Forest Foundation, a source that also funded the new Exercise Trail Bridge and the new decking on the Art Loeb steel bridge over the Davidson River.

The project on John Rock Trail will be a continuation of a Carolina Mountain Club project to build puncheon footbridges in a seasonally wet and boggy area of the trail. Pisgah Pride Day will involve hand-carrying 6x6 timbers to the work site and them assembling them into the bridge sections. Thanks to the Back Country Horsemen of Pisgah (BCHP), the distance they have to be carried has been cut in half. As part of prep-work for Pisgah Pride Day, the volunteer horsemen packed up fourteen 8-foot timbers and eleven 2-foot pieces the bridges will sit on. Thanks to the BCHP, the hand-carrying will be much shorter!

Other trail projects include blocking off cut-throughs on Looking Glass Rock Trail, rock work on Mt. Pisgah Trail, and drainage and rock-armoring work on Lower Sidehill, Wash Creek, and Avery Creek Trails. Most of these projects will make use of hand crews swinging tools and include a decent amount of hiking.

If you’ve been itching to do some volunteer trail work with The Pisgah Conservancy, Pisgah Pride Day will be a great time to sign up and lend a hand! If there’s a specific trail you’d like to work on, simply request one of the trails I’ve mentioned above in the comments section when you sign up.

See you on Pisgah Pride Day!