Pisgah Pride Day saw over 300 volunteers come into the Forest, contributing over 1,500 volunteer hours, and helping to complete a number of important trail projects. Below is a list of the work volunteers and Forest Service staff completed at the end of last month on our trails in Pisgah. They:

  • Carried 8-foot 6x6 up John Rock Trail for continuing a puncheon bridge project through a boggy area. Carolina Mountain Club finished up the rest of this project the weekend after Pisgah Pride. The Backcountry Horsemen of America earlier helped pack these 6x6s closer to the worksite in mid-April.
  • Continued to install rock steps up near the top of Mt. Pisgah Trail, led by Carolina Mountain Club crew leaders.
  • Carried in materials and rebuilt a broken footbridge on Moore Cove Trail, led by Pisgah Hikers crew leaders.
  • Installed 22 “self-preparation” signs at various Wilderness trailheads and entry points into Graveyard Fields to help encourage hiker and overnight backpacking safety. This project was led by Haywood County Emergency Response and the Forest Service.
  • Installed grade dips and brushed out Lower Trace and Wash Creek Trails in Mills River area, as well as on Lower Explorer Trail in Bent Creek. These projects were led by Pisgah Area SORBA crew leaders.
  • Re-purposed sections of puncheon bridge on lower Avery Creek Trail in a boggy area and installed new drainages, led by “Pisgah Cowboys” Mountain Bike Maintenance Crew work leaders.
  • Installed locust fences to block user-created cut-throughs and sanded and re-stained the kiosk on Looking Glass Rock Trail. These projects were led by the Carolina Climbers Coalition and the Forest Service.
  • Built 140 feet of turn piking on the Exercise Trail near the Ranger Station to eliminate a mud hole and elevate the tread surface. This project involved lining the trail with locust log rails and filling the tread with gravel and was led by the Forest Service.

On other non-trail projects, volunteers:

  • Built a mulched and rock-lined path in Sycamore Flats in order to better access more non-native invasive plant species for future treatment, and for the installation of a pollinator garden, led by the Forest Service.
  • Helped install a new Visitor Center / Ranger Station entry sign.
  • Cleaned up 3 miles of roadside trash, led by Trout Unlimited.
  • Cleaned culverts on 4 miles of Courthouse Road, led by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Council.
  • Trimmed the view shed area of Looking Glass Falls and cleaned the steps leading down to the falls, led by the Forest Service.
  • Continued to cut and treat with herbicide a non-native kudzu patch along highway 276, led by Mountain True.
  • Participated in an educational river cleanup project on the Davidson River aimed at local 3rd graders.

In the aftermath of my first Pisgah Pride Day, I’m astounded at what we all collectively accomplished. I’ve been a part of large volunteer days in the past, but never one filled with so many unique projects, nor one with such varied volunteer support. This event to me was a prime example of the great benefit of successful partnerships with a federal land agency, in particular volunteer and nonprofit organizations all working together with the Forest Service to achieve great things.

A hearty thanks goes out to all the volunteer crew leaders, Forest Service staff, and non-profit organizational staff that made Pisgah Pride happen this spring without a hitch. And of course, a thanks goes out to all of you readers and volunteers with the Pisgah Conservancy that make Pisgah Pride a reality, each and every year.

Can’t wait ‘til next year!