Over the last month, The Forest Service and The Pisgah Conservancy have overseen a number of trails-related projects on the Pisgah Ranger District. In addition to the Moore Cove retaining wall which you heard about last month, we have replaced a failing footbridge on the Exercise Trail and we’ve replaced the old decking on the Art Loeb Trail steel bridge over the Davidson River. We completed these projects once again with the Conservative Anabaptist Service Program (CASP), a group of 18-25 year-olds, many carpenters and construction workers, voluntarily serving the National Forest.
The old footbridge on the Exercise Trail was beginning to fail into an eroding stream bank and a new bridge with a longer span was needed. The CASP group disassembled the old bridge, poured large concrete footers for the new bridge, moved the 500+ lb stringers in place with help from the Forest Service, and expertly added decking, handrails, and steps to the structure. The final product is quite the impressive structure! The Exercise Trail is a heavily-used loop for hikers and runners alike and we expect this bridge to greatly improve the visitor experience.
We also replaced the wood decking on the Art Loeb steel bridge over the Davidson River. This bridge’s decking had seen better days over the years, with the Forest Service having to patch over multiple areas. CASP worked diligently, rain and shine to re-deck the bridge, remove the old boards – many of them rotten in places – and fasten down the new boards by drilling into the steel decking supports. The work was slow-going and methodical, but the CASP crew managed to finish the project with one of their last days on the District. This bridge now has safer, more aesthetic decking on it and is a great improvement to the much-used Art Loeb Trail and the Estatoe Trail that connects to it.
Thanks goes out to CASP for their dedication and hard work volunteering with the Pisgah Ranger District for the month of February. A number of recreation and trails projects became much easier with your help – we can’t wait to have you back!
The National Forest Foundation (NFF) awarded a Treasure Landscapes grant to The Pisgah Conservancy which funded both the Exercise Trail bridge and Art Loeb bridge projects. To find out more about NFF, visit www.nationalforests.org.
You can also learn more about the Conservative Anabaptist Service Program (CASP) here.
March is proving to be a big month for initial planning steps leading us towards Pisgah Pride Day (April 27th). I’ll be spending much of the rest of the month and next lining up trails projects and meeting with our volunteer club crew leaders on the District about leading these projects. Also stay tuned as we finish out work funded through our NFF grant by working on fixing muddy areas of the Estatoe and Exercise Trails.