Happy New Year, and welcome to 2021! Although our days are still short compared to warmer months, they’re slowly lengthening as we move toward spring. That, in addition to the cold, brisk, clear air of winter, open vistas, and the smaller crowds of the winter season make this a great time to get out and enjoy the Forest. 

Trail Projects in the Pisgah Ranger District

This year is an exciting one for trails in the Pisgah Ranger District as we’ll begin to see the implementation of three large-scale trail projects. The projects include the construction of a new trail, the reroute of an unsustainable trail, and the heavy maintenance of a long-overlooked trail at high elevation. Each of these projects have long been in the works with multiple groups working toward their initiation, and it is exciting to see the work behind the scenes approaching fruition.

Pisgah Trail Academy Website Updates

I am also happy to announce some updates to the Pisgah Trail Academy website. This website provides standards and procedures for trail work in the Pisgah, serving as a resource and reference for our hard-working trails volunteers. Whether you volunteer with Pisgah or another organization or are just interested in the nuts and bolts of sustainable trail work, I invite you to check it out at the Trail Academy page on our website.

Here are just some of the changes you’ll see:

  • New Page on Operational Leadership - Operational Leadership addresses safety and leadership by focusing on the human/behavioral factors in safety, such as situational awareness, stress and performance, and effective leadership. This page offers a link to an 8-part online course developed by the National Park Service in partnership with the Ice Age Trail Alliance. Very good information and techniques for Trail Crew Leaders and all Trails volunteers.

  • New Pages on Locust Log Work - Details basic principles, skills, and standards for constructing locust log structures. Also includes procedures for constructing different types of structures including cribwalls, staircases, turnpikes, and more.

  • New Page on Basic Bridge Guidelines - Provides a basic introduction to doing bridge work on the Pisgah. Particular focus is placed on identifying and describing the various elements and components of a well-constructed trail bridge.

  • New photos on Drainage and Locust Log Work sections - We have added some helpful new photos to these sections to better illustrate the principles at work in these tasks.


Thanks, as always, to our hard-working trail volunteers. Thanks, also, to all of you out there for your continued support of The Pisgah Conservancy and Pisgah National Forest. Cheers to a Happy New Year of shared stewardship!

 - Jeff