Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Trail maintenance - Featherstonhaugh State Forest ski trails

Each autumn, the Environmental Clearinghouse (ECOS) gathers at Featherstonhaugh State Forest to clear our adopted ski trails before winter. Today, a group of about 20 of us converged on the forest and gave it our best shot. We spent the morning on the figure-8 loop west of Lake Road on the map below.

There was plenty to keep us all busy, with a variety of tools including loppers, axes, saws, and our own brute strength. This large tree, and another like it, were each cut twice by a couple of men skilled with axes, and the remains rolled off the trail with considerable effort. It was amazing to watch these guys, who obviously knew what they were doing with an axe.

This bridge had been lifted off of its supports by the root ball of a falling tree, where it now rested.

It's now back in place and skiable again. It took many of us to move it off of the tree and back into place.

The trails to the east and south of Lake Road were heavily impacted by logging over the past few years, and will likely be rerouted. At any rate, that area is too wet to address in warmer weather, and we'll be going back in winter to see how things are in there.

(Thanks to Will and Nancy for the "before" photos above.)

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