Trails will revert to nature and become impassable very quickly in our District without yearly maintenance. The first thing we do each year is make a survey of the Winters damage and pick up all the loose debris on the trail, tossing it to the downhill side of the trail. Next trip, we bring the chainsaws and cut out the trees that have fallen across the trail. We also take out small trees that are crowding the trail and impairing visibility. Next, we address tread issues. In our mountainous District most of our trails are cut into hillsides. Debris is constantly sliding into the tread making it no longer a flat walking surface. To keep the walking surface flat-ish, this “slough” must be removed.
How to help?
If you are an early season user, it helps if you can toss debris off the trail and report the number, location, and size of trees down. This helps the saw crew prioritize and prepare.
If you have loppers, you can cut back brush or small trees growing within four feet of the trail’s edge. Try to cut things off at the ground or at joints in the limbs. Toss cuttings downhill.
Another helpful activity is to pick off and toss loose sticks and rocks within reach on the up-side of the trail (cut slope) which are likely to roll down on to the tread later. This helps keep the “slough” from building up so fast.
Any of the above are very helpful and are great exercise. Better than the gym.