Trals Comm Aug 18 IMG 6317

Reg, left, and Steve clear a tree at the Lower Falls. PHOTO BY CLARDY SCHWARZ

Trails Committee serves Big Canoe

By Clardy Schwarz and Steve Papke

The workday began at 8:30 a.m., at the Big Canoe Animal Rescue parking lot to spread wood chips on low areas of the Fire Hydrant Trail. The seven-man crew—Bill, Ken, Reg, Joe, Clardy, Steve and Andrew, our newest member—used wheelbarrows to haul the chips through the woods and down the trail to be dumped where needed. Who needs a mule when such a crew is ready and willing to pull the load?

Next was erosion control on a connector path for the Blue Loop Trail near the grassy knoll, where previous placement of gravel had not stood up to heavy rains. Big Canoe’s Maintenance Department provided a truckload of rocks. We dug out and area about 6 inches deep for a drainage ditch with large stones on the bottom and smaller ones on the side. Thanks to Maintenance for the materials.

The day before, a downed tree was reported on the Lower Falls by avid hiker Sharon Miller; thank you, Sharon. Four of the crew had left to complete “honey-do list” items, so Reg, Steve andClardy cleared the tree and considered leaving part of the trunk as a seat. Before we left the area, a hiker was sitting on the tree trunk, so it’s in place for now.

There was one more job to complete that day: two large downed trees on the Covered Bridge Trail Loop, which took some effort to remove. One, about 16 inches in diameter, was lying downhill; the other was smaller but had lots of branches over the trail. What might have felt like work was fun, using a new MS 362 Stihl Pro chainsaw. At 2 p.m., the workday ended.

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