Joe Tipton 1

Large white pine blow-down that will be milled into the main bridge structure.

New trail and picnic area coming at High Gap Park in Big Canoe

Photos provided by Joe Tipton.

Joe Tipton is building another trail in the High Gap Park in Big Canoe. He hopes to complete it in April. That will make almost 2.5 miles of trails he has built in High Gap Park. He uses fallen timbers that he mills in the woods into lumber for building bridges, benches and steps. Joe started building trails in Big Canoe in July 2017 and works on them frequently. They have become the favorite places to hike for many residents of Big Canoe, with large trees, creeks and streams and diverse fauna.

High Gap can be reached through a connecting trail from the Blue trail or from a parking spot on Wildcat Parkway just north of Blazing Star Trail.

Joe explains what’s happening in a series of photos chronicling his new trail construction.

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Beautiful, clear white pine.

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Bridge timber with both steps cut.

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Log was milled approximately 25 yards from where the bridge installation will occur. “Here I am using a hand winch, tied off to a tree using a tree saver strap, to move the timber,” Tipton explained.

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Once the posts are secured with polyurethane construction adhesive and HeadLOK screws, the top rail is drilled to accept the round post tenons. Here a string line is being used to check alignment of the posts prior to marking the location of the holes in the top rail.

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he finished bridge.

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“The lumber from this pine tree was in such great shape, I came back after the bridge installation was complete and milled a series of 3” thick bog bridge planks,” said Tipton.

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“Here I am beginning to place the freshly milled timbers, which will ultimately create a 45-foot section of bog bridge. The bog bridge will be part of a short spur off the new trail that will lead to a new High Gap Park picnic area. I’m super excited about the picnic area and will post more photos as its construction progresses,” he said.

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