Trail Maintenance, Balsam Lake, Fall 2019

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trail junction

Junction of blue and red trails on the south side of Balsam Lake Mtn

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Finished my 2019 maintenance by tidying up a few things between the two junctions on the south side of Balsam Lake.

When I first took on this trail section in the spring, it hadn’t been tended to in many years and was very overgrown. It took about three hours to clear it of overgrowth, weeds, blowdowns, even young saplings growing in the middle of the trail.

Six months later, I was worried it might be the same again. But even after a full spring and summer of growth it wasn’t bad. It only took an hour to walk the mile. I tidied the trail, pruned back some growth, and cleared 3 or 4 blowdowns, including the beast below — which felt like it took 20 mins to saw through, but the timestamps on my before and after photos say it only took eight; eye-roll.

The tree below, fallen on the edge of the trail, isn’t much but it still forces people to walk around it, making a new trail that encroaches into the woods, like a trail hernia. We keep the trails clear so the rest of the woods can be left as they are.

I had the same experience tidying Lost Clove recently. It seems like once a trail is cleared, it doesn’t take much work to keep it that way. Good to know.

I’ve emailed my trail supervisor to ask for another trail section.

2300+ volunteers donate 100,000+ hours a year to the NY/NJ Trail Conference to help build and maintain trails in both states. Close to home, or at your go-to weekend trail destination, you can find a volunteer opportunity that’s right for you.

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