Hey!  Where’d the trail go?

Hey! Where’d the trail go?

Despite our best efforts, trail conditions can change over time.  Changes can necessitate some maintenance actions like improving drainage, re-contouring the trail surface or removing fallen trees.  However, there are times when the best course of action might be to put the trail in a different place.  This was the situation for the southern end of Stickman Drive.

In the spring, the bottom end of Stickman descended into a seasonal pool of water and after about 10 meters, emerged out the other side.  This is fabulous habitat for spring peepers and salamanders, but less so for mountain bikes.

Pool on Stickman Drive
Seasonal pool on Stickman Drive

So the club scouted the area to determine if there was a drier, less sensitive route to connect to the ski trail at the end of Stickman.  A potential new alignment was flagged and mapped that avoided the areas prone to spring ponding.  A proposal was presented to the landowner for the realignment and permission was granted for the work.

Clearing of the new route happened in August.

New alignment of Stickman Drive.

After the new section was ride-able, the old alignment needed to be made unride-able.  Work happened over the weekend to naturalize the old trail.  Trees, ferns and logs appeared where there had been none before!

Step 1 – Dig hole in the trail.
A tree appears in the forest.
Step 2 – Fill hole with tree from surrounding forest.
Step 3 – Make it look like you were never there.

The old alignment has been reclaimed for the frogs and salamanders, and the new alignment will develop in to perfect mountain biking habitat.

Trail? What trail?