Seven Trailwrights gathered to make another treadway improvement
on the Artist Bluff side of the Bald Mtn./Artist Bluff Path. Bill
MacLean, Theresa Ludwick, Bernie Calder, Greg Russell, Ralph Potter,
Peg and myself.
In a section below the Bluff there were some rocks that were too high causing people to go around them causing trail creep in a short but steep section. We installed Steps to cut the grade down and screed the sides to keep traffic on the steps. We also made an earth water bar just above this same area where hikers also went around high rocks. So we removed the larger rocks and developed the used worn in area as a water bar. Blocking it off forcing hikers back onto the smoothed treadway. Two double rock steps were installed along with two single steps.
Below this section was an old wood water bar that was several inches too high and a moderately steep short section with signs of erosion. We Tore out the wood and installed a rock bar in it’s place, then installed 4 single rock steps to cut the grade. Greg was leading this project for his first one with Trailwrights. Good job!
We were about to do some more steps back where we first started but Thunder was making it’s presence with darkness and rain coming so we decided to make it a day rather than get another project started that we would not have time to finish. Arrived back at the trailhead the same time as the rains.
We were satisfied with the improvement and plan to return to finish up with more improvements. One step at a time. Unfortunately darkness prevented good pictures of the finished work. And as usual we forgot to take before but attached are two.
A total of nine Trailwrights turned out in the rain to tackle the erosion problem near the two tunnels of the Parkway. Fortunately it was only some 1/2 mile from the parking lot that allowed us to wheel in a wheelbarrow to aid in bringing back a lot of the gravel that had washed from the trail revealing some 90 feet of textile fabric. The days project included installing a rock waterbar above the granite steps to protect them and at the same time stop some of the water from washing below the granite steps and gullying and exposing the fabric cover.
A little further down we installed another water bar just above the steeper section where the fabric was uncovered, then a rock step to cut the grade some. We installed another earth water bar and two more rock steps in this same section. We hauled gravel to fill in the washed out part and regraded the entire section covering the 100 feet of fabric back over. Cleaned some 100 linear feet of ditching on each side of the trail where the waterbars empty into ending in the man holes.
Below the second tunnel we cleaned out some 80 feet of trail side ditch into a culvert that was completely blocked with silt and debris. We discovered two large 4ft.dia. steel manholes that were under 8” of silt built up since the parkway was finished, along with two more further up from that site and 2 steel culverts also plugged up from neglect. We cleaned all of them but discovered another man hole that we partially cleaned but is working. Ran out of time discovered as we were leaving the site. Meanwhile a second crew was setting 12 step stones down lower in the ground that were being ignored by hikers and had the soil around them washed away over the years or were never down to start with. Installed two more waterbars in this same section removed decayed matter that was holding water and replaced with good gravel.
We did not have time to complete the entire fabric section but for now it is recovered and protected until it can be finished. It needs more steps to cut the grade. If only we could obtain more of the granite we used previously for more steps. We were wet by this time (3pm) and we all moved up the notch to our Bald mt. /Bluff trail where we proceeded to take out a 2 foot large blowdown across the trail some 200 feet up from the jct. of Bald towards the Bluff. Considering the conditions we had a great time, not too wet but we did get a little muddy doing all the things our mothers would tell us not to do. Totals for the day Mt.Pemi. Trail 9 Trailwrights X 6.5 hours = 58.5 hours. Bald Mtn./ Artist Bluff Loop 7 Trailwrights 3 working 4 watching and helping clean up (why should we be different?) 7 X 1 hrs. – 7 hours 2 Trailwrights cleaned waterbars on Bald /Mtn. Trail 2 X 1 hrs. = 2 hours Total = 9 hours