Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Trail Crew Toughs It Out

They arrived this morning and began their day by hiking up one of our steepest trails ... then proceeded with a 2 mile snowy hike to Bear Cliffs to begin a trail rehab project at the overlook.  I should also mention that it was a mere 19 degrees and they were working at 4,000' in elevation.

As many of you may know, the current Bear Cliffs trail takes you over some sketchy boulders and across a crevasse to reach the overlook.  This particular group, known as the Midweek Crew, came the rescue.  They are a group of retirees from the Roanoke region who hold numerous years of trail work under their belt.  Many have helped maintain the Appalachian Trail along with other trails in the surrounding area.

They are a tough crew!  I hiked up after lunch and caught them in action -- I was shocked at how much had been completed in only 2 hours.  The new connector trail is a much needed addition to our trail system and we are quite excited to utilize it this season.

In addition, the Midweek crew will also be doing some clearing on the Indian Trail which is quite overgrown.  They will also be working on recreating all of our trail signs so that they are  uniform and provide clear directions to trail users.  I also have another volunteer from Virginia Tech who is redesigning our trail maps to make them easier to interpret and reflect trail changes.  Our new maps will also correlate with the color blazes on our trails. 

We are honored to have such wonderful volunteers helping us at Mountain Lake.  Stay tuned to see the finished trail!