AMC Volunteer Trail Work – June 4, 2011
Here in New Hampshire there are more than 4,000 miles of hiking trails. From climbing mountains and ravines to exploring thick forests to crossing streams, bogs, and wildflower fields, the New Hampshire trail system covers all types of terrain.
Most of us take for granted the rock staircases, log pathways, and water drainage that make our trails enjoyable and easy to navigate. Have you ever stopped to think about who made that bridge over the muddy part of the trail, or who stacked the rocks that got you across the creek? Often times it is volunteers, made up of hikers, and people who love the outdoors just like you and I.
To celebrate National Trails Day on June 4th, the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) kicked off its first of four volunteer trail-work projects in Crawford Notch State Park. The AMC provides tools, equipment, and the leadership to get you involved with trail maintenance. These events are open to all ages and experience levels. The Crawford Notch event brought out several hiking clubs, the Leave No Trace organization, as well as numerous families and individuals.
The AMC’s organization and leadership is what made this event so successful and inspiring. After scouting out problem areas on the trails around Crawford Notch, the AMC leaders assembled four work groups, each heading out on different trails with axes, shovels, saws, and pickaxes.
The AMC leaders were fun and informative. Each job came with full instruction and demonstration. The leaders demonstrated and provided full instruction. This type of event is a great chance to learn the proper way to swing an axe, fell a fallen tree, or divert water from a muddy section of the trail.
My group was assigned the Elephant Head Spur Trail and tasked with creating a water runoff that included a drainage and log steps to serve as check dams. The construction was entirely organic. We used fallen trees, rocks, and mineral soil, all recycled from the immediate area. It was very rewarding to see our section of trail transformed into a sustainable path that hikers will use for years to come.
With three more volunteer events this year, it is not too late to join AMC in their mission to preserve our trails. The remaining trail workdays are July 23rd, August 6th, and September 24th. To volunteer, contact Ashey Tetu at (603) 466 2721 extension 8156.