Crow’s Nest: Fox Hill Trail completed

September 15, 2011


Eagle Scout candidate David Scheuermann has completed his project at Crow’s Nest: the design and building of our new Fox Hill Trail and a bench along the route upon which to rest and contemplate the woods.

The trail, marked by arrows shown above, connects two sides of the Deep Woods Trail without crossing over the ridge into the Mine Run valley. So it’s a scenic shortcut that keeps you on the ridge known locally as Fox Hill. I collected a GPS track while walking it today; it’s about 500 yards long. It took me about eight minutes to walk briskly; normally I’ll walk more slowly here to enjoy the wildflowers and views. It gradually rises from about 580 to 650 feet above sea level.

I gave David some design objectives, mainly based on the trail building guidelines in Troy Scott Parker’s book, Natural Surface Trails by Design (Natureshape, 2004). Our trail is designed to have low maintenance needs because it continuously turns, rises, and then descends so that each section of trail drains only a small micro-watershed and therefore will be less prone to erosion.

Eagle Scout candidate David Schuermann laid out the path this spring and returned over the following months with Scouts and siblings to prune vegetation and move rocks and logs. Then he posted the trail arrows and turned his attention to the log bench.

David dug the base posts in well over 3 feet into the ground and then attached this board to serve as a base for an oak slab that forms the seat.

Here the volunteers prepare to sling the slab we milled from a red oak that fell here at the preserve, in preparation for its long trip into the woods. They have a couple hundred yards to go before they even get to the beginning of the new trail.

Here is the finished bench. I look forward to spending some time in this beautiful spot and appreciate the new access this trail provides to Fox Hill.