Crow’s Nest: Volunteers rock Horse-Shoe Trail
By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager. Photos by Jim Moffett and Daniel Barringer.
After last week’s snowstorm I thought our scheduled volunteer weekend at Crow’s Nest to work on the Horse-Shoe Trail was doomed. However, not only did all the people who signed up to come still show up, but several more people joined them! Natural Lands volunteers partnered with those from the Horse-Shoe Trail Conservancy to make this project happen.
Volunteers moved tons of gravel a couple hundred yards in wheelbarrows through uneven terrain to create a raised “turnpike” to get the Horse-Shoe Trail out of the mud. On the first day we loaded the power wheelbarrow (top photo) to move the gravel closer to the work site. Geotextile fabric was laid in the mud of the existing trail, then a web plastic was spread to create cells to contain the gravel. Other volunteers cut wood to line the trail edge to hide the sides of the plastic webbing.
The logistics of this project were daunting—it’s a half mile walk in from the closest road to this site and getting materials, tools, and people onsite was a major project, especially with the snow and mud. This weekend we worked with three shifts of incredible volunteers. After the power wheelbarrow broke down we continued the project with shovels and wheelbarrows, muscle and willpower.
This was the third weekend of this project this year, and bad weather and equipment difficulties have persisted. But very little is left to be done, some time next year when things dry out again.
The eroded channel of the old trail has been replaced with a pleasantly meandering path through the woods that is firm and dry. Below, the final step: running a mechanical tamper over the gravel to create a firm surface.
So far I have only a few photos that were taken this weekend. If you have some you’d like to share please send them over!