Mariton: Trails Are Open!

June 21, 2013

by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager

Mariton’s trails are open again.  The operation to remove the downed timber from Hurricane Sandy has been completed.  We are still fine tuning trails, but things are getting back to normal. 

Please keep in mind that some new skid roads were built in order to move logs during the process.  These skid trails are not open to the public.  We will allow them grow back into forest.  These areas will soon revert to rich habitat for Mariton’s wildlife.   Our present trail system provides blocks of undisturbed areas for wildlife.  These mini-refuges within the Sanctuary are an important component of Mariton’s attraction for both wildlife and visitors.  We don’t want to reduce that size of those areas by adding new trails.  Please stay on the existing trail system.

I am more aware than anyone of how different Mariton’s forest looks.  It can be shocking and disorienting to see so much open sky where there were once trees shading the trail.  Yet, every time I walk through our meadows, I am reminded how much this hill wants to revert to forest.  I mowed three of the meadows in March and they already have tree saplings that are knee high.  Many of these baby trees will be over my head by autumn.  The stone walls also tell the story of farm fields that quite successfully reverted to mature forest with no help from humans.   Likewise, the areas of the blow downs will return to forest.  With a little wise management that conversion will happen quite quickly – even on human scales.  The change will be a flash in forest time.