Mariton: Turnpike Trail Open!

October 9, 2013

by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager

The Turnpike Trail is open once again!  We haven’t had time to clear all the little sticks, so it is still a little rough walking.  If you are careful, you can now walk up the Turnpike Trail to the top of the hill.  Following is a series of photos of the Turnpike Trail taken from the same location (note the trail marker).

Turnpike Trail Series 001

Before the Hurricane.

Turnpike Trail Series 002

After the Hurricane.  Note all the open sky.

Turnpke Trail Series 003

The Trail is open again!

My good friend and great neighbor, Dan Zackey, donated his time, talent and machinery to help clear downed trees that Hurricane Sandy left piled across the trail a year ago.  The loggers removed some of the large trees during the salvage operation.  But they stayed off the trail, because I felt their skidder was too wide and would do too much damage to the stone wall that makes the Turnpike Trail so unique. Dan volunteered to help clear the trail.  (The day after the Hurricane Sandy, he and I had worked together in a similar operation to clear Sunnyside Road, to free our neighbors who were trapped by down trees.  So, I knew it would work on the Turnpike Trail.)  This summer it was too hot for me to don my protective chainsaw gear, and Dan’s backhoe was working at another location.  On Wednesday, everything came together and we were able to tackle the job in 4 hours.  It would have taken me weeks to clear it without the machinery.  Unfortunately, I was too busy to take photos while we were working.  The photos below show us clearing the road, which is exactly how we cleared the Turnpike Trail.   I like knowing that Dan has my back as we do these potentially dangerous jobs.

Clearing Sunnyside Road

I sawed the trees on either side of the road (and trail).

Clearing trail 002

Dan uses the backhoe (with clamshell) to pick up logs and move them off the road.

Dan, wife Teri, and their sons own and operate Bluestone Gardens in Riegelsville.  This is the kind of support and generosity that you get from locally owned small businesses.  I am a big proponent of supporting local businesses.  After the logging operation, Dan brought up his backhoe several mornings to move logs and grade the log landing in front of Mariton’s Nature Center.  Now, he has donated another day helping open up the Turnpike trail.  He even removed some stumps in the yard before he was finished.  Try to get that kind of generous support from one of the box stores.