Over the winter we received consistent feedback that Section 26 needed some love. We had already scheduled a work weekend on this section, but wanted to see the damage for ourselves to make a plan. So Amy and I happily pulled on our hiking boots and headed east to the woods surrounding Green River Reservoir. I’m very fond of Section 26, mainly because it was the first section of Catamount Trail I got to know. Having spent time working on this trail makes me eager to go back and spend more time there. It’s a lovely trail through the woods following old trails and abandoned snowmobile corridors. The trail passes by several beaver ponds, along the eastern edge of Green River Reservoir, and over small streams on its way north. Several trout ponds are tucked into the woods nearby.
A few miles up the trail from Garfield Road, we started to see why folks had been calling. For nearly 2 miles, the trail was a mess. Many large trees were snapped 20 feet up and fallen across the trail. Entire swaths of smaller saplings were bent over the trail. Our pace slowed to a crawl as we climbed over and ducked under fallen limbs every 50 meters. It would have been even slower going on skis. We were so busy moving forward we didn’t take any pictures. Clearing this damage will be a big, rewarding project.
We made it as far as the Wiley Brook crossing, near where the trail turns into Section 27. At a major intersection, we found leftover structures from the snowmobile heydays in this section of forest. While the snowmobiles no longer cruise through here, skiers benefit from their former presence on this wide corridor.
Having (hopefully) seen the worst of the damage, we turned around and headed back to the Reservoir for a lakeside picnic. After a hot, buggy morning, it was nice to cool off in the breeze coming off the lake. Later on, we spotted a turtle crossing the trail, perhaps making its way to a lunch spot, too. Once we made it back to Garfield Road, we headed south for a mile to check out a different portion of the trail. Luckily, those areas made it through the winter okay, and the trail there only needs a lopper haircut. I was glad to see our new footbridges still in place after their first winter.
The to-do list is long, so we are hoping to recruit a big team of volunteers to help us out on the Trail Work Weekend in July. If you’ve got some time July 11-12, please come lend a hand to restore this great section of trail.
Join us for a Trail Work Weekend!
July 11-12 on Section 26
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.