The sun was shining, the breeze was blowing, the bugs were biting, and volunteers were hauling thousands of pounds of woody debris off the Catamount Trail. Just another CTA Trail Work Weekend doing its thing! This past winter took a toll on the Catamount Trail, and several areas were almost impassable for skiers. Section 26 of the Catamount Trail, near Hyde Park, VT, was especially hard hit. But thanks to a hard working crew of volunteers, Section 26 is now looking good!
Trail Chiefs Kick off the Project
The work on this section actually began several weekends ago when CTA Trail Chiefs Bill Herrington, Ed Miller, and Wayne Flewelling headed out with their chainsaws to start clearing the trail. Our advance chainsaw crew made incredible progress on the trail north of Garfield Road, giving our weekend volunteer crew the opportunity to finish the work and to make improvements for future years.
On Saturday our crew hiked into the middle of the section toting a variety of trail tools. The middle areas of trail sections tend to get the least attention because they are often several miles from the nearest trailhead (not many people enjoy hiking for hours with a chainsaw!). We spent our entire day removing trees of all shapes and sizes from a mile-long corridor. A number of large trees had fallen onto smaller saplings, creating a tension-loaded mess of debris. Taking apart these tangles safely was slow and hard work, but it was rewarding to look back on the progress we made.
After the work day ended, several of us pitched our tents in a nearby field owned by Trail Chief Marc Gilbertson. After a quick swim in Collins Pond, we fired up the grill for a BBQ and listened to the loons calling from a nearby pond. After a long day, it was good to kick back!
Sunday’s morning project was to trim and brush-cut the trail near Green River Reservoir and a series of beaver dams. This is a beautiful section of trail, and we had cooler temperatures thanks to a steady breeze. As always, the trees lining the trail had overgrown the trail, and we aggressively lopped them back to keep the corridor open. Near the beaver ponds, the trail had been overtaken by waist high woody brush. A few passes with our heavy duty brush cutter cleared the way.
We spent the afternoon clearing the trail south of Garfield Road. This was also a nice section of trail that had been encroached upon by saplings. Our crew reopened the trail here, and completed a micro re-route around a large berm.
The most unusual part of the day was that Moochie–the neighborhood cat–decided to accompany us for the entire morning on the trail. I’d never been hiking with a cat before, but we all agreed that Moochie put the “cat” back into the Catamount Trail.
A big thanks to our fabulous crew–Sam Talbot, Nate Hoover, Rich Larsen, Amy Otten, George Orsula, Nancy Banks, Julie Higgins, Michael O’Connor, Amy Kelsey, and Moochie the cat– for a great weekend on the Catamount Trail.