Friday, August 28, 2015

Trimming and Trail Preparation is underway...

It's hard to believe that it actually took me until the month of August to begin trail work out at Lake Ahquabi this year. Not until August? Well, plenty of things contributed to that late beginning of trail work including me being involved in doing a lot of trail work at Banner as well as Center earlier in the summer. Toss in weather issues making it too wet earlier to get out there, and finish that off with me being out of town for all of June and up until mid-July. However, my attention is now on getting the trails at Lake Ahquabi in pristine condition. Bob Matthews has been at it as well and is doing quality work to get the trail system whipped back into shape.

It will come as no surprise that the amount of rain this year has contributed to incredible growth of the side and top canopy, weeds, grass and of course erosion. Last year, the tornado that hit Lake Ahquabi required massive attention on removing all of the fallen trees. One of the large trees left over from last year could be ridden under last season without removing it, but this year had fallen enough to require removing. Bob and I took it on with his Stihl chainsaw. He taught me how to use the tool and I am hooked!


I opened up the rest of the East Loop using my Earthquake Viper...


I've used the Viper so much this summer at Banner, Center, and now Ahquabi, that the bushings on one of the wheels are shot and need replacing!

This year is not as challenging as last year in terms of all the heavy tree removal, yet it is challenging to remove all of the trimming that has been done to open up the trails using the sickle. The trails are now open, but clearing of the debris is underway with plenty more debris to remove from the tread and toss into the woods. It takes about 2-3 hours every 100-200 yards to clear all the debris in the northern loops, so it is slow going up there. The main loop should go quicker, but I am also raking the tread to get rid of all the collected small twigs and sticks that can ruin derailleurs and spokes. Manual labor intensive - yes, but the end result will be worth it.

Bob Matthews posted up a good video on the Facebook Page of the progress he made after 5 1/2 hours of debris clearing yesterday in the east Mickey Mouse ear loop.

We could certainly use some help out there clearing debris. If you go out for a ride, you will quickly see what it is and where it is. If you can spare an hour or two of your time to throw the trimmed branches and limbs off of the trail and deeper into the woods - that would be great and much appreciated by all trail users (hikers, runners, bikes). Or even if you stop during your ride and toss two or three branches or limbs off the trail - that would be great as well.

Grooming and debris removal will continue as the next few weeks unfold.

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