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[nct-l] west MI thoughts
The AT is only about 20 miles from my house, but I did mean the NCT, with
the 'few' being tongue-in-cheek.
>You must mean AT here. The NCT doesn't go through VA.
>Here in Charlottesville, Virginia (a few miles from the NCT), we are
>building a 20-mile semi-wilderness trail surrounding the city. The
>cooperation from landowners has been wonderful, and we find that we have
>more trail to build than time to build it. So, what we do is build the
>trail we can with the limited time, with a plan that when we get a
>we will go back to perfect the trail. If some major problem comes up on
>section, we take time out from the trail building to do needed trail
>rebuilding. This system has worked out extremely well, and we have
>several miles of new trail already this year, while taking care of two
>trail rebuilding needs- one from erosion of the temporary steps to get
>a culvert, the other from the destruction of switchbacks by an ATV.
>I think that the WMi chapter (and other chapters) could follow a similar
>plan- build the best trail you can now, which would involve two tracks,
>plans to fix the trail in the future. If you have the manpower to fix
>trail now, do it, but otherwise leave it until the manpower is
>BTW, this is essentially how the AT worked- originally it took the
>easiest route, such as roads and straight-up-straight-down sections.
>rerouting of the trail has now been ongoing for over 50 years.
> >My partner and I went for a ramble on the Lowell section of the NCT
> >to make up for the fact that we missed the mass parade on Trails Day.
> >is often the case, as I walked this section I got to thinking about
> >building strategies.
> >A couple of things came to mind that I thought I would share with this
> >list. First, I am very proud of my fellow club members, especially
> >and Doug Wilbur, for their work on this section. It is a beautiful
> >of trail. We saw wild turkey, a nesting turtle, a profusion of wild
> >flowers (the patches of purple phlox were amazing!), and a nice variety
> >song birds.
> >But we also found a high-impact campfire right on the trail, complete
> >car tire tracks, a soiled t-shirt and nearly a dozen Bud and Bud Light
> >cans within throwing distance of the fire pit (why is it that slobs
> >drink Anheuser-Busch products?). It was a real shame, but something I
> >think can be easily solved by the hiking community.
> >You see, the slobatorium was located on the only small section of the
> >in the Lowell State Game Area where the trail follows an old two-track.
> >Julie and I scattered the fire scar, covered its remains with duff, and
> >picked up the beer cans and assorted dreck. Then we talked about how
> >trail could easily avoid the two-track.
> >Why is it that we in Michigan (and elsewhere?) often chose to follow
> >two-tracks with the NCT, even when on public lands like state game
> >Doesn't this just welcome trouble (and slobs) to our trail? Why would
> >want to be affiliated with all the problems that two-tracks entail
> >dumping, Anheuser-Busch slobs, illicit behavior, paint ball, target
> >practice, deer entrails, snowmobiles, ORVs, etc.--activities prohibited
> >state game areas, but widely practiced)?
> >This is not to mention that two-tracks typically do not make for
> >sustainable trail given their low footpath, compacted soil, and
> >Just this past April I joined more than a dozen volunteers with the
> >Michigan Chapter as we spent a morning barricading sections of our
> >the Rogue River State Game Area that follow old two-tracks. I heard
> >hiker recently that many of our barricades were already dismantled and
> >the ORVs are freely roaming our footpath.
> >I wonder how much the DNR ascribes these headaches incorrectly to the
> >presence of the trail. I can see people believing that it is the trail
> >(and not the two-tracks) that attract the slobs. Yet I rarely see such
> >problems of this magnitude on our sections of trail that are 18-24'
> >Perhaps a rogue bike rider, but nary the problems I see on old
> >Would it be prudent to spend the effort to get our trail off of these
> >two-tracks? I know in the Lowell State Game Area it would only be a
> >relo. In the Rogue it would take significant work (but I suggest it
> >also greatly improve the hiking experience there!). And I'm sure there
> >opportunities for improvement elsewhere.
> >What do you think? Is it worth the effort to move the NCT off of the
> >two-tracks? Would it improve the hiking experience? What, other than
> >labor, might be the obstacles? Are there other obtacles of which I am
> >I'd be interested in your thoughts, as I think these are critical
> >our clubs complete the NCT trail building on public lands and move
> >seeking easements across private lands. I think those who neighbor
> >public lands will look to them as a model of what trail on private land
> >will be. And I'm not so sure we've put our best foot forward yet.
> >WMI Chapter
> >ps- Hey Tate, you been to the PA Headquarters lately?
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