Pictures and Story by Larry Gomes
Our second trail work day of the season was another nice day with dry conditions that proved to be a great work day. WMRR Vice President Mike Godbout and Asst. Trailmaster Larry Gomes started out early on Saturday morning to pick up where they had left off last weekend - trying to relocate the trail along the power line along the west tree line.
Last Saturday the crew had worked their way north from Rt.110B up to the junction with the Mahoosuc Inn trail. This Saturday they decided to start at State Garage Road and work their way south to avoid some of the wet areas they ran into last weekend.
They piled the equipment onto the ATV and slowly crept south looking for any obstructions that could prevent the trail from being moved. Other than several downed trees, there was nothing that looked like it would prevent the trail from being relocated.
Once Mike and Larry reached the Mahoosuc Inn trail junction, they turned around and started clearing the downed trees and marking the sides of the trail with grade stakes. By lunch time, they had arrived back at State Garage Road, amazed at how quickly the relocation was completed.
The only problems they encountered other than the blow downs, were several dozen large 2' deep holes and a lot of waist deep brush. Along the way, they decided on a plan to deal with both problems. A tractor with a mower attachment would be used to cut the brush down along the dry part of the trail. Along the wet sections of trail, hand held brush cutters would be used. Any deep holes would be filled with bales of hay.
This would allow the trail to be opened without having to do any excavator work - an especially important consideration in a year where there will be little or no funding available for trail work due to the big decrease in registrations.
After having lunch, Mike and Larry were joined by Dalton Binette and the three returned to the middle part of the trail where the brush was thickest and proceeded to cut down any brush that was bigger than a pencil. After spending a couple of hours clearing brush, the thickest brush had been removed and they figured the remaining brush could be cut by a mower in the fall.
Here are some pictures from last Saturday:
Mike drives a stake to mark the
edge of the trail. After the stakes were set, orange diamonds
were screwed to the stakes to make they more visible.
Mike cuts one of the many blow
downs along the tree line. One of the trees on the ground showed signs of
a groomer and
drag going over it and that was the first sign we found that there was a trail here many years ago.
On the right side of the
picture you can see one of the trail markers on the tree-line side of the trail.
The ATV is parked in the middle of the relocated trail.
In the background you can see one of the several wet areas along the existing trail. Notice how dry it is in front of the ATV.
This is because the water has enough elevation on this side of the trail to flow and does not collect in a puddle like it does on the existing trail.
This is a close up view of the
wet area shown in the background of the previous picture. In good years, this
puddle would freeze up.
In bad years, this is one of several areas that would stay wet and muddy creating a hazard for riders.
Here is a topo map showing the
relocated trail. Not only does the relocated trail avoid several wet areas,
but the amount of snow along the tree line is much greater than the existing trail in center of the power line.
That is due to the sheltering effects of the trees blocking the wind and allowing the snow to fall along the tree line.
Many thanks to Mike, Dalton and Larry for their work on relocating this trail. More work is scheduled to be done on this trail in the fall and we will be looking for volunteers to help. Please stay tuned to the WMRR website for more information or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to help.