Pictures and Story by Larry Gomes
Mother nature provided a picture perfect day for our second trail work day and a crew of seven volunteers responded to our call for help. Some of the volunteers met at the WMRR clubhouse while others went directly to the starting location up at the old city landfill on Cates Hill Road.
The goal of the trail work day was simple. Cut back the brush and trees along each side of the trail so our excavator operator Matt Godbout can fit his equipment down the trail to do repair work.
The crews split into two groups; each with one chainsaw operator. One group led by chainsaw operator Eric Johnson consisted of Bob McCourt, Patty Berry and Marcella Houle and they worked the right side of the trail. The second group included Carl Bull and Dalton Binnette working with chainsaw operator Larry Gomes on the left side of the trail.
Most of the brush along the sides of the trail was smaller than 2 inches, but there was a lot of it and it was very long so much of it had to be cut in half. But the crew worked hard at it and by mid-afternoon, they had cleared about 2,000 feet of trail. There is still about 3,100 feet of trail left to clear.
Carl Bull (left) and Dalton
Binette (right) throw brush
cut down by Larry Gomes (taking the picture). When it rains, water runs
down the middle of the trail creating washouts. The excavator will establish a ditch on the high side of the trail (right side in this picture)
and create water bars to direct the water across the trail keeping the trail surface from being washed out.
Marcella Houle, Patty Berry and
Bob McCourt take a break while Eric Johnson (background( changes the chain on
his chainsaw. Marcella and Patty
are local snowmobilers who use the Cates Hill Trail to ride from their homes in Berlin. They heard about the project and decided to help. Note how much
wider the trail is now that it has been cut back. The rocks in the middle of the trail will be removed when the excavator comes through.
Eric Johnson fits a new chain onto his chainsaw. Note the large pile of brush behind him dragged off the trail by his crew.
With both chain saws running,
the 5 remaining crew members had to hustle to keep up with brush hitting the
ground. It was not
easy or the chain saw guys to stay ahead of the throwing crews. They were never far behind.
Map showing the location of the
work being done in the Cates Hill area. The club started work on these
trails four years ago with several
improvements done to PT108 in 2009 and 2010. In 2011 the club widened out the Suicide Hill trail so groomers could make a loop from
Corridor 19 over Cates Hill to PT108. Improvements to the rest of the Cates Hill trails are needed because 3' of snow is required before groomers
can safely run some of these trails due to the deep washouts and large rocks sticking out of the trail in many places.
We would like to thank the seven volunteers who came out this past weekend to help with these projects. We still plan to continue our spring trail work program until the bugs come out so stay tuned to the WMRR website for details on the next trail work day. Also remember that if you volunteer for any club projects, you will be invited to our annual volunteer party!