Pictures by Eric Johnson
Story by Larry Gomes
A crew of four volunteers took on the task of cutting back the brush along the trail around the top of Mt. Forist. This project was started 3 weeks ago but had to be postponed due to another cutting project on Cates Hill.
The crew was made up of Eric Johnson. John Higgins, Dennis "Putter" Poirier and Terry Pfaff. Dennis and Terry were part of a larger group of volunteers that came in from Pike Pond to help with trail work. The other members of their group were split off to another team that decked a 26' long bridge.
The guys were able to drive their vehicles to the log yard landing near the top of Mt. Forist and then they used ATV's to access the rest of the trail. They rode into the the Berlin overlook and then started cutting their way up the hill to the Gorham lookout. This was the section worked on a few weeks ago and it turned out they only had a short distance to go before they came into the spot where the previous team had left off.
The crew then went back to the log yard and started cutting from there towards the Gorham lookout. This section was skipped over because it was not as overgrown as the higher elevations, but it still needed work. By 1:00pm, the crew had arrived at the Gorham lookout and their job was done.
They then went back down to the WMRR clubhouse and picked up a load of scrap lumber so they could repair the bridge under the train trestle in downtown Berlin. This bridge had several holes in it that developed over the summer and it is scheduled to be re-decked next year.
Here are some pictures from the work day:
The crew arrives at the
Berlin lookout and are treated to a spectacular view. Normally you can only
get to this spot by snowmobile,
but the club received special permission from the owner to ride up this trail with ATV's to perform trail maintenance.
This is looking up the trail
to the west toward the Gorham lookout from the Berlin
lookout This picture was taken right after they finished cutting the trail back to a width
of 15-20 feet. This section of trail is one-way coming down because it is so steep.
This picture was taken
looking east towards the Gorham lookout. The crew is hard at
work widening the trail to give the groomers the room they need to get up this trail
and get around the many rocks along the way. Eventually the club will be running
an excavator up this trail to remove the rocks which will allow the trail to be groomed
in low snow conditions.
Finally the job is done and
the crew gets to enjoy the nice view from the Gorham lookout. Most of the
morning it was
snowing lightly but it cleared up after a few hours.
The total route cut over the two Saturdays
totaled 4,200 feet or .8 miles
with about a third of that
distance going through very heavy brush.
After the guys finished their cutting on Mt.
Forist, they used some scrap lumber they found at the WMRR clubhouse
to put some patches on this bridge which runs under the train trestle in downtown Berlin. This bridge is used in the winter by
snowmobiles and in the summer by ATV's. It was built in 2007 using hemlock timbers, but just six years later, those timbers
are starting to rot. The replacement deck will be built using PT lumber which should last at least 20 years.
Many thanks to Eric, John, Dennis and Terry for spending their Saturday completing these critical projects for the club. We really appreciate your help!