A Trail Work Day on Cardigan, 6.9.12

At the end of last summer, I was able to work on the West Ridge Trail with Craig Sanborn who heads up the volunteer trail work efforts on Mt. Cardigan.  I’d been wanting to do some trail work as a way to give back after all the hiking I’ve done.  I enjoyed the work and this year, I thought I’d introduce Cameron to trail work, too.

Once we received work day information, Cam and I headed up to the West Ridge Trail on the Alexandria side of Mt. Cardigan to meet Craig Sanborn and get our marching orders for the day.  This day’s trail work consisted of filling in some areas with brush so that herd paths would not form, hauling five 6ft. lengths of logs up hill to the location where they would be used to replace steps and replacing two steps.

The filling in with brush portion wasn’t so bad and we worked our way up the trail, stopping and working on various spots up until we found the logs, waiting to be transported.  Moving the logs was a harder task, as we had to figure out how to get them up hill between the three of us.  Small logs may look light, but I assure you, they are not.  We got a couple of them up to the new location, and with the help of several groups of passing hikers, we got the remaining three

One of the log we hauled up, already in place as a step.

Then our last task began:  replacing some of the rotting wood steps with some of the new logs.  This part was easier than I thought, although it takes some skill to select the log of the right diameter and to make sure everything is level and secure to finish the job properly.

Cameron, although not quite full grown yet, was a big help and was happy to be outside all day, hauling brush, and toting rocks and logs.  He was happy to look back at the steps we had just put in and watch hikers descend them as if they had always been there.  For me, it was fun to look back at the projects we did last fall and see how the work was settling into the trail and accomplishing it’s purpose.

Cameron standing with some of the tools on a step we had just replaced.

Cameron enjoyed himself so much, that I didn’t even get to the end of the first section of road before he asked when we could come back and work again.  We’ll be going back at the end of next week, when we’ll get to learn about blazing and maybe get to paint some blazes on the trees.

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