TRAIL MAINTENANCE 2013
by Richard Sullivan
2013 Maintenance Hours Click on link to view 2013 Trail Maintenance Hours and Awards
2012 Maintenance Hours Click on link to view 2012 Trail Maintenance Hours and Awards
2012 Maintenance Reports Click on link to view 2012 Trail Maintenance Reports
Report Trail Issue Click on link to report an issue on a trail we maintain
Thursday, May 9th: Another nice weather work day, we owe someone some thanks (looks like the rain pattern has shifted to the weekends). Today was our annual ATV trip to the start of Chunky Gal trail at the AT in the Deep Gap area. Thanks to Bill Champion and the FS personnel who carted us up there today. Even with their help it was still a long tiring day. Our crew today consisted of Bob Stone, Frank Retter, Steve Dennison, Jay Noe, Jack Dugger (welcome back!!), Steve Jersey, Tom Shope, Gary Carter, and I. After the long windy ATV trip to the top, we started the long trip down. There were lots of wildflowers out, and fields of ramps. We had plenty of trees down across the trail to keep us busy, and also lots of brush to cut and lop. It looks like the bears are starting to get active, we say pile after pile of bear poop. With all the hard work that our crew put in today, no one should have any trouble sleeping tonight. Thanks to all who came out and worked today.
Thursday April 25: Finally a great weather day to work on the trail. We had 8 show up to work today, Tom Shope, Jay Noe, Steve Jersey, Gary Carter (welcome back), Frank Retter, Michael O'Brien, Steve Dennison, and I. We headed off to Fires Creek only to discover that they are working on the bridge over Fires Creek on Fires Creek Road, so we had to backtrack and come in from the other side, wasting 20 minutes. When we got up FS 6176 we were in the clouds, but after only a short walk up the trail we broke through and have great views back toward Hayesville and the lake. The brush on the trail was quite heavy and we had 2 brushcutters going, there was also quite a bit on downed limbs and trees on the trail. By lunch, we had worked into Big Peachtree Bald, and had a nice lunch with views there (Still no leaves on the trees at 4100ft). We then continued on to Will King Gap. It was a long day, and everyone was pretty tired by the end, but the views, weather, and company was well worth it. Thanks to all who came out and worked. No trip next week, but on May 9th, we have the Forest Service carting us up to the start of Chunky Gal on ATV's to work that stretch of trail.
Thursday, April 18th: After our heavy deluge of rain last night, I was a little worried about the condition of the Arkaquah trail. We had a great turnout today, including
Steve Dennison, Frank Retter, Michael O"Brien, David Kuykendall (ret USFS), Dave Workheiser (new member - welcome to the crew), Donald Coggin, Jay Noe (welcome back from FL), Wes Clonts, Tom Shope, and I. We decided to remain as one large team, and work the whole trail from the top to the bottom. After dropping off some cars at Trackrock, we continued up to Brasstown bald, and to our surprise we were in the clouds with wind gusts of 15-20 mph and cold temps. It was good to get moving on the trail. With all the help we had, we were able to do lopping, slingblade work, hand saw removal of downed trees, and cleaning waterbars, deberming the trail and creating some "nics". The new rock stairs at Blue Bluff are holding up well, but we did have to clean quite a bit of leaf litter and soil off them that had washed down the hill. Later in the morning, Taylor Hamilton (USFS Forestry Tech), started up the trail from the bottom clearing waterbars, and then bringing up a chainsaw to cut a large tree near the bottom. Under mostly cloud cover and with the wind, the day stayed cool, and it was a great day to work in the woods. The trail is back in great shape again. Thanks to all who came out and worked today. Please keep Jack Dugger in your thoughts and prayers, with the loss of his wife this week.
Thursday, March 28th: Today we went out to work in Fires Creek, the weather was great, and while the group was smaller than the last few weeks, we did have some top notch workers. We took the truck up to where the Rim trail crosses FS 6176 for the second time, and then headed down the trail with our clearing tools. The crew today was John Quinlan, Tom Shope, Michael O'Brien, Phyllis Jones, and I. There was work for everyone, with some trees to cut, lopping and brushing to do, and some blazes to replace. Overall the trail looked pretty good, and the views and waterfall were great. Thanks to all who came out and worked today.
Thursday, March 14th: With early morning temps in the mid 20's, we still had 8 show up to work today!! We set out at 9am headed for Perry Gap and the Chunky Gal trail. When we got up there (and avoiding the logging truck), John Quinlan took Bronco, Tom Shope, and Steve Jersey up the trail to Boteller peak working the trail, while myself, Mike O'Brien, Steve Dennison, and Wayne Hamilton worked in north for 2 miles to Tate Gap. We could not have asked for better weather, with abundant sun, light breeze and cool temps for working. Both teams found lots of downed limbs on the trail, and moderate saw work, and the northbound crew did quite a bit of brushcutting. The Trail was in great shape when we were done, and we knocked out 5 miles. Thanks to all who came out and worked.
Thursday, Feb 28th: The last day of the month proved to be quite cold and windy with occasional snow flurries, we had a total of 10 turn out for this Georgia trip. We broke into 2 groups: I took Michael O'Brien, Bob Stone, Frank Retter, Steve Dennison and we went to clean up the Lake Chatuge trail, and John Quinlan led a team with Tom Shope, Steve Jersey, Bronco, and Wayne Hamilton and they went to Coleman River Trail. The Lake Chatuge trail was in pretty good shape, with only 2 new trees across the trail that needed to be cut, and light lopping and brushcutting. The team that went to Coleman River had quite a bit more work, with 8 large trees that had fallen across the trail that required chainsaw work, and Lots of heavy lopping required and relatively light brushcutting. The 2nd and third bridges on the trail are also in poor shape and need some repair work on them. Thanks to all who came out on this cold day.
Thursday, Feb 21st: With 30 degree weather, but prospects of a 50+ degree day, and clear blue skies (for a change) we headed out to Tusquitee Gap on the Chunky Gal trail. As usual we had a great team show up, including Bronco, Steve Dennison, Steve Jersey, Candy Retter, Bob Stone, Tom Shope, and I. We hit some patches of snow on the road on the drive up, and the road is getting worse getting up there, but we made it (Thanks Tom for driving). At the trailhead, we realized we would be walking in quite a bit of snow. We went uphill and entered a winter wonderland, passing through up to 4 inches of snow on the trail and in the woods. There were about 10 trees over the trail we had to remove and quite a bit of lopping and brushcutting, but mostly just throwing dead branches off the trail, we worked in past the gap with the stairs, and up the section of ridge trail that sustained the sever storm damage last year, and had some cleanup to do here, and there were still large branches and parts of trees that were hung up last time through, which now are dropping. We had a great day and temps topped over 60 degrees. The trail now looks great up there, thanks to the hard work of all the volunteers.
Thursday, Jan 24th: With cold weather firmly in place, and for the first work trip of 2013 (that was not raining), we had a great turnout, with 14 volunteers showing up. With the crowd, we split into 2 teams: I took one team (Pam Sullivan, Mike O'Brien, Frank and Candy Retter) to Cooper Creek to finish up the Yellow Mtn Trail, and John Quinlan took a team (Steve Jersey, Bronco Burnsworth, Dave Richardson, Wes Clonts, Steve and Nancy Dennison, Judie Kean, and Wayne Hamilton) to Raven Cliff Falls to work that trail. In Coopers creek we found multiple down dead Hemlocks down on the trail, with a moderate amount of lopping and brushcutting. Over at Raven Cliffs, the team cut 7 to 8 moderate sized trees with hand saws, did lopping, picked up quite a bit of trash, cleaned water diversions, and improved some low lying wet areas with rock armoring. Then had quite a nice surprise at the Falls with lots of water crashing down, and passed many dayhikers on the trip. Now both of these trails great shape thanks to all these hard workers. Thanks everyone, what a great way to start 2013!!!