April 02, 2012

Giving Back - Trail Work

This past Saturday (March 31, 2012), Mike and I headed to Montgomery County, MD to put in a few hours of work on the construction of the new Seneca Bluffs trail through the Seneca Creek watershed.

If you've ever ridden the IMBA Epic in Montgomery County, the MoCo Epic loop, you'll know that the last few miles between the C&O Canal and the trailhead at Schaeffer Farms are on road.  We had a great winter riding the trails that are maintained by MORE and others, and we figured we'd give a little back in return.

The trail that we were helping to construct will mostly eliminate that road section.  We started from the Darnstown road side of the trail and headed south -  others had already constructed a large portion of the trail heading north in the opposite direction.  Our job was to work to connect the two trails.

We were working with 10-15 other people from the Seneca Creek State Park, MORE, and local equestrian clubs.  It was a good mix of folks interested in building the trail.

Post work scones - yum!
It turned out to be a perfect day for working in the woods; not too hot and low humidity.  Given my desk job, I immediately got some bad blisters while hacking out large rocks from the trail route.

While digging up rocks, we ran across a number of large black and yellow-spotted salamanders.  Mike removed them from the trail site.

The trail, once finished, will run next to a waterfall and near a lot of rock outcrops.

After 4 hours of work, Mike and I headed off for a few miles on the recently constructed Seneca Ridge trail.

It was just constructed last year and it looks like it's been there for years.  It's now packed down and very fast.  Five an a half hours of work was probably not the best for me as I was headed to the Jefferson Cup road race the next day, but it was still a lot of fun.

Next up is to help Mike pick up trash on a section of road the Frederick Bicycle Coalition has adopted.

- Jeff

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