Highlight of this week was kicking off another PLC crew hitch at Warwoman Dell for some major rock work.
We didn’t post a full trail report last week, but follow the link for some gorgeous photos and read about our latest Walking With Bartram hike from October 28th. Last week was almost fully focused on getting our new Bartram Trail Hiking Maps rolled out!
This week we welcomed our Public Lands Corps crew back on the Bartram Trail. The crew was welcomed with some wonderful weather to start this hitch at Warwoman Dell.
How we began this effort
Over the summer, a group of volunteers dismantled stones steps, that were set over a decade ago. Their previous location was the Hickory Knoll trailhead. The stones were removed from private property since the trail was rerouted onto the adjacent land. The trail leads more directly to and from the road and parking area.
The relocation effort took just a day with the help of our crew. Utilizing 2 large bed trailers, and a small front-loading machine, the team got it done. Folks from the US Forest Service were also on location at Warwoman Dell to help distribute the stones. Special thanks to them for supporting this project.
Continuing this work effort
Fast-forward to now, our Southeast Conservation Corps PLC crew got right to work planning, moving, and stacking the rock. Their goal is to create stairs leading up the Bartram Trail out of Warwoman Dell. These stairs are being stacked to reinforce the switchbacks that lead hikers up to Warwoman Road to Becky Branch.
Gravel delivered, tools staged, and with the help of a track barrow, large stones were staged at the work area. The crew began moving some select stones into their new resting places as the new path up the hill.
We’re super excited to see how this effort turns out and put the new stairs and tread to the test.
Volunteer-submitted trail observations report
We also received a great trail report from a volunteer, Victor, for last weekend’s Sky to Summit trail run. The Run Bum Tours event was successful! Runners traversed a good number of miles over the Bartram Trail, connecting trails, and forest service roads.
Here is Victor’s report, that we’ll use to prioritize our next trail maintenance outing to address:
I hiked the section from Becky’s Branch Rd to Wilson Gap to flag the trail for Sean Blanton’s Sky to Summit trail race. I am an experienced trail maintainer and Sean asked me to submit a trail report. I carried a small hand saw during my hike and was able to remove several smaller trees. There are 5 trees between Courthouse Gap and Wilson Gap that will need a larger hand saw or chainsaw. Most are single step overs. There are two blowdowns with multiple branches but both are passable. The section between Wilson Gap and Courthouse Gap can use some brush clearing. And there is one section of 1/4 mile that can use side hilling where the trail bed is not flat. That section is located about .5 miles from the Wilson Gap Darnell Creek open area.
There are 4 trees down between Courthouse Gap and the Becky’s Branch Road crossing. Also one damage section due to a root ball taking out the trail bed.
Overall the trail is beautiful and I loved hiking it. I think it would be good to have a sign at the Pinnacle trail intersection. Currently this is only a small pile of rocks as a trail marker.
Great suggestion for the Pinnacle trail section, we’re going to look into it!
Send us your trail observations
As of writing this post, we’re looking at tropical storm weather possibly blowing through Thursday night and Friday. We’re bound to see some more blowdowns. If you happen to hike on the Bartram Trail following the remnants of Nicole, please post your observations. We’ll get folks out there to clear the way.
Join us for our next work day
Assuming the weather passes as predicted, we’ll have volunteers out at Warwoman Dell for our Second Saturday Workday, November 12th. If you’re available and looking to give back to the trail, please join us. No special experience necessary and we’ll provide what you need. This will be a great opportunity to work with our PLC crew in addition to the Bartram Trail volunteers. Please RSVP if you plan to join, which helps with planning the day.
More photos from the day