12/06 - New Trail Begins, "The Milk Run"
Having recovered from all the flood repair, I had the urge to start another trail. I've had this one in mind for a while, and in "relative" terms it is an easy one to accomplish. A lot of manual labor, but concentrated in a fairly small area.
By itself it should be a fun trail of about .25 miles length. However, it is only part of a larger string of future trails (See "Chutes & Ladders") that will create a new opportunity for choice in riding loops. A trail not directly effected by the creek and avoiding the often muddy Northern section of the Park.
The trail is built along an old fence-line ridge. Kind of lame to just follow the ridge along, and I spotted a couple of places that dropped over the edge onto the steep hillside. Here is one particularly long and steep section. As you can see, the benchcut to make the trail tread is extensive.
Here the cut has been started, and the excess organic matter has been "broadcast" evenly over the hillside.
Here's how it works.
Nothing a little manual labor won't fix.
Here's the result. THAT is a deep bench!
The hillside is hard to walk across. It's that steep. The line follows the raked portion across the slope, and into one of the dozens of rock piles you find. When I think of how hard I'm working, I look at these rock piles and know I've got it easy!
After all the benchcutting and broadcasting, the final touch is to gather some leaf matter and disguise all the dirt removed from the bench. This makes things look much more natural - like the trail has been there for years. It also defines the trail's edge.
Heading toward the benchcut and over the edge.
Pictures don't do justice as to how steep this really is!
Looking back at right gives you a sense of the grade, both up & side hill. This took about 3 hours. Probably in the neighborhood of a dozen wheel barrow loads worth of dirt removed.
50-some degrees on December 23rd. I actually wish it had been a bit colder! Trying to summon the energy up to finish the last portion down to the lowest point. Only 2/3 more to go on this, the longest and deepest cut. There are 2 more ahead on the trail!
The full bench cut with organics broadcast.
And now with leaf matter covering the broadcast material.
This view gives you the full scope of the project.
While the Benchcut Crew (me) digs away, the Broadcast Crew (Tiina) spreads the diggings over the hillside.
Then we gather leaf matter raked from the other parts of the trail and spread it over the broadcast material to hide our work.
New Trail Finished 1/13
"The Milkrun" trail is open and ready for use... if it would ever stop raining!
Here is a string of pics running the length of the trail in order from the East end at Orchard Hill to the West end at Main & Pine Woods Rds.
A tight benchcut at the edge of the hill, above & looking back at right. Pay attention!
After that tight turn, the pace picks up again. Heading for the big benchcut!
It starts off fairly tight & twisty
Heading down toward a long narrow benchcut that runs along the hillside
A steep climbing turn up off the bench and a little jog onto flat land again.
Now the pace quickens and the trail opens up.
A fast right sweeper at the hill's edge.
The trail's namesake at right.
The trail marking says it all. Hang on!
One last little sweeping benchcut over the hill's edge.
A skinny stone bridge over a drainage area.
Down the steep bank to Main & Pine Tree Rds.
Rolling easy towards the end.
Left - A craggy little climb to test you right from the start. Looking up at the Western start of Milkrun from Main St.
Milkrun is built on a ridge that runs to the North of the creek basin, between Orchard Hill Rd. and Pine Woods Rd. This ridge continues to the West of Pine Woods Rd., overlooking the creek trail, and intersecting the Corner Trail above the North Branch Corner.
I have already begun scouting this ridge, and it has some really interesting terrain that is just begging for a trail.
I think this next section will be Magic!