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soilman
07-11-2019, 11:42
Last month I spent two weeks volunteering with the Konnarock trail crew. The first week (week 5 of the season) I was on crew 2 working on trail rehab on Yellow Mountain, about 1 mile south of Standing Indian shelter. We worked all week in the rain but were able to get some critical work done, including building a couple of rock steps and installing a crib wall in a section where a combination of roots, rocks, and poor soil was causing the trail to degrade. We replaced the steep and slippery tread with a more sustainable and stable trail. I witnessed one hiker fall twice on this stretch before we completed our work.

My second week (week 6 of the season) I was on crew 1 where we worked on the third and final week of a project on Battery Cliffs near Humpback Rocks in VA. Previous crews had set up a high line and flew rocks to a staging site near the bottom of the section. We spent part of a day bringing the rocks up the trail for placement using the high line. Most of the week was spent building rock steps, drainage, and water bars. I think we built 27 rock steps this week and a total of 42 steps for the three week project. The weather was perfect of mid June in VA, low humidity, breezy, and temps in the 70's.


I did my first Konnarock crew 25 years ago. One thing I have noticed over the years is that the number of people volunteering for trail crews is declining. We used to have crews with 8-10 volunteers. This year we had 6 volunteers on crew 1 and 5 volunteers on crew 2. This year the median age of the volunteers was about 65. Last year I volunteered with the MATC trail crew and instead of two crews they only had one. And this crew only had 3 volunteers. While the number of hikers on the AT increases each year, there hasn't been a corresponding increase in volunteers.

kolokolo
07-11-2019, 20:57
Way to go, Soilman. Thanks for all of your hard work!


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rmitchell
07-11-2019, 22:01
Thanks for your post and your work.

I suspect that many people take trail maintaining for granted although I do get a lot of "thank you's" when working on my section.

D2maine
07-12-2019, 06:34
they say thank you but never ask to help...

lkmi
07-12-2019, 10:55
Thanks for your work!
I keep hoping at least a few of the persons who spend time and energy (not to mention expense) of doing hiker feeds and other trail magic will, instead, provide the service of trail maintenance.
Not all the work is Konnarock level; sometimes it's simply whacking some weeds (my AT specialty), trimming the rhodedendrons, and packing out trash.
Contact your area AT club for details and opportunities!