Jan 12

Coe Trail Work Report 01/10/04

On Saturday at Henry Coe State Park 13 mountain bikers turned up for the ROMP lead trail work. Additionally another 20 equestrians and hikers turned up to form a seperate squad. This 30 plus strong squad of volunteers were mustered by the Coe Trail Advisory Council as part of a strong season of much needed trail maintenance in Coe.The hikers and equestrians drove into the park and hiked and worked down the Cattle Duster Trail (horses were left home), one of the access trails to a favorite known to cyclists as “The Rock Garden”. They used tools belonging to the park’s cache of tools.

Meanwhile, because of our ability to penetrate distance while carrying tools on BOB trailers, us cyclists headed up the single track to remedy erosion problems on the Jackson Trail. We used the two Ibex trailers loaded down with 8 mclouds, 3 bench cut shovels, 3 shovels, and 3 pulaskis to outfit our crew with an effective assortment of ork-like trail anarchy fighters. All of these tools are ROMP’s property. (By the way, the ROMP BOB and Ibex trailers are available for members to borrow when not being used for trail work, which is most of the time.)

Many digital photos were taken to document our work before and after. The Sweco-built Jackson Trail is a great trail, but there have been erosion problems because of some faults with the execution in many places. One problem we observe is that the builders left berms of soil on the outside of the trail in many places, which traps water in the tread, rendering the outslope setting of the Sweco ineffective. In other places the trail follows a conveniently moderate grade but on the fall line, which again channels water straight down the trail. Also, critical dips before switchbacks are absent. The few places where grade reversals were built, perhaps more by accident than design, clearly illustrated their value in effective drainage as these places required no work.

This results in the formation of deep gutters that if left unchecked ruin the trail and gouge deep into the hillside. We filled gutters with native rock and filled and packed the tread with mineral soil. We created drains, lots of them, where none existed before. Given the intensity of recent storms it was obvious that the trail was a virtual creek during the storms.

We helped the trail. Some sections remain untreated above the area we reached. Also, the steepest section of the trail just before a grade reversal (going upwards), which is a fall line alignment we left untreated because I am going to recoomend that this be abandoned in favor of an older alignment which was originally built. This was a long switchback. The turn was never finished, probably because it needed extensive hand work, and the steep fall line trail was adopted socially. At the next Coe meeting I will present photos of this section and get approval to restore the current trail and simultaneously establish and build a sutainable switchback, complete with a grade reversal and a crown. We should be able to do this within this trail work season.

We also rock armoured a soggy gully crossing below a seasonal wet seep next to a pig wall using native rock.

After quitting we cached our tools and trailers and rode up our work did a short loop around Elderberry and up Jackson to the top, and descended our work. Now we wait for a drenching storm to test our work. We were surprised at how much the rocking of the gully quickly drained and hardened this soggy spot (formerly marked by deep tire tracks). I’ll keep an eye out on this section to see how the rock fares. It will probably need more work (more and bigger rock) to be maintenance-free, and so a good project for the future.

Some goody-bags were given out to participants care of Specialized.

Future Coe Trail dates are: Jan 24, the IMBA visit (with classroom seesions at Specilaized’s HQ on Feb 14-15, Feb 21, and March 13. Please join us at one of these dates.

On January 24th we will go to work on the Cullen Trail. Get ready for this awesome trail job!
By the way, these trail days make for a great all body work out, especially when combined with pulling a trailer and a brisk ride!

Wtih Warmest Regards,

– Paul