February through May saw the Tucker County High Schools Outdoor Club learning and building sustainable trail on campus for students to use. They were able to build a quarter mile with classroom sessions and field work. This trail has a high diversity of terrain, including switchback turns, boulder features, rugged rocky terrain, and fast flowing earthen tread.
Treasure Mountain Bike Center gave us a call last year to come develop two flow trails to start off their on site trail network. They will be offering lodging for groups up to 16 people with gorgeous sweeping views, and it provides great local access to the High Knob Trail in George Washington National Forest, North Fork Mountain Trail (IMBA EPIC Ride) in the Monangahela National Forest, Spruce Knob Recreation Area, and miles upon miles of dirt and road rides.
Over the last two years a large roadway bridge was built off Camp 70 road outside Davis. The intersection with the Splashdam South Trail required a bit of repair. In coordination with Heart of the Highlands Tail and the National Youth Science Foundation, that repair took place this fall.
I’m proud to announce that Saturday was the final trail work day and public opening of the new Black Water View Trail. This project has been going on for several year from the start of its conception to its opening this weekend. It is a conglomeration of merging two previously existing trails (with some sustainable upgrades to get them dry) that total 2 miles, a use designation change, a recreational easement through private property, approximately 4,000 feet of new trail construction, a 300 foot undulation board walk through a wetland, and a 54 foot steel bridge across the Blackwater River. This major, multi-year project creates the only public,multi-user connection from the populated side of Canaan Valley to the Northwest side of the Blackwater River with over 13 miles of trail, that previously was only accessible by a 45 minute drive far around the valley or private access in Timberline Resort. That access not only allows for easier use of that trail system, but it creates another access point to the Dolly Sods for Backpacking from the Canaan Valley floor via Cabin Mountain Trail. Very, very cool is the least I can say.
How about a virtual tour of the process in navigational order from the Beall Trailhead to the New Bridge:
Sustainable upgrades last year on Hemlock Spur Trail, including some 300+ feet of french drain.
Forest Restoration of an unsustainable grade on Hemlock Spur
New Trail Construction (This fall)
300 ft of ground hugging, tree winding boardwalk through a wetland
New Trail Construction (Last Fall)
Bridge across the Blackwater
Trail is Open!
This project was administered by the Heart of the Highlands Trail in partnership with the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge and a private property owner. Please take a moment to learn a bit about the project details at their website, and be sure to respect the generous support of the private property owner by using the trail he has granted us access through and not the rest of his property. No off trail travel is permitted.
Good news, the Blackwater View Trail project is under construction again! Phase one of the build was completed last fall for the Heart of the Highlands Trail, and phase two in currently under construction. It is due to be completed this fall. Please be patient while under construction and refrain from accessing the site. Tune into our facebook or instagram for updates.
I was lucky enough to get to spend a week with Headwaters Environmental Services high above Lake Lure this past month in North Carolina, building tight hiking trail.
I want to extend a huge thanks to Dirt Artisans for having me be a part of the team this summer, to help build 9 miles of sweet single track in the Allegheny National Forest. This project is phase one in a master project, laying 9 miles of the eventual 42 miles of trail onto the beautiful, fern covered forest floor based around the Jakes Rocks Picnic Area above the Allegheny Reservoir.
Currently, I am at the Massanutten Western Slope roughing in a new trail off of the 2k Hours Trail. This project is being hosted by the Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition, being funded completely from the trail passes sold, and is the first step in further developments to link the Western Slope to the new BIKE PARK on the Resort side. You can find out more at this website: http://svbcoalition.org/every-thursday-massanutten-trail-work-4000-hour-trail/
Help the club with the finish work every thursday at 5pm!