The BLM has started the reconstruction of the Croy Trail System west of Hailey. About eight miles of the 15-mile network were damaged during the Beaver Creek Fire and subsequent weather events. The BLM has hired the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) to rebuild the trails. Work to rebuild the trails is also being performed by BLM Recreation Planner John Kurtz, and myself, Chris Leman, BCRD Wood River Valley Trail Coordinator.
Volunteers are also a key component of the rebuilding process. On Thursday we held two volunteer trail work sessions.
In the afternoon, John Kurtz and I led a group of 11 Sage School students and faculty on the re-building of a portion of the Nadia’s Trail. The heavy lifting had been taken care of by IMBA’s Alex Harrington, operating a Sutter 300 mini-bulldozer. Additional machine work, with a mini-excavator, is being performed by IMBA subcontractor Brain Vaughn with Red Elephant Trails.
The machines cut the trail, cut the trail backslope, help compact the trail surface, and they are useful in getting spoils like rocks and excavated plant materials moved away from the trail itself. After the machines pass its time for the volunteers performing hand work. They help shape trail features, improve drains, compact the trail, refine the backslope, and broadcast spoils created in the trail building process. It is a lot of work, but it’s fun too, especially when you can share it with good people who enjoy breaking a sweat in the beautiful outdoors.
Our afternoon work with the Sage School volunteers went really well. Following the afternoon event with the school we held another work event; this one open to the general public and taking place in the early-evening. On the way in to the evening work we led our group over the portion of Nadia’s Trail that had been worked on by the students. We used it as an example of the type of work, and quality of work, we were looking for that evening.
The later group of volunteers numbered over 30, and they were up to the tasks we threw at them. We worked on the portion of the Two Dog Trail between the Croy Trailhead saddle and Nadia’s Trail, and we got started on the top section of the Punchline Trail. Afterwards we retired to the Rotarun Ski Hill lodge for a fun post-work barbecue.
We’d like to thank the Rotarun Board of Directors for all of the help the hill has shown the reconstruction project. Special thanks to Larry Smith, Rotarun Mountain Manager, for manning the grill and for bringing such a welcoming, sharing spirit to last nights event. I’d also like to give a huge shout out to the Sawtooth Backcountry Horsemen for supplying last nights food and for all the help with the evening. You gals are awesome!
Thank you for the tools and project support Wood River Bicycle Coalition, Ketchum Ranger District, and BLM. Thank you neighbors to the project for your work and support, and for making the volunteers and professionals involved feel like they are part of the neighborhood. Thank you to everyone who has helped spread the word about the need for volunteers – keep it up! Most of all, THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS!
Mark your calendar if you’d like to join us at our next Thursday evening work event, which is in two weeks, on May 28th, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. We will gather at the Rotarun Ski Hill parking lot and then continue our work on the Croy trails; wrapping up the evening with pizza and beverages at Wiseguy Pizza in Hailey.