Lane’s Trail Maintenance

The most recent volunteer trail work session was a resounding success with 23 people digging into maintenance tasks on Lane’s Trail in Adams Gulch.

Volunteers Cameron Lloyd (Exec. Dir. W.R.B.C) and Tyler Hesse (Avid Rider & Awesome Dirt Digger) installing a large rolling-grade-dip drain on a fall-line section of Lane’s Tr.

Trail Adopters, The Elephant’s Perch, and partners to the project, the Wood River Bicycle Coalition, Sawtooth National Forest – Ketchum Ranger District, and the BCRD, pulled together to promote the event and get as many people out to help as possible.

In past years, Rosso and the Perch vols have done a lot of work on the higher aspects of the trail, with a bunch of effort put into reducing excessive tread-outslope; where the trail tread tends to wear in a fashion where it gets to tipped to the outside edge, or canted-out), cleaning out and improving drains, and other work to keep the higher trafficked areas of the trail in good condition. On the far, north end of the trail, below its intersection with Citizens, and above its intersection with the Old Adams Gulch Road Trail, the trail had seen less recent work. That area was the focus of the night’s work.

Lane’s is in the fall-line on its north end, which means that the trail is aligned directly down the hill. This tends to make water channel on the trail. Scouring action of this flowing water takes soil out of the trail tread and leaves behind a “V”-shaped rut. This “V”-shape will get deeper if not treated. Walking or running in the ditch is not fun or functional, so people choose a paralleling route that is outside of the rut. This eventually leads to braided trail conditions with multiple paralleling trails covering the hillside, as route after route becomes untenable.

The prescriptive repair to such a trail is either a re-route, or finding a way to drain the trail while making repairs to the ruts. We wanted to keep the trail where it is, to preserve its character as much as possible, so repairs were in order. We installed drains, large rolling-grade-dip style drains. They are long and shaped to allow a smooth passage over them, while effectively draining the trail. Abrupt drains can be effective, but people tend to go around those, so we try to stretch things out to a point where these large drainage structures are hardly noticeable to treading-feet or rolling-tires.

Jan Barrett and Sarah Sentilles brushing back encroaching vegetation on Lane’s Trail in Adams Gulch.

Once effective drainage was established we could make repairs to the incised trail. Soil was bucketed in to the trail, and the moist dirt was compacted into the ruts. Other members of the crew were busy cutting back aspen branches that had become bent into the travel-way from last winter’s heavy snows.┬áThe road below the trail was running water from the creek, so a number of large temporary diversions were installed on the roadway to direct the stream back into its main channel.

The wicked-wind picked up, and the temperature dropped, as we headed back to the trailhead, but that couldn’t cool the warm glow we all got basking in the warmth of our hard-fought battle with the dirt, rocks, and our own blisters. Pizza and pops didn’t hurt the vibe either.

Another great night out on the trails. Thanks volunteers (as they appear on sign-in sheet): Jan Barrett, Tom Barrett, Dave Bell, Nappy Neaman, Jerry Mitchell, Tyler Hesse, Sarah Sentilles, Jedd Young, Krista Cuter, Laurie Leman, Reid Hensen, Doug Bernard, Kyle Rafford, Cameron Lloyd, Mike Hattrup, Axel Hattrup, Mike Swan, Bob Rosso, Muffy Ritz. Thank you also to the KRD Rec. Staff and Trail Crew for coming out to lead a hand (in a big way) and help lead the work: Zach Poff, Justin Blackstead, Mitch Ahrendsen.

The next volunteer work event is this coming Wednesday evening (May 31, 2017) on Shadyside Trail in Adams Gulch with adopters Sturtevants of Sun Valley. We will walk in to the work and hit it from 6:15 to 8:15 p.m. Meet at the trailhead at 6:15 p.m. Tools and instruction provided. For more information check out the Volunteer Info page at the BCRD Summer TraiLink site.