Sunnyside Maintenance

Axel and Mike Hattrup cleaning out and improving a drain on Sunnyside Wed. night.

Cold temperatures and a few snow flakes couldn’t slow the trail volunteers who showed up last Wednesday night to work on Sunnyside Trail in Adams Gulch.

The Sawtooth Brewery, adopter of Sunnyside Trail, and the Wood River Bicycle Coalition, Sawtooth Back Country Horsemen, Ketchum Ranger District – Sawtooth National Forest, and the BCRD came together for the effort; working to rally support and get some needed work accomplished.

Samuel Malher and Cord Roth compacting soil into incised tread on Sunnyside Trail, Adams Gulch.

The west end of the Sunnyside Trail, just below its intersection with Pork Chop and Lane’s, was the focus of the work session. The volunteers repaired a section of trail that is in the fall-line, which tends to run water during the spring-melt and during rains. It needed some improvements as to how it drains water, so the existing drains were cleaned-out and improved, and areas of tread that had become incised, or “V”-shaped, were repaired. Closer to the trailhead, some of the young aspens growing trailside had become bent from the winter’s snows, and they were encroaching into the travel-way. Part of the crew was tasked with cutting the trees back.

After a couple of hours of solid work the trail was in much better shape. Walking out the crew cleaned out some additional drains and made a repair to the trail right above the trailhead. Then we were ready for some pizza and beverages.

Thank you for the all the work volunteers! And thanks for the beverages Sawtooth Brewery, and for the delicious pizza pies Sawtooth Back Country Horsemen. From left, Samuel Malher, Chris Leman, Axel Hattrup, Mike Hattrup, Muffy Ritz, Laurie Leman, Cord Roth, Sarah, Kevin Jones, Renee Catherin, Steven McCain, Justin Blackstead, Virginia McConnell, Mitch Ahrendsen. Not pictured Steve Edsall.

Working hard and rubbing elbows on the trail is fun, as is hanging out afterwards to share a few stories. And that pizza and beer sure tasted good.

The evening left me feeling like our trail community has a lot of vibrancy. Its great to have a group like the Wood River Bicycle Coalition showing such enthusiasm toward motivating its membership, and others, to volunteer on the trails. Additionally, its cool to have a group like the local horseback riders showing support for the trails and volunteer efforts like these. The gals and guys who are the Sawtooth Back Country Horsemen include a lot of long time residents of the valley. They’re savvy riders who set a good example out on the trail, and they have long championed a “shared-trails for all,” approach. I also like it that local businesses such as the Sawtooth Brewery get on board by adopting one of our popular, close-in trails. Doing the annual maintenance on a trail like Sunnyside frees up the Forest Service to tackle projects that are further afield. Basically, I feel like we are pulling on the same rope, in the same direction.

Our trails will need a lot of attention as our spring progresses. The next volunteer work session is this coming Wednesday evening, May 24, with trail adopter, The Elephant’s Perch, working on Lane’s Trail from 6:15 – 8:15 p.m. Volunteers should meet at the Adams Gulch Trailhead at 6:15 p.m. and wear work gloves, eye protection, and closed-toed shoes or boots. We will focus our work on the west end of the trail, below its intersection with Citizens Trail. Lane’s is in the fall-line there, and getting incised, and some aspens are encroaching on the travel-way. We plan to address those maintenance issues. For more information visit the Volunteer Info page of the BCRD Summer TraiLink site or get in contact with me, Chris Leman, BCRD Wood River Valley Trail Coordinator. email/ or call/text/208/7207713.