Folks here is an excellent video on why we do not remove leaves from our trails.
Reasons why we do not remove leaves from Pine Hill Park trails and why our bridges do not have hard wire mesh on top.
We tried leaf removal for 2 years in a row about 6-7 years ago. By July our trails are all ball bearings. Means people are slipping and sliding around on ball bearings all summer long which isn’t any fun. Leaves help hold our trail tread together. A lot of this has to do with our soil composition compared to other areas. In the spring by leaving the fall leaves on it protects our trail tread from freeze thaw cycles which lets us open up earlier.
The other issue are leaf berms on the downhill side of trails and clogging our drainage’s up. Means water runs down the trail tread which is washing away our good dirt and creating more drainage’s issues. The other downside is leaf blowers blow all the dirt off the trail tread. We work WAY too hard to move dirt on the trail tread to have a leaf blower come along and blow it off again.
Why our bridges do not having hardware mesh on them. The bridges that we have seen in Vermont that have hardware mesh on them are flat there are no curves/bends or twists. Most of the bridges in our local area are made out of pressure treated lumber which is slippery when wet. Our decking on the bridges in Pine Hill Park are composite material which we believe is not as slippery when wet like pressure treated lumber. We do not want people falling on the hardware mesh which would hurt even more than falling on the composite decking.
Yes we know the leaves make it more challenging to walk, run or ride but by leaving the leaves on the trail our system is more sustainable in the long run.
Our newest trail “Jigsaw” is now open. Thanks to the hard work of our heroes—dedicated volunteers who put in nearly 1800 hours of work this summer.
The trail is over 1250 feet with another 200 feet of optional trail. There are 9 rock rideovers and a really cool cliff section. There’s also a ton of rock work that you can’t see that lies under the trail bed for drainage.
We can’t thank our volunteers nearly enough for all the sweat and blood they left behind. Here’s a small tribute. Thank you Keith Wight and Shelley Lutz for focusing all the effort where it was needed and again to Shelley for all the photos and video skills:
Experience Jigsaw for yourself. Signs are now up for easier location. Look for it at intersections 36 & 42.
If you’d like to join the ranks of our Elite Trail Heroes, there’s a chance coming up on Saturday August 26. Check out the details here.
Saturday, August 26th. 8:15-noon bring water and mosquito repellent. The project is to rake out a connector trail between Dewey Wood Rd and Ridge Runner on the Redfield Trails. Meet at the front entrance of the park.
The Carriage Trail has a logging operation going on near the top of Library Pass. Please use caution when hiking, running or mountain biking. The trail is open but please watch for very large machinery on the trail. The operation will continue into late fall.
Green Mountain Power will be working on the powerlines in the park this winter. Please DO NOT park at the end of Evergreen Ave starting Tuesday, December 27th till the end of February. GMP will be moving in large machinery and stone and need room to move vehicles.
Mountain bikers be aware on Underdog as GMP will be putting a very large mat down across the trail to move machinery. This will protect the trail.
We have closed Exit Strategy, Lichen Rock(Overlook Trail) and the steep hill on Droopy Muffin between Intersections 30 and 30A. These trails will be closed until spring when ground thaws out and dries out. Please be respectful on the trail closures.
We will be closing Exit Strategy, Lichen Rock and the steep hill on Droopy Muffin for winter the week of November 21st. They will reopen in spring after ground un-thaws and sets up. Please be respectful of these trail closures.