Why we do not remove leaves there are several reasons. One we move all hard earned dirt by hand in 5 gallon buckets and leaf blowers blow all that dirt off the trail tread. Second the ground up leaves will actually help hold our dirt on the trails and protects the trail tread. Plus freeze/thaw cycles the leaves help hold our trail tread in place and not get sucked up on boots or tires.
We are not blessed like other local trail systems that have an abundance of dirt. Pine Hill Park is not one of those areas.
We know leaves are slippery especially when wet but with the traffic the park is seeing currently the leaves will get ground up quickly.
Its always very gratifying when one of our visitors raves about the character of our hand-built trails — all done with a lot of volunteer time and sweat, we might add! It’s even better when they record and share it for other potential visitors too.
Niko Huber has done a great job creating a video guide to Pine Hill Park and its well worth your time to check it out. While you’re at it maybe hit his subscribe button. It looks like he’s planning to do more videos of other mountain biking venues soon!
Thanks for a great job Niko. We hope to see you back in the park soon !
A huge thanks going out for an awesome job by the Rutland High Cross-Country team. Evergreen Fall ( a favorite training route for the team) is now a great trail not only for hiking & running but mountain biking too. Lots of improvements in drainage were also part of the upgrade.
Check it out on your next trip to the park and think of all the hard work these folks donated today to get it done.
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.