Sunday, June 05, 2011

Mont Hereford trails day and sunset ride

Went to East Hereford to la Journée Québécoise des Sentiers which is the Quebec version of National Trails Day. We filled in a few mud holes on Troll, had lunch and then did some major work on Chainon Manquant (english=Missing Link).

We finished at 4 pm, and then your correspondant went for a mountain bike ride to check out the new trail repairs. We know that 4 pm is a late start, even for us. We're happy to report that we got first tracks!


Small mud hole removed and rebuilt on Troll

The morning was spent rebuilding a few wet spots and mud holes on Troll.

This was our first journée Quebecoise des Sentiers and we learned a lot about the process. The basic idea is to remove the mud and then rebuild the trail to stabilize the trail and permit proper drainage of the wet section in the future. Here's a bit more detail.
  • Identify location for repair, survey site, bring the correct tools
  • remove mud from repair location
  • remove earth on downhill side of trail to permit drainage
  • Find a dirt supply in the forest, clean off the organic soil on top, and transport inorganic soil to repair site
  • Find big rocks to fill in and stabilize repair zone
  • fill in the rest with dirt, gravel and small rocks
  • Compress and stabilize the soil on the repair zone
  • create a smooth 10 degree slope on the finished trail to permit drainage and eliminate puddles
  • Add natural barriers at side of trail to return the trail to normal single-track width. (mud holes create wide spots in trail)
  • re-naturalize the site with loose leaves, transplanted vegetation, etc
The tools that we used include:
  • Shovels - short handle and long handle
  • McLeod - a triple purpose super-rake for trail building
  • Pulaski - combo pick & axe tool for rapidly clearing ground vegetation
  • Long steel pry-bars - for extracting and moving big rocks
  • 5 gallon plastic buckets - for transporting soil & rocks from forest to trail
  • Rock chisel & small sledge hammer
  • portable saw & secateur (pruning scissors) for removing low-hanging branches and vines
  • work gloves and steel-toe work boots
  • water and food, sunscreen and bug juice
  • a camera for that group photo when the job is done.
Chainon Manquant

2 tonnes of rocks + 1 tonne of dirt & gravel + 8 people = 20 feet of rebuilt trail

This was a BIG mud hole on Chainon Manquant, but not anymore. Now it's a happy place.

Many big rocks were moved and meticulously placed under this new section of trail.

The re-naturalization activity at the end of the rebuild process made the repair invisible. We spread lots of dead leaves around to cover the excavation and mud, planted a few ferns, and placed rocks to mark the trail edge. This rebuild was a lot of hard work and the result is a stable trail that will not be destroyed by erosion every time it rains.

We finished our ride around the usual time - sunset!


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