We take Section One on the way to work on Section Two. It’s half a mile, as opposed to .3 miles on the road, but a much more pleasant ride – no ruts or water-filled potholes with leaves floating on the surface! Come BikeWatoga
Dave Elliott, along with his trusty four-footed companion Fraia, work to improve our trails all year long.
Check out some of the work done from May, 2021.
A few machines make trail building easier. The tractor and rotary plow does the heavy digging, and the electric wheel barrow (there’s a motor inside the wheel) delivers rocks to the turns. The first layer of rocks go down to form a mini-berm. They’ll be covered with soil, then compacted. More layers follow to get the desired berm angle. Just 5 or 6 inches below the organic soil on the surface we found good clay subsoil to pack the rocks in the berms. The swale is dug to drain water off the trail and to get at the clay soil underneath. Several passes with the tractor moves the organic material off to the sides, and then loosens the clay in the middle. The tractor is on the trail, running left to right. When the berm has been finished, the organic soil will be pulled back to finish the center (and plant a small pine tree).
The wheelbarrow takes the clay subsoil to the berm, where it is spread in a thin layer and covered with gravel to fill the spaces between the rocks. Then it is compacted (after it rains), and another layer of soil added for the surface. Then rain and compaction, as before. Only the two insloped turns will need to be built up like this. The others are outsloped and the slant can be achieved by excavating low low side.
The berm gets a layer of smaller stone pressed into the dirt. After it rains we’ll tamp it down well and correct any irregular spots. Then another layer of dirt and crusher run gravel will be tamped in place. Fraia makes sure the work gets done correctly, and that we take plenty of breaks.
Trail building is hard work. This hollow had big rocks that make a very uneven tread. The rotary plow can pull them out, but there are more beneath the surface. It’s better to fill the gaps with medium size rocks (on the right), then stabilize the surface with smaller rocks collected on the trail. Adding clay subsoil helps fill the gaps between the smaller rocks. The following are scenes from October 2021