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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Eight NCTA Volunteer Adventures - 2009

volunteers doing rock work
a workshop on how to build trail using natural rock
from the North Country Trail Association

Interested in having a meaningful time in the outdoors this summer? Love trails, but never thought much about how they got there, or who takes care of them? Volunteer Adventures may be just right for you!

The North Country Trail Association is planning eight different opportunities this summer to improve the trail, in different states.

The first one is coming right up, April 15-19, in Ohio. In partnership with the Buckeye Trail Association volunteers will build new trail in the Scioto Trail State Forest in the Appalachian foothills of south central Ohio. The original Scioto Trail was an Indian trail that followed the Scioto River from northern Ohio to the Kentucky hunting grounds. The trail was later used by settlers who came upriver from Portsmouth to the first capital of Ohio, Chillicothe. During this project we’ll have the opportunity to take a break and visit some nearby historic and prehistoric sites of international significance.

Next, May 16-20, in the Douglas County Forest of northwestern Wisconsin volunteers will build new trail near the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. The crew will be staying in a trail crew work camp situated beneath tall red pines. This 20 acre stand of pines is surrounded by over 4,000 acres of what is locally known as Pine Barrens. Essentially, this is a mix of grass and shrub prairie, which is managed for prairie loving species--primarily the Sharp Tail Grouse.

June 6-10, volunteers will work at McConnells Mill State Park, Pennsylvania. This project focuses on improving the trail with rock work along Slippery Rock Creek. The park encompasses 2,546 acres of the spectacular Slippery Rock Creek Gorge. Created by the draining of glacial lakes thousands of years ago, the gorge has steeps sides and the valley floor is littered with huge boulders and is a national natural landmark. A gristmill built in the 1800s is open for tours.

Trail rehabilitation in an area with steep glacial hills, waterfalls and scenic overlook will occur June 22-26 in Morgan Hill State Forest, New York. Morgan Hill State Forest is located in rural Central New York State south of Syracuse. It is a mixed hardwood and conifer forest with glacial ridges, waterfalls and valleys with steep slopes. It is one of the prettiest and most scenic parts of the Onondaga section of the Finger Lakes Trail and North Country Trail in NY

The Peter Wolfe Chapter of Michigan's western Upper Peninsula will host a crew June 25-29. The work site is in a varied area of pine plains, wetlands, small lakes, bedrock gorges, and rocky hills. Lake Superior is about ten miles away. Vegetation is diverse, with numerous pine, spruce, balsam fir, sugar maple and other hardwoods, wetland shrubs, blueberry, etc. Construction of a multi-span, 140-ft. bridge over a wetland and beaver pond, as well as construction of new NCT near the bridge site is the focus of this project.

Lonetree Wildlife Management Area is the largest wildlife management area in the State of North Dakota, is the headwaters of the Sheyenne River, and hosts 32 miles of the North Country Trail. Work will include mowing the trail, improving the trail signage and marking, and better defining the trail tread in places. The dates for this project are July 5-10.

Over 400,000 acres of the Chippewa National Forest are actually lakes and wetlands. Timberwolves, eagles, towering pines and vigorous aspen are just part of the picture. In fact, the Chippewa National Forest is home to the highest breeding population of Bald Eagles in the lower 48 Unites States! Visit the Chip August 24-28 and help with mowing the trail, improving the trail's signage and blazing, and better defining the trail tread in places.

September 17-21, a project near Marquette Michigan at the Little Garlic River is the final adventure of the year. Work would include constructing up to 5 miles of new trail by clearing debris, including some slash from logging operations, creating switchbacks and doing some benching up steep grades, developing the corridor and blazing.

See the North Country Trail Association Volunteer Adventures for more details.


Mountain Woman said...

What fabulous opportunities and thank you for posting about them. I belong to horse riding trails association and we have work days in the spring to help keep the trails open. It's a worthwhile experience to actually go and help out. Great exercise, good friendships and time spent outdoors.

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Hi Mountain Woman- Yes, it is a lot of work to build the trails and keep them in good shape. Not that we are complaining! Hard work can be great fun.