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  1. #1
    Administrator raybirks's Avatar
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    Sage Hills Trail Work - Poorly Done

    Was out riding last Saturday and came across a group doing trail work on the lower part of Sage Hills from the Day Drive entrance north about 1/4. I'll be completely honest that I don't know a lot about proper trail work, and I'm going to be diplomatic and not step on any toes, but I couldn't figure out two things:

    1. Why this group was doing work on a section of trail that is smooth, fast and in relatively great shape.
    2. Who they were and what was their goal?

    It seemed to be a group of middle school(?) students with some adult leaders. I rode through the section they were working on and it was tilled up and in awful shape, not what I would have expected after 'maintenance'.

    Does anyone have any insights? A friend of mine rode through there today and said it was "bad". I know that with time that section will smooth out with some weather and traffic but my thoughts are that if it was a group teaching about trail maintenance, why not maintain a stretch of trail that is in bad shape to start with? There are a few stretches along there that could use a lot of love.

    I don't want to discourage people from doing trail work and I'm not trying to yell and scream, but I'm curious.

  2. #2
    Why would anyone do that to that section of trail? Were they trying to eliminate the raised sides on the tread? Makes no sense.

  3. #3
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    Sounds like that portion of trail was either Chelan-Douglas Land Trust property or, quite possibly, PUD property. I'm passing this along to Neal Hedges, Stewardship Director at the Land Trust, to see if he can shed light on what was taking place.

  4. #4
    Administrator raybirks's Avatar
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    Aaron - if they were trying to eliminate raised sides on the tread they weren't doing a good job. They had basically taken the whole width of the trail, tilled it up, and it seemed, left it that way. Maybe, hopefully, they're going to come back this weekend and continue on that section to smooth it out? Maybe it's just a longer process than I expected?

  5. #5

    Sage Hills trail work.

    The crew leader passed along this report.

    The crew that was out there on Saturday was a volunteer crew from the Wenatchee High School DECA organization. The purpose of their work was to remove the 6" to 12" rutting and cupping that is present from the Day Drive Trailhead to the saddle above Maiden Lane. The water that collects in cupped or rutted trail cannot drain properly when the trail is in this condition. To prevent water from collecting and causing prolonged muddy trail conditions it is necessary to drain the water by removing the lower berm of the trail. The most effective way to achieve this without causing more erosion is to fill the cupped/rutted portion with the soil from the lower berm and pack it down. When a trail gets a "new" surface on it , it is generally rough until nature puts moisture on it to take out the rough edges and users help pack it in.

    We waited until close to the end of the season to do this work to minimize the impact for the trail users and to allow the trail to set up over winter. There is still much work to be done on the rest of this trail system. We welcome volunteers to help us do trail maintenance in the Wenatchee Foothills.

    Neal Hedges, Chelan-Douglas Land Trust

  6. #6
    Administrator raybirks's Avatar
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    Neal

    Thank you for the explanation. I hope you didn't interpret my original comments as discrediting to the work, just curious as to the group and the process.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the update, Neal. I haven't been out on this segment of trail recently, so can't give my two cents about the work that was done. I can say, however, that whole lot of the Sage Hills trail system is cupped and needs work to fill in the ditch so that rainwater and winter meltwater can run off on the down-slope side of the trail.

  8. #8
    I understand the need for this kind of work but that section of trail, with the exception of a few spots when you start climbing to the saddle, is some of the nicest and most mature trail in the whole of the foothills trail system. It has very ruts from drainage channels.

  9. #9
    They need to rebuild the trail up from Maiden Lane. Isn't there some issue with private land there?

  10. #10
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    The trail from the end of Maiden Lane uphill toward the saddle does not have any real property issues (the trail is on properties with trail easements, Land Trust Property, and PUD property). At some point there will be a better trailhead established at the end of the dirt road that carries on beyond the paved portion of Maiden Lane, but there are other moving pieces pertaining to development here that must be resolved before a finished trailhead is built.

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