August 24, 2020

Wilderness Stewardship Project Makes Headway On Red Pine Trail

Written by Caroline Weiler

Trail Crew 9751

Interested in joining our September 12 Wilderness Stewardship Project event? Please click here to RSVP. 

The second day of the Wilderness Stewardship Project took place last Saturday in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Volunteers met up with Matt Hales from the Forest Service about 2 miles up the Red Pine Lake trail. Matt and his crew have been camped up at Red Pine Lake for a week now, doing work on the reroute of the Red Pine trail, which has been an ongoing project for the past year.

Because the previous trail up to the lake was directly in the drainage path, the trail saw extreme erosion and was difficult to maintain. The new trail has been rerouted to switch back and forth across the drainage instead of climbing straight up the path of water flow.  Due to the popularity of the trail and extreme foot traffic this area sees, the original trail had been compacted down into what Matt compares to the hardness of cement. Because we want this old trail to fill in with plants and trees, we dug up the packed down dirt, which will allow plants a better chance at thriving in this once hardened soil. The trail had already seen a few small patches of aspen growth in a couple places which was promising to see just a year after no foot traffic. Matt also had us ‘junk’ the old trail, a term which means to fill in the path with dead and downed limbs from the surrounding area which deters hikers from using the old trail. We also put in ‘checks’, or barriers in the trail made from logs or rocks buried in the soil which, along with the junked trail, will slow down water flow.  

Matt and his trails and wilderness crew do a fantastic job at maintaining the trails of the Wasatch. They’ll be up at the lake for 10 days working on the trail, so if you see them up there tell them thanks. And maybe bring them something to supplement their 10 days of Ramen supply.

Thanks to Robyn Heilbrun, Dave Andrenyak, Bret Mathews and Brett Kennedy for helping us out this weekend. It’s not too late to sign up for our last volunteer date! We’ll be in Millcreek Canyon on September 12th and hope to see you there! Please click here to RSVP. 

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