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DebW
2003-01-08, 10:02
As of January 1, 2003, I am the maintainer for the Berkshire section from Finnerty Pond to Tyne Rd. (just north of Rt. 20 and the MassPike). Who else on the forum is a maintainer? Grimace? Want to pass along some tips?

Grimace
2003-01-08, 13:53
You're just trying to get me to post so SGT Rock doesn't get mad that I've just been "lurking" so far...

Tips you're after eh? Remember three things and you're good to go. Drianage Drainage Drainage. The Berks aren't as bad as the Whites in terms of thin top soil and foot traffic, but if you do not create adequate drainage in the form of dips, ditches, and water bars you'll find yourself up the creek (pun intended). By chance the first two times I went up to my section it was pouring. Gave me a great idea of where the problem spots were and where the water was going. Go out in the rain.

When you walk your section, walk like a hiker not like a maintainer. Try to envision where people are stepping and whether that is a good place or not. Are people going off the trail here? Why? How can I keep them on the foot path? A good example is a large rock step in your trail. Hikers hate to step up and will create paths off the side of the trail just to get around the obstacle. Cut down brush or leave it there to force people to walk in certain spots and to stay onthe trail.

Always bring something for the thru-hikers. Cookies, Soda, Beer. Make sure you check the spring at Full Goose Shelter when you're going thru. Maybe I've been there recently.

We should get together once the snow melts and do a couple maintaing days. We'll haul you out to ME one day in return for us working on your section. I'm sure some other New England members here would be up for it as well.

DebW
2003-01-08, 14:48
Thanks, Grimace, those are great tips, expecially about going out in the rain. My maintainer-coordinator has offered to go out with me in the spring, but I may accept your offer too. I plan to check my section a few times this winter to look for blowdowns. I bought a pocket chain saw from Campmor and have been using it to cut blowdowns on the trails behind my house, so getting a little practice. Do you carry full-sized tools or get by with compact or lightweight ones?

Grimace
2003-01-08, 17:58
Tools- I'm lucky that I have the backing of the AMC. THey go through all the trails under their jurisdiction in early spring and take care of the blowdowns - chopping crews. Therefore I do not need a chainsaw or axe.

My section is actually pretty high up on the Mahoosic Ridge. NOt a lot of big trees to be honest.

What I do carry. (split with my wife)

2 Hazel Hoes
Loppers
Hand Clippers
Collapsable Hand Saw
Haven't needed a paint kit yet, trail is easy to follow

PushingDaisies
2003-01-08, 19:11
Originally posted by Grimace
Remember three things and you're good to go. Drianage Drainage Drainage. The Berks aren't as bad as the Whites in terms of thin top soil and foot traffic, but if you do not create adequate drainage in the form of dips, ditches, and water bars you'll find yourself up the creek (pun intended).


Grimace - I'm guessing drainage is your forte. :D

I got the chance to do a little trail maintanace this spring on my hike. One of the things I got to do was water bars. Man! That's tiring work!

Just simple logs sticking half way out of the ground so I never really took notice of them except to step over so that I wouldn't trip. After I got to put water bars in, I appreciated the work that maintainers put into every one that I saw one.

Thanks to all the maintainers out there! I appreciate the work that you do!

mongstad
2003-01-08, 21:11
I have a section from Sheeprock Top to Low Gap, that's in GA for you yankees. Grimace said it all, go out in the rain so you see how the water flows. I carry a matok, rack, shovel, pruner, swingblade and crosscut saw however not all ay the same time, it depends on what I plan to do. Down here we like to make water bars of rock and if wood is used locust is prefered. Skin the bark before you dig it in. Grimace hit the mark with think like a hiker and figure out where they are going to put their feet. Also all work you do water bars, etc. should be easy to walk on/over otherwise people are going to go around and the work is for nought. I'm a member of GATC and the club is very active in maintenance, every third Saturday of the month.

Peaks
2003-01-09, 09:11
Go out there in the rain, or just after, and clip all the branches and brush that falls across the trailway when wet.

PS. Thanks for taking on trail maintenace.

Hikerhead
2003-01-09, 09:23
My hat goes off to all trail maintainers. I try to do a work hike at least once or twice a year. There is nothing harder than swinging a pulaski for a couple of hours. You will go home knowing that you did something that day, the next day you will be reminded also.

Thanks guys for the work that you do.