When moving to our new place, with 107 acres, I knew trails would be a top priority for me. The previous owner had made several hiking, biking and 4 wheeler trails on the property. My job, find them, mark them and map them, all before spring. Once spring hit and life re-emerged doing all of the above would become difficult at best. Once the vegetation springs up around here, visibility is greatly reduced.
Josie on our main “Trooper” trail before spring emerged.
The main trail has a few drainage creeks that flow through to the other side. This has been added to the list of things to take care of, eventually.
Nature starting to emerge.
Spring has sprung! Amazing to see the difference over just a few weeks.
Therefore, the month of April was dedicated to trail love. This also happened to coincide with our new furry friends, Josie, the boxer & Sir Purrs A Lot, the barn cat. During the month of April I spent everyday in our woods with Josie looking for trails (and sometimes Sir Purrs would tag along, yes he loves to hike). Josie proved invaluable at finding trails. At times I would lose the trail and Josie would take over with her excellent sniffer. As we found what appeared to be a trail, I would mark my path with an orange flag in the ground. It is easy to lose track of the trail, where you have been and how to find your way back, especially when you are unfamiliar with the property. Once I had walked the trail completely and was confident I had found the correct path, I would then go back with plastic colored ribbon and mark various trees along the path.
Once all of the trails were found and marked, it was time to map them. This is more for people visiting and enjoying our woods then for myself. After spending everyday for a month out on the trails, I know them like the back of my hand. A good thing if you are declaring yourself Park Ranger, Amy. (I took on that title shortly after moving in)
I named this trail “Bent Tree Trail” for obvious reasons.
Josie & Sir Purrs A Lot taking a break on a fallen log overlooking a creek.
Using my crude map, the rough draft, I mapped out all of the trails, property lines, cabin, garage, driveway, and creeks the best I could. Of course this draft is NOT drawn to scale. In the end it looks like a big jumbled mess, although it makes complete sense to me. I am hoping the map comes in handy when people come to bike the trails.
Logs piled up to add to the technical nature of the bike trail.
My Diamondback finally getting some action on the trails.
With the trails marked and mapped all was well until Spring & Summer hit and what I like to call “nature’s explosion of life”. I still walk the trails on a regular basis. With 16 + trails on the property sometimes a week or two will pass before I hike one. In that amount of time things change drastically. New trees sprout up along with weeds and branches fall on trails. I never realized how much work went into maintaining trails. Nature does not care about your trail. Leave it alone for a week or two and see what she will do.
One of many fallen logs on the trail. Time for some chainsaw love.
At this point it is hard to tell where the trail is. Nature is reclaiming hers.
I continue to maintain the trails as best I can. Sometimes simply walking them and cutting back overgrowth is all I can do. I can tell you I have had my fair share of poison ivy this season and I have decided that just goes with the territory of being in charge of trail maintenance. That along with various pieces of trash I find, plastic bottles, birthday balloons, an umbrella, glass bottles and so much more.
In spite of the work needed to maintain our property’s trail system, I thoroughly enjoy going for my almost daily hikes. There is nothing more peaceful & relaxing then taking a walk in the woods with man’s/woman’s best friend. Josie enjoys the hikes as much if not more than I do, along with Sir Purrs. He voices his opinion if he is left behind.
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