Clearing Trail

Sunday, April 15, 2012
Remember a couple weeks back when I mentioned the new/old hiking trail we're reopening on the museum and nature center grounds where I work? Yesterday, Andy, I, Andy's aunt and cousin, spent our Saturday afternoon clearing the end of the trail to the scenic overlook where the trail will now end. Initially, the trail went past the scenic overlook and into a federally designated wilderness, but for maintenance reasons (aka, you can't use chainsaws in a federal wilderness), we're ending the trail before we hit the wilderness border.

The trail is about a mile, maybe a mile and a quarter, long and the first half had been cleared out in March. Because the trail's been unused for nearly 15 years, there's all sorts of undergrowth that needs to snipped away from the trail, not to mention a slew of fallen trees (from a windstorm and a forest fire) that need to chainsawed off the path. Believe it or not, the picture below is of the cleared path: 

There might be a little work to do yet . . . .

I always get swamping duty because I can't be trusted with chainsaws and I actually really enjoy grabbing bits of charred tree truck and hurling them off the trail.  There's such visceral satisfaction in taking a hiking path that's all tangled up with deadfall and undergrowth and making it passable. 

No matter what the path looks like getting there, there's always one heck of a view at the end of the path.


It's still too early for wildflowers to be popping out, so I contented myself with taking some pictures of lichen.

As we stomped back through the woods, chainsaws on our shoulders, backpacks filled with empty waterbottles and cookie bags, we found a moose hiding out in the brush. Can you spot her?

Soon Andy and I will be clearing another trail, so to speak. We leave tomorrow to go visit my brother in southwestern Michigan. It's a 15-hour drive (one way) and I'm already having nightmares about crossing the five-mile long Mackinaw Bridge. Still, I'm excited to see a new part of the country (the only time I've been in Michigan's lower peninsula was to change planes in Detroit) and catch up with my brother.

I'll be popping in and out during the week as time allows and I have a guest post or two for you to enjoy during my absence. Have a great week!


  1. Wow, great job you guys have done there. Have a great week in MI.

  2. Oh wow, that view at the end is gorgeous! It was well worth the effort. I'm sure others really appreciate your hard work.

  3. What an accomplishment Ada. I didn't realize that you work for a museum. That is my background as well. I think lichen is beautiful.

  4. That looks like a lot of work, but the view at the end is amazing! Good luck with your road trip.

  5. MOOSE. Sounds like a lot of hard (but fun!) work. And what a great view to make navigating that trail worth it.

  6. What a wonderful way to spend time with your friends and family, be outside, and also do something good for mother earth! Sounds fab!

    xo Mary Jo

  7. Wow! That looks like a serious project! Impressive. And the moose---awesome! Have a great trip!

  8. I'm very impressed by you and your Hunger Games-esque prowess! Sounds like fun to forge a trail!


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