TRAIL MAINTENANCE 2017
by Clyde Burnsworth
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Only 6 folks brave enough to show up for the work trip in this heat, Gary
Carter, Gary Eggers, Bill Cox, Michael O'Brien, Tom Shope, and I. Since I
did not have a key that would work the gate above Leatherwood Falls, we
decided to venture to the Chunky Gal trail and tackle the stretch from Bob
Allison CG to the "Big Buckeye". There were quite a few trees across this
stretch which we cut out and moderate brushcutting and lopping. It was
still early and somewhat cool when we got to the Buckeye, and the trail
past here looked pretty bad, so we worked up another 0.3 miles and cleared
the first 3 switchbacks, up to the 4th one. The rest will have to wait
till the next time. Thanks to all those who ventured out in the heat to
Thurs, July 26th : We went up to Chunky Gal in the morning at glade gap and replaced a small footbridge just off of the USFS road, we also checked out the first stream crossing and its was looking good. Then we packed up and went down to leatherwood falls and cleared the short loop trail around the falls. Thanks to Michael OBrien, Rich Sullivan, Gary Carter, Tom Shope, Steve Jersey and Gary Eggers for turning out on a nice day.
Thurs July 19th : We had a total of nine workers turn out today. We went to Raven Cliffs trail and met up the SAWS crew working on a trail reroute. We used the small crosscut saw and all of us had a chance to dig. The new section was almost complete and should be done by the weekend. Thanks to Gary Eggers, Steve Jersey, Jim Upchurch, Gary Carter, Tom Shope, Frank Retter, Steve Dennison and Michael OBrien for turning out. We had a 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM day and met lots of hikers on the trail.
Thurs July 12th: We had 10 workers today and hiked up the Arkaquah trail a short distance to the site of a large root ball divot that needed filled in. Thanks to Frank Retter, Steve Dennison, Bill Cox, Steve Jersey, Tom Shope, Bill Johnston, Gary Eggers, Ray Taylor and Michael OBrien.It was a short 2 hr day thanks to the large turnout.
Thurs June 14th: We had a crew of 9 today, and went to the top of the Miller Trek and split into two groups and worked down to the resort area. We brushcut, lopped, and took out a few trees blocking the trail. Thanks to Frank Retter, Bill Johnston, Rich Sullivan, Tom Shope, Gary Eggers, Steve Jersey, Michael OBrien and Jim Upchurch. We beat the heat back to Blairsville as all were back by noon.
Thurs June 7th: We had a big turn out today and a USFS crew of 3 led by Warren. Group 1 went to Perry Gap and cleared the Chunky Gal trail of a blocking tree and then went on past Perry Gap via the road to the last road crossing of Chunky Gal and cleared two tree tops blocking the trail, also cleared some trees blocking the access road along the way. Thanks to Rich Sullivan, Frank Retter and Steve Jersey. Group 2 went to Bristol Camp and worked up to Carver Gap and then along the rim trail just past Julie High Top. The USFS crew went up over Julie High Top and we went around via the bypass. Thanks to Michael OBrien, Tom Shope, Ray Taylor, Bill Johnston and Gary Eggers. It was a 8 to 12:30 day for group 1, and a 8 to 1:30 day for group 2.
Thurs, May 24th: We had 9 workers total turnout today and went over to the Cooper's creek area. One crew "A" worked with loppers and brushcutters on the "eyes on wildlife trail" , the other crew "B" worked from Shope gap down via the Yellow Mt Trail also with loppers and one brushcutter. Thanks to Crew "A" , Steve Dennison, Tom Shope ,Steve Jersey, Dave Richardson, Gary Carter and Michael OBrien. Crew "B" was Rich Sullivan, Gary Eggers, Bill Johnston and myself. Crew "A" finished up around 11 and Crew "B" around noon. It was warm but no rain and the club hike in a few weeks on these trails should be all clear walking.
Thurs, May 10th: We had a good turnout even with the big event up in TN, eight workers in all. We went back to Smith Creek Trail by Helen and finished up clearing and brushcutting and lopping. Some spots needed a lot of attention. Thanks to Steve Dennison, Jim Upchurch, Dave Richardson, Gary Eggers, Bill Cox, Bill Johnston and Ray Taylor. We had a 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM day and escaped any rain.
Thurs, May 3rd: We had a good turnout for our first trip in May with a 8:00 AM start. We had 8 workers get over the mountain to Smith Creek Trail and we worked it form the state park end up to the ridge line. Thanks to Rich Sullivan, Frank Retter, Ray Taylor, Gary Eggers, Jim Upchurch, Tom Shope and Bill Johnston. We got back to Blairsville around 1:00 PM and beat the heat.
Thurs Apr 19: We had 11 total workers turn out today for the annual ATV ride from the USFS to the "top" of Chunky Gal trail and trail clearing work trip down to highway 64 at Glade Gap. With the help from the USFS for the ride and clearing a very large tree across the trail near the top we cruised down and had a early finish even with a few "IRMA" trees down across the trail. Thanks to Michael OBrien, Dave Richardson, Bill Johnston, Steve Dennison, Frank Retter, Rich Sullivan, Gary Eggers, Tom Shope, Steve Jersey, and Gary Carter. We had two chainsaw crews, two brushcutters, and and a big loping crew to clear the way. We were on the 8:00 AM to 2:30 PM clock today which is a very good duration for this trip.
Thurs Apr 12: We had a big turnout for work yesterday, a total of a dozen workers came out to clear the Jack's Knob Trail. We cleared, loped, did some treadwork, brushcut etc. Thanks to Steve Jersey, Bill Cox, Steve Dennison, Michael OBrien, Frank Retter, Jim Upchurch, Rich Sullivan, Tom Shope, Gary Eggers, Gary Carter and Bill Johnston for turning out. We pulled a 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM shift on a very nice day to be out.
Thurs Apr 5th: We had a big turnout and a big helping hand from the USFS today. We broke into three groups and went after the rim trail above Leatherwood Falls today. The first group went with a UTV ride via USFS to the rim trail junction near Shortoff Knob via the firebreak and worked to Will King Gap, the second group took the same UTV ride and worked down toward the second road crossing above Leatherwood Falls. The third group worked up from the road crossing and met the group working down. The USFS crew cleared two large trees below Shortoff Knob and also did a short reroute around a large rootball divot. The first group got a ride back to the start point after completing clearing that section of trail. Thanks to the USFS crew for all the rides and hard work. Thanks to first group of Dave Richardson, Bill Johnston, and Michael OBrien. And thanks to the groups two and three of Steve Dennison, Tom Shope, Rich Sullivan, Frank Retter, Gary Carter, and Bill Cox. The first group was a 9 to 2 day and the third group finished at 3:30PM.
Thurs Mar 22nd: Frosty start this AM and my primary target was to work the Jacks Knob trail down from Brasstown Bald but the gate was closed the last few days due to the snow, instead we took our crew to Coleman River Trail and cleared it up to where it disappears. On the way back we stopped at the Lake Chatuge Trail and did the loop around as well. Thanks to Steve Jersey, Steve Dennison, Tom Shope and Bill Johnston for turning out.
Thur, Mar 15th: We had two crews today working in the fires creek area, Tom Shope and Michael OBrian worked with Jed and Warren from the U.S.F.S. on clearing the Phillips Ridge access road, Bill Johnston and Dave Richardson and myself went up Omphus Ridge trail. The Phillips Ridge road was cleared to the washed out culvert, and Omphus Ridge is clear to the junction with the Rim Trail. We worked a 9:00AM to 12:30PM day and it was a delightful day to be out in the forest. Thanks to all who turned out.
Thurs March 8th: We had a big turnout on a cool day. We went over the mountain to the Raven Cliffs Trail and worked in three teams, 2 teams working water issues and one team working the manual saw. Saw lots of hikers and also met with Phil from the USFS. Thanks to Steve Jersey, Michael OBrian, Jim Upchurch, Bill Johnson, Bill Cox, Tom Shope, Rich Sullivan, Frank Retter and Steve Dennison. It was a 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM kind of day.
Thurs Feb 22: We took a shot at Rockhouse trail and cleared up the trail until just below the rim trail intersection. It was a warm climb with three saws due to the work that had been prescreened last week. Thanks to Jim Upchurch, Rich Sullivan, Steve Jersey, Steve Dennison, Frank Retter, and Michael OBrien. It was a 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM work day.
Thurs, Feb 8: We took on the Chunky Gal trail again today and we got a good chunk of trail cleared. One crew started at Tusquitee gap and with loppers and brushcutters worked north to the USFS road crossing, the other crew with loppers and chainsaws jumped ahead from the road crossing to the get the trail cleared toward the were we left off from Bob Allison Campground. It all worked out and that section is now clear post "irma". Thanks to Tom Shope, Dave Richardson, Jim Upchurch, Bill Johnston and Michael OBrien. We had a 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM day.
Thurs, Feb 1: We had a small crew turn out to beat the rain and did a great job on the Chunky Gal Trail from Tusquitee Gap toward Tate Gap, this section had lots of lopping to do and a bit of chain saw work as well, we got it cleared to the ridge line coming out of the gap with lots of mist and fog but no rain. Thanks to Bill Johnston, Tom Shope and GaryCarter for getting out today. It was a 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM day.
Thurs, Jan 25th: We went to Jackrabbit Mt trail and did a little footbridge repair. See the attached "after Photo". Thanks to Jim Upchurch, Bill Johnston, Michael OBrien, Steve Dennison, and Gary Carter for getting out on a very fine winter day. We did a short 9:00AM to noon workday. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________