On Sunday June 18th five Cardigan Highlanders met at Sunapee Ski area for a ride up the chair lift to work on the Solitude Trail and the upper portion of the Andrew Brook Trail.
We split the group into two work parties; one to work on the Solitude Trail and the other on the upper portion of Andrew Brook Trail. Three Highlanders descended Andrew Brook Trail while the other two focused on the Solitude Trail.
The Solitude team trimmed branches and shrubs growing into the trail, uncovering several places that made for easier walking on the existing trail. We dug out the one waterbar on this section, which dried out 60 yd. of trail downhill. We also dug several ditches to drain mudholes. We noted places needing pavers or waterbars, but we have all summer to build them.
The crew that went to Andrew Brook Trail cleaned 14 drains and constructed three new cross trail drainage ditches that worked wonders at keeping water from flowing down the trail where it was causing erosion. These new drains will really help preserve the trail tread.
This crew also removed three blow downs and cut branches off a large spruce lying about 4 feet above the trail. Removing all the branches and trimming the portion of the tree lying over the trail at least made it much easier for hikers to duck under. We will need to revisit this blowdown with a chain saw to thoroughly remove it. We also made note of a birch leaner that will require a chainsaw as well. Both tasks should be completed soon.
In several locations along the trail the crew used hand pruners to trim back branches protruding into the trail especially those at eye level and trimmed back a considerable amount of Hobble bush.
The crew worked their way down Andrew Brook Trail almost to the third brook crossing performing this work and are happy to report that the upper portion of the trail is in good shape even with all the rain we’ve had recently. Naturally the trail was quite wet but with drier weather most of the muddy wet areas will dry up.
Everyone made it back to the chairlift on time to ride it downhill. By waiting for it to open, we made good use of our time. More jobs later. We hope to return next Saturday to complete our patrol of the Andrew Brook Trail; working from the trailhead on Mountain Rd. up to the third brook crossing meeting the spot where we left off on this trip.
Bob Humphrey, CHVTC Team Leader
Craig Sanborn, CHVTC Trailmaster