I have identified 8 major areas requiring the most work and parts of the trail (yellow) that will require clearing:
- Benching between climbs. A long bench cut on the side of this hill will be necessary. It's probably 30 to 40 yards. On the southern end there will be a wide hairpin curve that I want to crib, as well.
- Stonewall Breach. There are two existing breaches that need to be adjusted. The southern one will be for the horses and bikers/hikers who want an easy way through the wall. North of that breach by 10 yards will be a more technical "up-and-over" through the wall. A portion of the wall is mostly down, so we'll just have to find a way to ramp up to the wall and then ramp down the other side.
- The Tunnel of Love. Rather than exit State land onto town land and then back into State Land again, I think it's best to leave the Tunnel of Love alone. It will be good a deterrent against any motorized users from gaining access to main part of the trail. Of course that will mean blocking off the stone wall cut by the opening of the tunnel but that's an acceptable trade off, I think. What this means is the rest of the tree trunk has to be cut in order to allow users to pass through.
Immediately following will be another stonewall breach and then cutting another downed tree. We could just breach the stonewall onto the ROW and bypass trying to go through the tree, which would save some effort.
- A bench cut and some cribbing will be necessary here. This part of the trail may be subject to change, depending on the final walk through with DEP. If this had to be straightened out it would make quite a climb that I don't want to have on the trail because it will erode quickly and be a constant problem.
- Two intermittent streams come together here and the question is whether to cross two little streams with armoring or cross one stream, that is wider, but has a more accessible crossing point? If we go through the bigger portion of the stream then some downed trees will have to be cleared. I think these also came down during the tornado last spring. Also, in this area is a hunter's tree stand that will have to come down. According to the DEP, permanent structures such as these are not allowed.
- Another stream armoring is required at this point. We might also want to do some benching nearby.
- Another downed tree will have to be cut here and we may want to do some benching along this stretch, too. Some additional benching will probably be required in this loop out section as well.
- This is where the big downed pine tree is located. I also want to figure out a way to make it extremely difficult for a motorized vehicle to get past this point. Granted the two up and overs may accomplish that but we may have to have some go arounds for our four legged friends and I don't want those routes compromised, either.
- Not shown will be the bench cut at the Pond Brook Trail Head. This is discussed in a previous post.