road & trail work

I am overdue in giving thanks to all the people who were busy this winter cleaning up roads and trails after the ice storm. I’ve done very little trail maintenance myself, and anything I can do locally that doesn’t require bushwhacking is thanks to someone else’s efforts. To all of you, and you know who you are, thank you.

It’s good to read on the state park web site that Monadnock SP’s trails are slowly opening back up to authorized use after storm cleanup. I hope the new campground at Gilson Pond wasn’t completely trashed! I’d been looking forward to staying there this summer, its first scheduled season.

Here in Merrimack, Horse Hill is in good shape, and it pleases me that it’s been getting so much use. I’m glad the town acquired the land when it did. In the current economy, I don’t think a land acquisition of that size would pass.

I drove down Rt. 31 from Wilton to Greenville the other day and was shocked at all the downed trees along the roadside. I thought the crews in my town had a big job after the ice storm. We actually had it easy. I remember driving through Dunbarton in January and seeing how bad the tree damage was. That’s what Rt. 31 looked like last weekend — two months later. It’s spring now, the snow is receding, and I’m sure there will be enough work to last all summer for anyone who knows how to wield a chain saw.

I see that the Friends of the Wapack are planning their annual end-to-end hike for next month instead of the fall. I wonder how much of the day will be spent flagging spots for future work.

Mud season will actually be an interesting time this spring, as I discover how more of my favorite trails fared over the winter. I’m half inclined to carry a small folding saw in my backpack for the spring hikes. I suppose the more sensible approach would be to note any difficult spots and then bring them to the attention of the land managers, who probably have trail crews who actually know what they’re doing. I probably shouldn’t go out armed with only a saw and good intentions.