The Spruce Creek Trail in Blue River is highly trafficked by trail users on their way to the Mohawk Lakes basin. The trail crosses a number of wet, boggy areas. One particular section was seeing a high amount of resource damage as users were walking around the muddy area causing erosion, trail widening, and vegetation damage. In efforts to keep recreationalists on the trail tread, a turnpike was the solution. Turnpikes are trail structures which elevate the trail above the wet ground. Natural spruce rounds (logs) were collected from the nearby forest. Natural rounds were used instead of treated lumber due to the remote nature of the turnpike location. The rounds were debarked prior to installation. Removing the bark and cambium layers from the live trees helps eliminate moisture from the rounds to slow down the decomposition process, which extends the life of the turnpike. Once the rounds were reinforced into the ground with rebar, we could begin to fill in the structure with layers of rock. We started with larger rocks on the bottom, followed by smaller crushed rocks on top. Finally, we topped the turnpike with a layer of mineral soil (soil void of organic material,) to serve as the trail tread. We had three trail projects and 21 total volunteers to help us complete this 24 foot long turnpike. The before and after pictures really show the effectiveness of turnpikes!
Thank you, volunteers!!
Volunteers from Breckenridge Grand Vacations: Amy Stackhouse, Dan Roth, Aaron Outhoff, Kyle Brochu, Jessica Schumacher, Sarah Tweed, Monica Thinger, Taela Vander Maazen
Volunteers from the public: Laura Weigand, Ron Hill, Trey Wilson, Elaine Collins, Fiona Nolan, Bill Hieber, Gil Barker, Rick Orwig, Levi Morris, Ann Kampf, Jenni Stephens, Tina Cunningham, Dave Brewster