Under a grey and drizzly sky HAFTA was out volunteering in Hilton Falls on April 28th. Our gang was helping Hilton’s staff to install new trail signage that will benefit our navigation of the forest and their emergency response. I know many riders have asked for this and will be excited to see the signs once they’re fully installed!
The next day many volunteers awoke to a light dusting of snow and subsequently glancing at their calendars; yes it was Sunday, April 29th and snowing in Southern Ontario. The good news was those clouds quickly parted leaving a warm Spring sun to shine down and quickly melt that last bit of snow. Hopefully it’s gone for at least 6 months!!
That Sunday our crews were busying trying to make up for lost time. April’s miserable ice storm and subsequent rain storms had cancelled over half the build days we had scheduled for our new trail. We were really lucky that our first trail day (April 8th) was so popular as this meant that the raking was done which enabled us to start the labour intensive rock-work while a few volunteers wandered about pulling any saplings that crossed the tread.
The good news is that thanks to those who volunteered the AF is already clear of major debris caused by the two severe storms that swept through this April. And now for the bad news: Look at these photos and you can understand that many trails in our network will be taking approx two weeks to thaw/dry out (depending on temperatures and additional rain).
If you’re leaving a visible depression in the dirt on any trail (also known as a rut) with your heels or wheels then you’re contributing to the destruction of that trail. The more a trail erodes the more it starts to sink down, which only causes water/mud to hang around longer which causes further erosion. Perhaps worse is that people dodging muddy puddles cause beauty low-impact single-track to widen into trail that resembles sidewalk.
If we leave the trails be for two weeks then they’ll dry and still be awesome. So, please give them some time to dry. Thank you and we’ll update you May 1st on the condition of the trail network. When the trails reopen and you spot a problem, but are unable to resolve it, drop a trail report or send an email with the location. http://hafta.ca/how-to-report-problems-on-the-trail/
With an ice-storm forecast and the windstorm last week we’re expecting and getting reports that “Hey there is a big tree down” and it’s great people are reaching out. Amazingly, somebody at HAFTA is typically up for taking care of that tree for everybody.
Weird, but true.
Anyways, if you want to help that person deal with these problems efficiently, then when you find a problem on the trails please use Trailforks.com app to make a report that includes a photo & GPS data. Much of the time spent taking care of these problems is wasted by hiking from the wrong side of trail with the wrong tools. You can always e-mail us, but you need to know the name of the trail you were on and the condition of that tree or problem – basically everything Trailforks will do for you automatically.
Filing TrailForks reports with photos and GPS co-ordinates helps volunteers get to the different problems faster, track which have been solved and do it all with less fuss. Thank you! Check the video below for instructions: