The Region of Halton Forestry Dept, through a contractor, will be engaging in a silviculture operation during 2016/2017. The first step of the operation is to widen the double-track and place gravel down so machinery can gain access to the section of forest that will, in the fall of 2017, be logged of softwood species so that native hardwoods can be allowed a chance to replace the pines.
Check out the map if you are interested. Please do not replace the boardwalk, HAFTA will take care of this.
What we really mean when we say the trails are poor and flooded is that they’re essentially closed. Below are pictures from the southern part of the forest.
If that doesn’t have enough impact then consider photos from the north western side.
This weekend a few people rode the vulnerable sections anyway.
That sucks because the flooded areas are all in little terrain bowls and if enough people ride or hike the flooded single-tract in these bowls we’ll end up with trail treads that are weak and chronically collect water. Slowly and steadily that low tread gets churned and loose/muddy enough that we end up having to armour it(extremely laborious). Unfortunately having these trails go through low areas is sometimes the only option given the rockiness and all the small tributaries. We do want to improve this aspect with some trail re-alignments.
To reiterate, under these extraordinary conditions we’re going to go beyond poor and state the trails are “closed”. Hopefully that is a strong enough message. This is really going to take some time to dry up since the old Nassagaweya(nazhesahgewayyong) Township is living up to it’s name as a place with more than one river!
It promised to be a wet miserable late November day with only a dozen or so confirmed attendees for our trail maintenance weekend. The daunting task ahead of us was lugging a truckload of wood down from the bottom of the 10th side road allowance and building over 100′ of board-walk in muddy conditions all this on a day that had the weather gurus promising snow.
My first task of the day was to gather up those that missed the email and would arrive at Mohawk instead of on the 10th side road and 4th line. I dropped off some tools and paperwork to JJ and then headed to Mohawk so that any stragglers could be redirected to the build. Waiting in the Mohawk lot every now and again my phone would beep and there would be a cancellation, would it be a disappointing day? In the pre-HAFTA years some current members participated in a project lead by Igor H. building the other board-walks in the Mahon tract under similar circumstances and it ending up taking them a few days. At least Rob Schultz was already coming back with some donated coffee from Marketplace Starbucks for our volunteers. If numbers were low the people who did come would be totally caffeinated. One by one our volunteers honked their horns at me as they drove up Guelph Line and some dropped by to talk before heading over to the build. Despite seeing volunteers were in fact coming I was still worried whether we would have enough of them and board-walk material.
At half past nine I opened the Mahon gate and headed down the road allowance toward the mountain of wood at the Bat box and was stunned – The turn out was amazing and that lumber pile had disappeared into a train of volunteers stretching out as far as I could see, with each person carrying a handful of lumber to the work site. Once the lumber was distributed and a few minutes of discussion took place nearly 40 volunteers were divvied up into groups and our board-walk assembly line began lurching into action. It didn’t take long to get production set up and the framing done. Then dozens of volunteers armed with their own drills began screwing in the decking. To me this was raucous and a magical sight. Paulo took a small group and headed out to Gnome rock to repair the ramps while the rest of the team was making quick work of the board-walk. The project was looking to be done in just over 3 hours, however we ran into bit of a snag. Nearing the end of the project we discovered we were running out of decking, however some quick thinking lead to JJ and some strong volunteers hauling wheelbarrow loads from an old stash that was all the way down on the stunt trail. Further brainstorming lead to some of the remaining 4x4s being split in half and used as decking.
Thankfully all the snags were ironed out and the job was finished well before the allotted time! We even had an opportunity to fine tune the project and socialize before wrapping the day up. We’d like to thank all our sponsors and in particular the PRFCT Line T shirt company and Via Ciclante for providing the generous prizes we raffled off to the volunteers. We’d also like to thank Halton Region and their forest manager Ron Reinholt for organizing all the materials that went into this board-walk. Finally we’d like to note that sponsors are always needed and with the extra perk of things like bike goodies, gear and coffee it hopefully gets a few tired people out of bed early to help.
All in all we had an awesome day with our team of selfless volunteers quickly finishing the job and having an amazing time in spite of the weather. Thank you all for helping HAFTA make your trails even better and hope to see you at our AGM in the new year!
Prizes from the draw are as follows:
Via Ciclante’s Continental Tires – Jennifer Sage
Via Ciclante’s Shimano SPD Pedals – Ian Deeks
Via Ciclante’s T9 Chain Lube – Raf Rider
Via Ciclante’s T9 Chain Lube – Brett Kril
Via Ciclante’s T9 Chain Lube – Gerard Foley
The PRFCT Line’s I Will Allow It T-Shirt – James Bannister