There is something very personal about repairing or restoring a Trails system. You may not always get the chance to see the results, but rest assured, your efforts serve many, many people. Helping others to get access to different habitats, or go deeper into the Forest, is work that is some of the most rewarding.
A few years back, I worked on a new Trails system at one of the Recreation areas. New Trails to remove the erosion the previous trail had been causing regularly. The following weekend, after we had completed this brand new section of Trail, we returned to do some clean up and trimming. As we passed through a Meadow the new Trail had been cut through, there sat a family of four. Mom & Dad and their two children running through the tall grasses of this very private Meadow. It was a scene out of a Movie.
I will always remember this moment. This family had gone to a very private place, deeper into the Forest then they would have normally went, and showed their kids a private taste of this beautiful habitat. They would never had been there, if not for our weeks of work on rerouting what was originally, a bad Trail. Something I will NEVER forget.
So…….Hiking Michigan North/Central director, Mark Wilson has been in working contact with Clare county Parks & recreation and the DNR, attempting to put together a combo effort at restoring what once was a very extensive Trails system at the Green Pine Lake Trails in the Ausable State Forest area. This Trails system was built by local Eagle Scouts, many years ago, and has fallen into disrepair, due to lack of maintenance.
This Trails system is pretty extensive. Boardwalks, Bridges, intense signage, all created by who know how many Scouts, over how long of time period. But it was an amazing accomplishment for anyone.
Mark thought that it was a shame to let all of this extensive Scout work just rot away. Boardwalks and Bridges, and even Trails reach a point of no return without proper maintenance. The Green Pine Lake Trails have gotten to the edge of that point.
So between the reconnaissance work of Mark and Associate Hal, and then Ortonville Scout Master Jeff, these people GPS ed what they could in what remained of the Trails. In many cases, pushing their ways through deep overgrown Trails and Boardwalks. But they managed to GPS the loops there, and with Hiking Michigan’s help, create a Map of these lost Trails.
So here we are in 2013, and with some contacts and meetings with the DNR and local Clare county Parks & Recreation, Hiking Michigan’s Mark Wilson has managed to get a ball rolling in Trails restoration that hopefully will eventually restore the entire area Trails, to their once beautiful state. Phase 1 of these plans begin on Saturday, April 27th, 2013, at 8am – 4pm+.
This first Phase will be initial clearing of the main Trails and some signage repainting. There will also be many notes taken for Map updates, features and foliage logging and analysis of future work needed to restore some of the damaged Bridges and Boardwalks. As I mentioned earlier in this post, there is nothing as rewarding as Trails work. And this restoration of the very hard work, done many years ago by our local Eagle Scouts, makes this Maintenance/Restoration work, even more rewarding.
Phase 2 of this ongoing project will include some rebuilding of actual Bridges and Boardwalks and some heavier work along the Trails. Hiking Michigan is donating any and all Map signage for the project and along the Trails as needed. Clare county and the DNR will be providing much of the timber and materials needed for the heavier repairs. What is so very needed here is YOU. The people willing to perform these tasks of Trails restoration and maintenance. The Doers! The people behind the scenes, who will make this project a success for so many others to follow behind you and just stroll and enjoy this beautiful area. Thinking these Trails, Boardwalks and Bridges where all just here forever, and just part of the natural environment. 🙂
Besides the huge Thank Yous from fellow workers, and a bit of shinning you will get through the small News article and local mentions in NewsLetters and HM publications, your efforts will be that of Heritage work. You will have continued something that was about to fade away shortly, and made it something that your children will enjoy, along with the many, many others wandering into the area and down one of the Trails. These Trails interconnect to the infamous LOST LAKE Boy Scout Camp, right next door to this State Forest Trails system.
So please come out and join us for Phase 1 of this all summer project of restoring the Trails at Green Pine Lake, During Phase 2, participants will have Free overnight Camping, provided by our DNR, at nearby Mud Lake State Forest Campground. Hiking North/Central Michigan will be providing colored Maps for all participants, and will be working at providing Snacks and Campfire Vittles for future Phases of the project.
There is nothing we love more here at Hiking Michigan then when many different groups and Organizations pull together for Nature and to serve ALL the people of our beautiful state of Michigan. We have some special surprises for those who follow through with their Volunteerism on this project, which we will keep private for the time being.
If you are interested in being a part of these work projects, starting with the April 27th starter date, then pleas contact Mark Wilson at: Mark@hikingmichigan.com or call him at: 231-250-2071.