October Trail Assessment, Saturday Oct. 18

We will forego our regular group Trail Improvement Day on Saturday, Oct. 18, in favor of a trail-wide assessment. Instead of meeting together as a group, our goal on this day is to individually or in pairs spread out and hike the various segments of trail in our county, with an eye to being observant and giving the trail a critical look. 

Bring along your notebook and a smartphone camera if you have one. If you have a trail tool (saw or loppers), bring it along as well. Pick out a segment of your choice, possibly one you are not extremely familiar with (or the newly-built one from Hwy E westbound for 1.5 miles!). Then hike the segment with “new eyes", noting in your book any bridges, tread sections, signage, vegetation, or even trail alignment that really needs attention. If possible, identify where it is on the segment by making a map, noting nearby landmarks, looking up coordinates on a GPS unit or smartphone. Best of all is a photo taken with a phone that records GPS coordinates and visualizes the problem at the same time!

When you return home, compile your notes, map, photos, etc. into a report, along with your name, segment hiked, and hours (including travel and preparing the report). Download a report form to use. Try to identify what's most urgently needed. You can email it or otherwise submit it. As little or as much as you identify, it will all help set our agenda for next season’s trail work priorities.

If you prefer to do your assessment on a day other than Saturday, that’s fine as well. 

If you email in advance what segment you’d like to assess (and when you plan to do it), then if someone else wants the same segment we can either pair you up or suggest picking an alternate.

If you don’t have a saw or loppers and wish to take one along, they will be available to sign out at the Parade of Colors Hike or at the Obey Interpretive Center from Oct. 4 through Oct. 19.

Thanks to all who participate in this trail assessment.