I think it’s fair to say the majority of our efforts with the Grandfather CFLR are ecologically driven. The same goes for this blog. But I want to take a quick moment to recognize one CFLR effort that is reaching beyond that. This year like many years we allocate a bit of the CFLR efforts to trail work, particularly where there is opportunity to improve the hydrologic function of a trail.
So, this year we are working with the relatively newly formed Northwestern NC Mountain Bike Alliance (Alliance) to focus both volunteer efforts and Forest Service efforts on the Wilson Ridge trail. The Grandfather Ranger District has been working with the Alliance to prioritize trails on the Grandfather District that are open to mountain bikes, need some work and are constant with the Pisgah Trails Strategy. We landed on Wilson Ridge as the top priority.
On the Wilson Ridge Trail the Alliance has already hosted six workdays, totaling 147 hours of volunteer work to maintain and improve four miles of this trail, including placing rolling grade dips and protecting two seeps along the trail. On top of those efforts the Alliance has just received an IMBA/CLIF Bar Trail Preservation Grant to assist them with putting a trail machine on the upper legs of the trail. Pair those with a Forest Service contract to repair a mile and a half of trail and we’re making some great progress on a very accessible trail.
Trails are how we get out and into the Forest. Providing good user experiences are some of our best opportunities to get folks excited about the nature and about stewardship. I’m very excited about the partnerships coming together to better the experience for mountain bikers on the Grandfather Ranger District.