Sunday, August 22, 2010

TM Report: Pequonnock River Valley (aka Trumbull)

Saturday, August 21st, 2010
Condition of Trails: Excellent

Trail Ambassador Name: Rich C, Paula, Rich S
Trail Ambassador Email: mtnbikerdad[at]yahoo[dot]com
Town: Trumbull
Location: Pequonnock Valley State Forest
Trails Ridden: Connector near north Brtidge
How did you use the trail?: TM ,
What was the time of day? 9 AM -12 noon
Duration (Hours): 3 Hours

This was a posted TTC TM day - We met at the north end Whitney Road parking lot and, after chatting with a few hikers and bikers, we gathered our tools (including a wheelbarrow) and took a short walk to the North Bridge. Our project was to work on the water-runoff issues on the short connector trail that leads up to from the bridge to the White Trail on the east side of the river. We (three CTNEMBA members) were joined by TTC stalwart Robbie Kane, as well as Larry Settembrini and Steve Mcallister.
Paula and Steve headed further into the Central Maze and removed a fallen tree that was noted a month or so back. It was blocking the Yellow Trail in the Slab rock area and has been overdue for removal.
In the meanwhile, the rest of us got started on addressing the runoff issues just up the hill from the bridge.
Diverting the Streambed - The normal runoff streambed for excess rain, located on the north side of the trail, was currently blocked with large clumps of fallen leaves and sticks, etc. This has caused the water to divert directly onto the trail and wash it out and leave it muddy.
Upgrading the Trail - The trail itself was chewed up and widened from all the mud and braiding. We needed to narrow the trail and "beautify it" where needed.
Diverting/Digging the Streambed - We dug out a new channel, turning the streambed away from the trail and diverting the water runoff further downhill. At Rich S's suggestion, we built up the channel bank at the turn with a solid rock wall to ensure the water wouldn't erode this turn but instead, continue and dissipate much further downhill away from the trail.
Fixing the Trail - We focused on narrowing this trail and routing it away from low-lying areas where water would collect. A gentle sweeping S-curve reroute was added for a short section connecting nicely with the existing curve on the current trail.
In addition to randomly scattering leaves and small brush over the excessivley-widened areas, Paula suggested we transplant plants and small trees to blend the reclaimed area with the surrounding scenery. The trail now (1) looks really nice; (2) has great flow; and (3) is isolated from the storm runoff -- a much-improved sustainable solution.

Feedback - As we were working, a few bikers and hikers came through and "christened" the new trail, and once back into our cars in the parking lot another biker in the lot said our "upgrade" was a smooth fun ride and a great improvement. A nice way to end the day - unsolicited direct positive feedback from a park user!

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