Trails need maintenance. They are under constant attack by branches, trees, and mud holes, wandering rocks, camouflaging leaves, shortcutting hikers/bikers and erosion. If trail users repair every incidence of damage they come upon, the trails stay in good shape, but the users don’t get home by dark and don’t get the enjoyment they expect. As a result most users don’t stop, they go around, and the trails get worse.
But if you know that you only have to maintain a small section of trail, and can bypass the rest of the damage with impunity, it’s not such a big deal to stop and fix those few problems as they arise on your trail.
Every STAB member is encouraged to Adopt–a–Trail. Preferably it is a nearby section that you travel often, covering somewhere in the range of one to three miles. You can adopt a trail by notifying the Trail Manager of your interest. The Trail Manager will maintain the master list of all STAB trails and will assign responsibility for each section. If damage is found, notify the TM and s/he will let the ‘foster parent’ know that something needs to be done. In some cases the TM will let the STAB membership know that a particular trail should be avoided until it can be repaired.
Trails can be adopted online. Logged-in STAB members can access the Members' Trail List under the Trails tab above. If the "Adopted by" field is blank, click the "edit" link below the trail entry; enter a name in the field, and click "update" below the trail entry.
STAB members will be expected to maintain their adopted trail by:
- Removing fallen branches, and trees (or sometimes rerouting around).
- Repairing erosion, diverting water, maintaining rock ‘armor’ at stream crossings, and draining mud holes.
- Notifying the Trail Manager of need for help with major damage, bridges, etc. so that s/he can recruit a work force and plan a trail day.
- Raking leaves from newer trails that may get hidden, or hollows that may fill, impeding travel. Well-traveled, established trails should not be raked, as the leaves and minor debris act as a shield against erosion.
- Maintaining and signage on the trail.
- After major snow storms (?) it is helpful if the adopted trail can be skied or snow-shoed to mark the way for those who are less familiar.
Treat your adopted trail as you would your own and we will all enjoy better trails.