The North Fork trail leads into the back country of Rocky Mountain National Park and is one of the heaviest used trails in the forest, used by hikers, backpackers and stockriders. This heavy use has caused a great deal of wear and tear on the trail which requires a large amount of maintenance to get it back to being a safe and enjoyable trail.
PWV adopted the North Fork Trail in 2009 and has been working to improve the trail for the last three years. Garin VanDeMark has acted as the committee chair and led the work since PWV’s adoption of the trail.
The Adopt-A-Trail team completed four major projects in the 2011 season. First, during the June work session they repaired the first bridge by replacing the top deck running boards, curb rail, and adding railing posts. During the work weekend session in July they put up signs at five of the bridges instructing users with stock to use the fords rather than taking the risk of using the foot bridges. Also during this work session work was done to repair major trail damage taking place at the large rock in the trail just beyond the Cheley camp.
During the August and September work sessions they replaced the hazardous board walk with a turnpike. This entailed not only constructing the log structure and hauling lots of rocks; it also meant moving 45 cubic feet of dirt and 15 cubic feet of gravel.
Fortunately Kathy James was able to assist by bringing llamas to help with moving the dirt and gravel. With the llamas and human volunteers it still took 5 full days to complete the job. Frank Lilley provided the guidance and technical know-how which enabled us to build the turnpike. The fourth project was to build a large rock retaining wall to protect the approach to the third bridge on the trail. The spring runoff was causing erosion which was threatening to wash away the bridge approach. A team of four PWV’ers, with Garin leading the way, was able to construct a wall approximately 12 feet long and up to 4 feet high in one day. This required moving some very large rocks (Garin loves large rocks) and getting quite wet in the river. Everyone had a great time with these projects and a great deal was accomplished. Next year Mark Snyder will be leading the Adopt-A-Trail team with Garin acting as our technical expert. (Someone has to know what to do!)
We plan to move on up the trail and continue to improve the trail so that hiking and riding are a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.
We hope many of our other PWV members will join us in the effort to improve the trail and come on out and have some fun moving really big rocks and digging in the dirt.