New trail: Dig it

A workday last summer on the Penny's Bend to West Point on the Eno stretch of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.

Fred Dietrich, who oversees construction and maintenance of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail in Durham and Orange counties, reports: “2013 was a good year for the Eno River Section of the MST trail. Thanks to your hard work we were able to keep the trail maintained, and to build the final section and final bridge to complete the trail between Penny’s Bend and West Point on the Eno.
“Over the past five years,” he adds, “we have built three sections of trail that are now part of the completed 14.8 miles of trail from Pleasant Green Road to Penny’s Bend.”
Nearly 15 miles of uninterrupted trail from Pleasant Green Road to Penny’s Bend. And at Penny’s Bend, you hook up with another 60 miles of uninterrupted MST along the south shore of Falls Lake.
That’s 75 miles of uninterrupted hiking on natural surface trail.
How does a metro area come to have a 75-mile (and growing) hiking trail in its midst? Same way the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, stretching from Clingman’s Dome to Jockey’s Ridge, is now more than 500 miles finished: because of people such as yourself. People who don’t mind rolling up their sleeves once a month and spending a Saturday building and maintaining trail. If you haven’t yet joined the ranks of dedicated MST volunteers, now’s the time to do so. We’ve even got a list of Fred’s monthly work days that you can jot into your calendar. Pencil ready?

  • Jan. 25 Meet at the Few’s Ford Access to Eno River State Park, at the end of Cole Mill Road. We will be doing maintenance work on the Cox Mountain trail
  • Feb.. 22 Meet at West Point on the Eno and, weather and water levels permitting, to work on repairing two stream crossings, as well as some additional trail maintenance.
  • March 22 Meet on Rivermont Road, we will do trail maintenance on the Laurel Bluffs and Pump Station trails.
  • April 12 TBD
  • May 3 TBD
  • June 7 National Trails Day: possibly a trail hike instead of a workday.

Volunteers should bring water, lunch and work gloves, and wear boots or closed toed shoes and wear work clothes. Most meeting times are at 9 a.m. But to confirm the time, get directions and to reserve a spot (so Fred knows how many volunteers to expect), drop him a line at fred.dietrich@duke.edu.
Fred says the goal for this year is continue upkeep of the existing 14.8 miles of trail and work on design and planning of the trail from Pleasant Green Road upstream.
“With some luck and much hard work,” Fred says, “it is possible we will be able to complete the trail west from Pleasant Green Road to Hillsborough over the next five years.”

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