Spring fixes help busy trails last

Submitted on Tue, 04/09/2019 - 10:51

WENATCHEE — Each year, the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust asks volunteers to spend a few hours shoveling and raking the thin dirt strips that zigzag through the Wenatchee foothills. It’s simple but important work that improves trail health, and the time to do it is in the spring when soils are malleable.

“We have very limited soil moisture in Wenatchee, so we tend to try and do a big push for spring maintenance in order to work with the trail tread and the soil when it’s soft and wet,” said Hanne Beener, trail programs manager with the Land Trust.

Thirty-one volunteers met where the pavement meets the dirt on Horse Lake Road on a dreary Saturday morning in Wenatchee to mend a weathered trail system.

“It was pretty easy digging out there on Saturday and that’s really important because when those trails and those soil types set up they are like concrete, so whatever deformities or erosion channels are in the trail tread by the time it dries out completely,” Beener said.

The group’s focus Saturday was water — namely molding the Balsamroot and Sage Hills trails to divert water off the pathways and onto the hillsides.

Before the group split in different directions — half up Balsamroot, half up Sage Hills — volunteer Andy Kahn told crews to look for places in the trail where water potentially sits still and to dig a shallow channel leading water to the hillside, and to remove any blockages.

Read the entire article in the Wenatchee World.