Monday, December 3, 2012

CFPA Volunteers Work Miracles on the Paugussett Trail

A dedicated group of volunteers met at the Methodist Meeting House in Monroe Sunday to clear a massive pine blowdown that was blocking the upper Paugussett Trail.  The crew went in on East Village Road about 0.15 miles west of Barn Hill Road.  At first it looked bad, but not too bad.

Then we crossed the powerlines, and it looked like a lumberyard.  And not a tidy lumberyard at that.  Hurricane Sandy had leveled dozens and dozens of pines of all sizes; several 30"+ in diameter.

One volunteer sawyer from CFPA  had been in earlier and dropped a lot of trees, but there were many logs on the ground or still lodged in blowdowns that had to be bucked up and cleared.

I don't know who the guy was that cut all those trees, but I can tell you one thing, he was good; really, really, really good with a saw.  Bill; the resident trail manager from CFPA called in for help because he didn't have a chain saw.  He should've called for a grapple truck and a log skidder.

After a while with two chainsaws going and a lot of hands rolling, dragging, and tumbling logs a trail began to re-emerge from the mist.  John in particular was impressive with the the way he was throwing logs out of the way; "They're light" he said "They're only pine".   

The CFPA folks were well organized.  Glen had brought some pre-painted shingles that the nailed up on trees as temporary blazes where they had to re-route the trail around blowdowns.

They also packed in all their tools, including the chainsaws, on modified frame backpacks.

Eventually the trail was cleared over to the old Hoop Skirt Dam on Boys Halfway River.  There used to be a mill downstream of the dam that made Hoop Skirts back in the 1800's.  Not much call for those today, but the river was pretty.

This is the "After" picture of what the Paugussett Trail looks like through the pine maze once the trail was raked.  I though that we had done some tough clearing of storm damage, but this takes the cake.  Many thanks to all the CFPA volunteers out there who take care of the 800 miles of Blue-Blazed Trails across Connecticut.

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