Thursday, November 30, 2017

Wanted: Stairs on the Poet Path

We're looking for an ambitious person, probably a Scout, to build a set of stairs up the steep Paugussett Trail from Princess Wenonah Drive. Work would start hopefully in the spring of 2018 to coincide with other planned improvements along this section. This part of the trail is also known as the "Poet Path."

Area where steps are needed is in orange. Address is 34 Princess Wenonah Drive. 

The section that needs steps is about 100 feet long with a 40 foot rise. That's a 40% grade, and going downhill on autumn oak leaves almost requires hikers to get on their butt and slide down the hill. The path is also eroding into a gully.

The steps would curve up the hill instead of going straight up. 
The property is owned by the Shelton Land Trust, and what we want to do is give the ascending trail a couple of spirals within the 20-foot wide property corridor instead of going straight up the hill. This decreases the overall grade of the trail so the steps can be further apart (possibly with some straight stretches) and also helps avoid erosion issues.

Steps at the foot of the hill
The steps at the bottom of the hill next to Princess Wenonah Drive were recently rebuilt. They consist simply of pressure treated wood risers held by 18" rebar. The address is #34 Princess Wenonah Drive, directly opposite a connector street called Boulder Path. (See on Google Maps).

An example of sturdier stairs are at #180 Thoreau Drive, where the trail drops steeply between two houses. Those steps have a similar design but with heavier timbers and rebar, with the rebar pounded in at an angle and clamped to the board to prevent movement. Rebuilding steps is a lot of work, so we hope the new steps are built to last as long as possible.

Work parties are planned for April 7 and 10 for high school students to dig the trail into the side of the hill up above, so it would be ideal for this project to be under construction in the spring.

If you are interested in this project, please contact Teresa at Funding for supplies is available.

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