Thursday, May 21, 2020

Paugussett Mudhole Reroutes

We've done a couple quick little reroutes of the Paugussett Trail just north of Independence Drive, in the area of the three bridges. It's always been muddy through there, but this year things came to a head with all the additional trail traffic due to Covid-19, along with a wet spring.
New section of trail
There are no good routes through that area, just potentially less bad ones. Areas that look drier at first are likely to become wet after a few years of compaction. So although the two little reroutes are open for hiking, but more work is expected over the next year or so.

The old route was a morrass

The southern reroute closer to Independence Drive bypasses one of the Scout bridges. We have another Scout project pending which will include moving that bridge to the new route and building some bog walks on ground that is acceptable for now but will sink after people start walking on it. Inevitable when you're next to skunk cabbage.

New section is a bit rocky, but drier

The second part was a 150'-long shift onto a low bony ridge that parallels the powerlines, possibly a byproduct of when the powerlines were installed. The line of big trees, especially hickory trees, are a sign of firmer ground. Hickories don't grow in swamps. The footing is uneven but much of it seems pretty firm.  Maybe one section of bog walk will be needed eventually. A lot of poison ivy vines had to be pulled out by hand along one section.

The old mudhole route is history

At any rate, it's now a lot easier to hike the Paugy between Independence and Constitution Blvd without getting your feet all full of mud.

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