CEDAR MOUNTAIN — Seven miles of popular trails in DuPont State Recreational Forest haven't had any major work done on them in the past seven years, but they're getting attended to this summer.
According to a press release from DSRF, workers are already hard at work completing trail maintenance on those trails. The repairs and improvements will make the trails more sustainable, enhance recreational opportunities and correct erosion, drainage and sedimentation that impacts natural resources, the release said.
“All trails need some heavier maintenance performed around every five years,” said Jane Dauster, recreation specialist for DSRF, in the release. “The trails we’ll be working on receive a lot of use from cyclists, equestrians and hikers. They have not received any major repairs or renovations since 2015.”
Plans started for the trail work in the summer of 2021, and Friends of DuPont Forest trail boss Lyle Burgmann collaborated with DSRF to complete the trail assessments, the release said. Friends of DuPont also funded an independent trail consultant to make recommendations for a problematic section of Hooker Creek Trail.
“We are very grateful for the support and opportunities for collaboration that the Friends of DuPont Forest gives us,” said Jason Guidry, DSRF forest supervisor. “Each year the organization provides countless volunteer hours for everything from staffing the Aleen Steinberg Visitor Center to donating their valuable time and hard labor on the trails.”
DSRF also hired an outside contractor to complete the maintenance. The company will be supervised by DSRF staff and will complete the work using a combination of hand tools and narrow trail building equipment. The repairs, improvements and temporary closures will impact seven miles of trails including Hooker Creek Trail, Ridgeline Trail, Jim Branch Trail, Hickory Mountain Trail, Isaac Heath Trail and Locust Trail.
The North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund is funding this late summer and fall 2022 trail work. The work will be completed in stages so that the least number of trails will be closed at any time. Forest officials anticipate the work will be completed in about 120 days from the time work begins.
According to the release, work may be scheduled throughout the day and night, on weekends and on weekdays, so visitors should plan accordingly. Forest officials will close trails that are actively being worked on. Visitors are asked to respect these closures for their safety and so that the work can be completed as quickly as possible.
For the latest information about trail closures, go to www.dupontstaterecreationalforest.com.
This article originally appeared on Hendersonville Times-News: Maintenance work under way on popular trails at DuPont State Forest