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Trail work with volunteer opportunities!

Last updated 6/13/14

Much progress made on the new southside trail

Trailmaster:  Jim Langdon, 943-3992

The Friends of Badger Mountain has been working for several years and this spring had all the required paperwork in place to start a new trail  It's along the south side of the mountain above the orchard, as you can see in the map to the right, where the new trail is shown in yellow and green (click to enlarge the map). The trail crosses part of the orchard's land, but the orchard owners have given the Friends of Badger Mt permission for this trail.

The trail is not yet finsihed, but we plan to be back to complete it in the fall, and hoepfully have the trail open for hikers in November.

May 9, 2014 - Work has stopped for the season, see you in the fall

Many, many thanks to all the folks who helped build the new trail this spring. We made great progress, but now we have stopped all trail work for the season - the ground is just too dry. All this spring we worked on building the new trail above the orchard, on the south side of Badger Mountain. The new trail is about half completed, with 2.3 miles rough-dug and 0.9 miles completed, including being covered with gravel.

The crews this spring included 121 volunteers who came out a total of 266 times for 1300 hours over 8 weeks. Ten volunteers provided half of those hours. 91 volunteers came out once, 15 others came twice, 4 helped three times, and 11 helped more than three times.

The top 10 volunteers were:

Ken McMillan
Ray Merriman
Kent Richert
Dennis Mullen
Lisa Black
Shaun Brog
Karen Wieda
Pietro Martinelli
Kayle Boomer
Bob Sanders

The following groups also helped:

Juvenile Justice work crew, 3 times
Starbucks, twice
Ostler Orthodontics
Troop 126
REI
GIVE Volunteers
Two separate groups from ConAgra Foods/Lamb Weston

So if you see any of these volunteers, give them a big THANK YOU!!! I hope to see you this fall when work will resume. I'll be sending out e-mails in late September to announce the work schedule.

Jim Langdon
Trailmaster, Friends of Badger Mountain

Hikers, please note:  The new trail is not completed and is CLOSED. Using it before it is covered with the gravel can damage it and cause more work for us in the fall. I hope to open it in November.

- Filling in for the new trail (click to enlarge) -

 

Summary of trail work April 28 - May 4

I've revised my opinion on when the trail will be opened. We have more of the soft dirt than expected. That is a good thing/bad thing. The good is that it is much easier to dig. The bad is that when dry, even a little foot traffic can turn it into an unmanageable flour-like dust. So I do not want the trail to be used until we get gravel on it. Note that we are falling behind our preliminary schedule due to a need for MORE VOLUNTEERS! Anway, here's the revised schedule as of April 8:

Trail facts as currently laid out:

Hikers, please note:  The new trail is not yet covered with gravel. The trail is built mostly in soft dirt, which can easily turn to a flour-like dust with every footstep. If the trail gets used in this state, it will turn into a deep dusty mess that will result in more work to clean up in the fall. I had five people try to come through the work site this last week just to see the new trail. The trail is not yet open and it does not connect to anything on the east end. It just dead ends in open grasses. So, please, wait until we're ready for hikers.

Finally, if you'd like to help out, even just for one morning or afternoon, drop me a note and I'll be in touch. Thanks for wanting to help with the Badger Mountain Trails!

Jim Langdon
Trailmaster, Friends of Badger Mountain
trailmaster@friendsofbadger.org
943-3992

Summary of trail work March 31 - April 6, 2014

We have completed the fourth week of work on the new Badger Mountain trail, and the rought-cut trail is completed (BUT NOT YET READY FOR HIKERS!).

Thanks to Ken and Dennis, the skilled excavator operators this week, who completed the rough-cutting of the new trail! Ken was out every day we worked! Thanks also go out to Bob, Greg, Karen, and Kent for each helping on multiple days, and to the Starbucks group and Troop 126 for helping out, too.

Again there were small crews this week, and the work was mainly near where the excavator was working. If you were looking for us, we would have been hard to find - hence the need to drop me a note if you'd like to volunteer. The Badger Buggy remains out of service while we wait for parts, so no advancement to the graveling portion of the trail this week. Parts are due in a few days. Since I mentioned the Badger Buggy, I would like to thank Bob, Jason, and Meghann for helping get it onto the special cart, and then towing it back to the service road, a distance of about a third of a mile.

Summary of trail work March 24-30, 2014

We have completed the third week of work on the new Badger Mountain trail. Thanks to the skilled excavator operators, Ken, Dennis, and RJ, the trail is now rough cut past the 1.8 mile point. A little over a half mile to go! And Ken was out every day we worked!

Thanks also go out to Charlie, Chris, Diane, Dirk, Heng, Karen, Kayle, Mike, Monte, Shaun, and Terri, along with the Juvenile Justice crew for coming out last week. Hauling, raking, and flinging dirt is a hard and dirty job. Everyone mastered it and made mounds of dirt go away. A really big thank you goes out to Lisa, Ray, Pietro, and Steve for each helping multiple days!

With the small crews we had this week, the work has mainly been close to the excavator, so we have been skipping around a bit. The graveling was advanced on Tuesday and Sunday to nearly the half mile mark.

I also must announce a setback. The Badger Buggy has a broken idler wheel (part of the track system). It will be out of commission for at least a week. We hope to drag it into the shop this week for a more detailed look at the problem.

The plan for weekdays this week is to continue with the rough trail cut using the mini-excavator, and cleaning up the rough trail. There is some rain forecast for later this week, which we'd consider a help. On Saturday and Sunday, we will be doing more of the smoothing out of the trail, trimming it to its correct width and adding more gravel.

We are renting the excavator and pay for it even when it's sitting there, so we are working until 4 or 5 PM everyday to take advantage of it. People can volunteer for mornings or afternoons if they would like. Work is using the McLeods, buckets, shovels, and rakes, and maybe a pick mattock if we are in a rocky area.

Summary of trail work March 17-23, 2014

We have completed the second week of work on this new trail on Badger Mountain. The trail has been rough cut out past the one mile point and cleaned up. We've added gravel past the first gulley, at about a third of a mile. So you can see there is a lot more work to be done. There are pictures of the work posted on our Pictures page.

The plan for weekdays this week is to continue with the rough trail cut using the mini-excavator, with a small group cleaning up the rough trail and getting the gravel down before the soil dries out and blows away. There is some rain in the forecast this week so that will help. On Saturday and Sunday we will be doing more of the smoothing out of the trail, trimming it to its correct width and working on adding the gravel. The Juvenile Justice work crew will be out helping us on Sunday, and they always like to have community members working along with the kids; we only had two to work with them yesterday.

We are renting the excavator, so we pay for it either sitting or working, so we're working until 4 or 5 every day. People can volunteer for mornings or afternoons if they would like. Work is using the McLeods, shovels, and rakes, and maybe a pick mattock if we are in a rocky area.

Second revised tentative schedule (remember, it will take as long as it takes!):

Note: I have changed my mind on when the trail will be opened. We have more of the soft dirt than expected. That is a good thing/bad thing. The good is that it is much easier to dig. The bad is that when dry, it can easily turn to a flour-like dust with only a little traffic. So I do not want the trail to be used until we get gravel on it.

Trail facts as currently laid out:

Thanks for wanting to help with the Badger Mountain Trails!

Summary of trail work March 10-16, 2014

Starting the new trail along the south side of Badger Mountain, and we have just over half a mile of the rough cut completed, with 600 feet finished and graveled. We also built a culvert for crossing a steep-sided gulley. Here are two photos, click one for a larger view.

The plan for the weekdays this week is to continue with the rough trail cut using the mini-excavator, with a small group of volunteers getting the gravel down before the soil dries out and blows away. We are renting the excavator and we pay for it sitting there or not, so we will be working longer days. People can volunteer for mornings or afternoons if they would like.

This weekend (March 22 & 23), we will be smoothing out the trail, trimming it to its correct width, and working on adding the gravel. Work will be using the McLeods, shovels, rakes, and maybe a pick mattock if we are in a rocky area. The Juvenile Justice work crew will be out helping us on Sunday, and they always like to have community members along.

Here's our revised tentative schedule (butr realize it will take as long as it takes!):

Trail facts as currently laid out:

As always, please contact me if you're interested in some trail work. Thanks for wanting to help with the Badger Mountain Trails!

Here's a summary of what we planned when starting the new trail in early March, 2014

First, on March 10 there was a pretty good story about the new trail in the Tri-City Herald, as well as this story at KVEW TV.

The route has already been marked with small flags, with actual digging scheduled to start on March 10. The plan is to use small work crews to dig out the rough trail with a machine. The next phase is when we'll need your help, to come in and do the finish work by hand, smoothing out the rough parts and getting the final width right. Then gravel will be added. After that - finished trail! Using a machine to do the initial, hard digging work means the finish work is physically easier.

Work crews will start on Saturday, March 15. Work will be scheduled every Saturday and Sunday and several times through each week. For the first day, we will be meeting at the Westgate parking lot off of Dallas Rd (Skyline Trail). All other days, the meeting location may be at either trailhead, so you will need to sign up to know where it will be. Work will start at 9:00 AM and run until 1:00 PM. If your work group or another group would like to have their very own work party, let me know - Trailmaster Jim (Langdon).

If you plan to come, please let me know, so I can plan the work and have enough of the right tools on hand. Please send me an e-mail or call me at 943-3992. You should bring work gloves, water, and snacks, and dress for the weather forecast. All tools will be provided. There will be only limited work available for pre-teens.

Also, I'm looking for volunteers experienced in running a small track excavator. I already have one person lined up, but he could use a break. Work will be during the weekdays, mostly, but some weekend work is available. I hope to complete the rough digging by Friday, March 21. Thanks for wanting to help with the Badger Mountain Trails!

Jim Langdon
Trailmaster, Friends of Badger Mountain
Trailmaster@friendsofbadger.org
943-3992


Here's the usual routine for volunteering to help on the trails

We're always happy to see new volunteers coming to help out. If you're interested, here's the basic info you should know.

First, please drop me a note or give me a call so I can let you know how the work schedule is going, and so I can have an idea of how many people will be showing up. I can also include you in my own e-mail list that I send out to trail-work volunteers as upcoming workdays are scheduled.

A typical weekend trail-work party begins at 9:00 AM and lasts about 4 hours. Where we meet will depend on that day's work, so you will need to sign up if you're not already on my e-mail list.

Much of the work is suitable for teens and adults. Some days will have easier jobs, which grade-schoolers can help with. If you're available, there will also be some weekday work crews, so contact Jim for the schedule. We can also schedule a private work party for any group that wants to help out. As always, bring work gloves, water, and snacks, and dress for the weather forecast. Tools will be provided.

Your help is greatly appreciated. Many thanks,

Jim Langdon, Trailmaster
Friends of Badger Mountain
943-3992


Summary of trail work November 18-24, 2013

The weekday crews completed the work on the steps this last week. Another step was rebuilt but no more were added. The trail from the Kiosk up to the steps was cleaned up and large rocks were moved to narrow it. Please help by asking anyone walking outside the trail to use the trail only.

Hopefully the grass will come back, the roots are still there. Other work completed were rebuilding the area around the lower bench, widening the start of the Sagebrush Trail, and installing the last mileage signs on the Canyon and Sagebrush Trails.

The weekend had too much wind. I canceled Saturdays work party when the forecasts called for gusts over 50 mph. Sunday's crew still came and we got the Canyon Trial gravel raked back onto the trail, almost to the lower bench.

This week will be the last scheduled trail work until next spring. The weather is getting iffy, the forecast is for sunny days but it will be getting cold at night. Hard to get much done when the ground is frozen. The plan is to rake the gravel on the Canyon Trail and Skyline Trails and do other small jobs. Raking the gravel helps reduce the need to regravel the trail, it cleans up the edges and gives us a chance to repair trouble spots. The work uses MacLeod's and garden and leaf rakes. Physically it is one of the easiest jobs.

Although we're finishing up for the year, by the end of next February we'll be staerting the spring trail-work season. I'll send a note to everyone who's on my volunteer list, so if you're not yet on the list, drop me a note and I'll add your name.

Once again, I say Thanks for all the help!  .....Jim Langdon.


Summary of trail work November 11-17, 2013

New mileage signs for the trailsTrail work brings new signs and new steps - We've added mileage signs (shown here) to the Skyline, Canyon, and Sagebrush trails. Initiated by a request from the Fire Department after last spring's fast-moving fire, signs have been installed every 1/4 mile. The signs also remind hikers that we ask that they (and their dogs and children) "Please Stay on the Trail." With over 187,000 hikers counted last year, it's critically important that everyone limit the damage both to the hillside and to the sides of the trails. 

The Wednesday and Thursday crews worked on the steps again. We are now near the bottom. On Thursday they rebuilt one of the steps by replacing two of the stones. Can you find it?

The special Friday work party with Fun, Fit and Over Fifty Club went well. They worked hard and fast and cleaned up nearly all of the Sagebrush Trail. The work was scheduled to end at 5, but we forgot to consider that it would be dark by then, after the time change, so everyone got to go home a little early.

Saturday the Juvenile Justice work crew was up and completed raking the gravel on most of the Skyline Trail along the top. We had some wind and cool temperatures so they worked hard just to stay warm. I canceled Sunday's work party because of a lack of signups.

Thanks for wanting to help with the Badger Mountain Trails!


Summary of trail work November 4-10, 2013

The Wednesday and Thursday crews worked on the steps again, getting a few more fixed and even installing three more new ones. I believe the count is up to 50 now. It is even harder for me to find more rocks nearby to make steps out of so maybe no more new ones. In response to a question I have been getting, we are adding the steps where a current step had a big step down. So it is like making one step into two. I am not adding steps anywhere else on the trails.

Working on the trails, in the windI had a large group of Mormon missionaries and five repeat helpers for Saturday's crew. We continued the job of raking the gravel back onto the Skyline Trail. We advanced to the one mile marker before the wind blew us back home. I canceled Sunday's crew because more wind was forecast.

On Friday afternoon the Fun, Fit, and over Fifty Club will be helping the Badger Mountain trails. I am sure that they would not mind if a non-member also helped. The work will be raking the gravel, except we will be working on the Canyon or Sagebrush Trails.

Thanks for wanting to help with the Badger Mountain Trails!


Summary of trail work October 28 - November 3, 2013

The Wednesday and Thursday crews worked on the steps, getting a few more fixed and even installing two more new ones. There are now 47 steps. It is getting hard for me to find more rocks nearby to make steps out of so maybe no more new ones.

The Saturday and Sunday crews were a bit disappointing, not the volunteers but that there was only two of them each day to help me rake the gravel back onto the Skyline Trail. We did complete the job up to the lower road crossing, just over half a mile.

Thanks for wanting to help with the Badger Mountain Trails!


Summary of trail work October 21-27, 2013

Well last week was a good one. On Wednesday the crew moved enough rocks along the Sagebrush Trail to prepare for an Eagle Scout project on Saturday. Even finished early so we went left for lunch. Thursday we worked on the steps, getting a few fixed and even installing a new one. There are now 45 steps.

The Eagle Scout project started off a little slow, hard to get those boys up early on a Saturday. In the end, about 400 feet of the Sagebrush Trail had rocks added along the downhill edge. Also the trailbed was reshaped and gravel was added. Sorry but this section will be dusty and not real firm until we get some rain. I know, this weather has been great but the trails need water and I don't want to carry it up there!

Sunday I only had one other volunteer. We placed small rocks in two places where users have been walking off the trail. The idea is that people do not like to step on little rocks. I don't know, maybe they are afraid of slipping or maybe because it would not feel good on the foot. Anyway it seems to work, a little. In the time it took us to walk from the bottom to the top of the old trail that cuts the Canyon Trail switch back then two ladies used the well signed closed area for a "bit more work."

On Saturday and Sunday the plan is to start raking the gravel back on to the trail. We will start at the Dallas Road parking lot and work uphill. Raking the gravel helps reduce the need to regravel the trail and it cleans up the edges and gives us a chance to repair trouble spots. The work uses MacLeod's and garden and leaf rakes.

Thanks for wanting to help with the Badger Mountain Trails!


Summary of trail work Fall 2012

December 6, 2012 - I've decided to close the fall 2012 trail work season. The weather is getting cold and I know that as soon as I schedule another work party the ground will freeze.

As a wrap up, we had 165 individuals add their names to my sign-in sheets on work days, totaling just shy of 1000 hours worked. The top helper this fall was Ray Merriman, with 23 work days and 91 hours. There were 19 volunteers who worked more than one day. Amazon and Lamb Weston each sponsored three work parties for their employees. Amazon had 27 workers with 108 hours, and Lamb Weston had 103 workers totaling 358 hours.

The 15 work parties this season used picks, shovels, and rakes, starting in the heat we had so late in the season, and transitioning to the cold - and it seemed always with the wind! We widened and regraveled 3700 feet of the rocky Skyline Trail, and then groomed the trail all the way down to the parking lot. We also added gravel to about 7600 feet of the trail.

We groomed the Canyon Trail from bottom to top; repaired some low spots and added gravel on 800 feet of it. We placed rocks along the top of the trail to stop it from growing any wider, as it already exceeded five feet wide. On the summit of the Canyon Trail, we scraped down to the dirt so we could use up all the remaining gravel. I will get some more, come spring.

On the Sagebrush Trail, we added about 20 tons of rocks to help support 625 feet of the lower edge of the trail, before we regraveled that section. We would've done more, but we finally ran out of rocks. Not to worry, a new load arrived last week, so we'll be ready when spring starts to peek out. We also groomed the lower part of the trail.

Finally, we moved about 15 tons of gravel up the hill to a stockpile at the top of the tram. We then disassembled the tram and moved it into storage.

All I can say is, Thanks for all the help! If you don't know what to do without the trail work, hold on. The spring work season will start around the end of February, and I'll drop you all a reminder by then.

Jim Langdon, Trailmaster
Friends of Badger Mountain 


Info about the revised trail, posted on 2/25/12

We will be moving this section to the north, further down the slope. About 1200 feet of new trail will be built over the weekend of March 10 and 11. The plan is to close the Canyon Trail those days at the top of the steps, so hikers can still take the newer Sagebrush trail to the top of Badger. We would have a usable new trail by Sunday afternoon. The existing trail will be closed and filled in for future revegetation. The Lake Lewis marker will be replanted on the new trail, too.

When this section of the Canyon Trial was originally built, we followed an existing track along the ridge top. With the number of people using the trail, this proved to be too steep. That has allowed excessive wear on the tread, exposing the rocks. A number of users have been walking beside the trail to get away from the rocks, but this is just spreading the problem. We could just cover it with dirt and gravel, but that does not fix the cause of the problem. We would have to come back to the problem all over again in a few years.

 The new route will be around 100 feet to the north. Moving the trail will allow us to bypass two humps on the ridge. It will also be a little longer. The resulting trail will have a slope similar to the Sagebrush Trail, which is about half the current steepest section. When it is all done we will have a trail that is not rocky and will be easier for our volunteers to maintain.


Tip:  Walking through Work Zones

When you're hiking on Badger and come across trail work in progress, please remember it's like road work -- please wait until you are told to go forward. Remember, too, to stay on the trail, even in a work zone. The workers are prepared for you to walk on their work and sometimes even need it to pack it down. Thanks!