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Summer activity on the Blue Hills Trail in northern Wisconsin

24 Sep

What have we been up to? Read on…

Our volunteers have dodged the rain while mowing, removing fallen trees, and working on erosion control this summer. 98% of the trails are mowed and in good shape for hiking. Eastside trails closest to the warming house are least likely to be muddy. Erosion control has again been a huge challenge this year: two deluges (in May and June) damaged culverts and trails, and an important bridge was taken out of commission.

Many eroded areas have been repaired thanks to assistance from the Rusk County Forestry Department, dozing from the Wisconsin DNR, hired backhoe work, and handwork from our volunteers. Logging of the Eastside ridge line (a multi-year project) was completed in early September, and we’ve finally been able to create a long anticipated new trail that bypasses the old S-curve and its two erosion prone bridges.

Major accomplishments since ski season ended:

  • Purchase of a new snowmobile for grooming (2017 Arctic Cat Bearcat Groomers Special).
  • Sale of our old snowmobile (Skandic SWT).
  • Extensive repairs on our old snowmobile trailer.
  • Mowed 98% of the trail system, including removal of lots of downed trees.
  • Discovered carpenter ants invading the spray foam insulation of our storage shed — they were eradicated after receiving professional advice.
  • Our old Tidd Tech 6-foot grooming implement was thoroughly repaired by Sam Behrends’ Bruce high school students. It’s now ready for sale.
  • Enhanced on-site storage through purchase and delivery of a like-new 40-foot shipping container. This required site dozing, then placement of container on site, and moving equipment into container (securely locked).
  • Identified six areas of major erosion; subsequent dozer and backhoe work included replacement of many failing culverts.
  • Dozer and backhoe worked together to create a new trail that runs from 2A to 00; then joins old trail to continue from 00 to 20 (see map below). The old S-curve trail between 2-20 will return to nature.
  • Spread grass seed on the 2+ acres of fresh dozing.
  • Tore down the damaged bridge, and began reconstruction.

Many many thanks to the numerous volunteers that helped with all these chores!
We’re now in the process of a major bridge repair, and soon will be seeking volunteers to complete the job.

Recent comments from the logbook in the warming house are included in the picture gallery that follows. Find comments from Wisconsin (Bruce, Cameron, Ellsworth, Ladysmith, Rice Lake, Wausau), Minnesota (Minneapolis, St. Paul), Colorado (Pagosa), Illinois (Chicago, Elgin)…

How to view images: To see larger versions of the thumbnail photos, view each picture individually by clicking on the thumbnail; or you can “show as slideshow” by clicking the link above the images. To move quickly through the slideshow click the photos themselves. For either option, if you want to save the image for yourself, simply right click the full size image to obtain the original; higher quality images are available by contacting our website.  To avoid copyright infringement, reprints must credit the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc.


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