Stony Creek Trailday: Fixing the Snake

The winding, switchbacking singletrack leading to the top of Mount Sheldon is also known as “The Snake” (#15 – #25 on this map).

The last section of this bit of singltrack is notorious for getting trenched out due to water runoff.  At a trailday a few years ago, broken chunks of concrete were buried for armoring and the problem was subdued.

But, over the years, the buried concrete became exposed.

So, Pete decided to hold a trailday to cover the concrete back up.

And then, after discussion, the project got a little bigger.  Soon, we were removing the old concrete ..

Digging a trench ..

Replacing the concrete .. more strategically this time ..

And covering it back up.

The end result is an IMBA recommended drainage technique called grade reversal, or change in trail pitch.  On bench-cut trails, grade reversals help facilitate drainage and avoid channelling.  As water runs off, even if it does start to channel down the trail it will collect and drain at the lowest point, the point of grade reversal.  With the fully aromored section a bit lower than the rest of the trail, the water will follow the low line and run across the trail.

Everything was covered up with a gravel/sand/quikrete mix that Pete and Mark have found to work very well for keeping trail from being washed away.  Additionally, any unwanted low spots were filled in and smoothed out.



And while we were digging trenches, Mark was busy filling in and cleaning up the very last bit of the climb.

As if that weren’t enough … the crew rounded out the day by hauling dirt into some low and muddy areas in The Pines.

A lot of work was done in a pretty short amount of time.  By 1:30, we were back at the parking lot, eating pizza as it was just starting to rain.  The rain should help the quikcrete set in nicely.

Huge thanks to everyone who came out to help today:  Pete, Mark, Roy, Bob, Mike, Dave, Phil, Nick and Marty.

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