Over the last few weeks, volunteer crews have disassembled and rebuilt a large new span on the Pisgah Mountain Trail, and raised and firmed up a bridge on the Dogwood Swamp Trail, a span whose northwestern footing had been undermined by the stream beneath causing the deck to pitch and fall.
Two weeks ago, volunteers hauled a good deal of new pressure treated material, sufficient for two separate spans, in from the Kilburn parking lot and up to the Pisgah Mountain Trail worksite, using pickups, and an ATV machine and cart. Sometimes utilizing the winch on the ATV, the crew was able to get all the materials and tools up to the worksite without too much hand-carrying.
The support stringers under the span over a rivulet that drains a small bog had deteriorated to the point that the bridge’s usefulness was in jeopardy. So the decking was removed and the stringers sawed into sections and rolled aside. The sills that supported the bridge were rotten, so they were pulled up, as well.
Two trees that were in poor condition and would eventually threaten the bridge were cut down.
Once the site was clean, new pressure treated sills were installed and 18-foot double stringers set in place across the brook. With ten souls on hand, it did not take very long to set the deck in place and erect the railings. At the uphill side of the span, a wide step was installed so that access to the bridge would be no trouble whatsoever.
While the project was underway, several in attendance ferried new material and the used pressure treated decking from the old span farther up the trail. A second bridge will be replaced with all new lumber, and deteriorated bog bridging higher still on the mountain will be replaced with recycled timbers. So, within the span of a month or so, each of the problem structures on the Pisgah Mountain Trail will get a reworking so they may be serviceable for years to come. A week later, the undermined bridge on the Dogwood Swamp Trail was refurbished. It had to be leveled and secured before the following weekend when marathon race runners
were to cross it.
Park manager Whip Newell brought in screw jacks to lift the bridge and left the jacks in place for the four-person crew that came in several days later. Using shovels and a mattock, native stone and soils, the four workers were able to build a stone crib below one end of the bridge to support the three sound stringers. Since stream water had eroded one side extensively, a good deal of stone was inserted under the structure and piled to the upstream side to keep the bridge stable and to prevent future erosion.
Once the task was completed, the bridge was approximately level and the approaches were smoothed.
There is more work to be done on the Pisgah Mountain Trail spans in the near future. So watch for the opportunity to lend a hand building the second span and putting in some bog bridging.
Join us at our 28th Annual FOP Picnic on Saturday October 3, 2015 11:30 AM at the FOP Visitor’s Center, 520 Old Chesterfield Road, Winchester, NH! All are invited to share in the good times with members, families and guests.
New members are encouraged to attend. Hamburgers, hot dogs and roasted corn-on-the-cob will be provided along with refreshments, plates and cups. Feel free to bring your favorite dish, salad or dessert to share.
The Visitor Center and Barn Museum will be open. Check out artifacts, scrapbooks and exhibits that highlight the history of Pisgah. The buildings were built by FOP members and many volunteers in the style of buildings once found in the Park.
Mums and pumpkins will be raffled off after we eat.
Everyone is invited to bring their kayaks and canoes to paddle around Fullam Pond after dinner. Check out the clearing we have done in the past year on the banks of the pond. Jon Knickerbocker plans to have kayaks & canoes to borrow.
We’d like to thank the New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation for allowing us to use the park for our picnic. Patrick Hummel, NH Volunteer Activities Coordinator, plans to join us.
For further information contact Matt Edson at (603) 336-7796
David Weisel, Laura and Art Sussman, Matt Edson, John Herrick, John Hudachek, Adam Moffit and Pisgah State Park Manager Whip Newell met at 10 am on Saturday, August 8th at the Pisgah Visitors Center in Winchester. The goal of the day was to build ramps on the South Woods Trail bridge that we rebuilt June 20, 2015 and to install new wear boards on the Fullam Pond Trail bridge.
Matt Edson had already ripped the ramp risers and cut the ramp decking into 5' lengths with material the Friends of Pisgah had purchased.
Laura and Art Sussman rode their ATV while Matt, John Herrick and Whip drove their trucks and trailers down Old Chesterfield Road to the Nash Trail. There Matt unloaded his ATV and ATV trailer. Whip drove his truck and Matt and Art their ATVs down the Nash Trail to the Fullam Pond Trail. Matt's ATV & trailer and Art's ATV transported the tools and lumber from there to the bridge site on the South Woods trail.
We split into two groups. Matt, David, Art and John Hudachek built the ramps on the South Woods bridge while John Herrick, Laura, Whip and Adam replaced the wear boards on the Fullam Pond Trail bridge.
After lunch we all drove down to Fullam Pond and continued the brush clearing that we worked on last November and July. We were done by 2:00.
Thanks to all for a very productive work day!
Jim Schofield, Laura and Art Sussman, John Hudachek and FOP trail chief John Herrick met Pisgah Park Manager Whip Newell at the Visitor Center at 10:00am. Whip, Art and John Herrick with tractor on his trailer drove down the recently improved road to Fullam Pond where we cleared brush and limbs to open the view of the pond. We continued the work started last November around the pond nearly to the dam. Using John Herrick's tractor and chipper all the small branches were ground into wood chips. This also opens the shoreline for fishing. We finished shortly after 2:00pm and were back at the Visitor Center before 2:30.
Pisgah State Park: Roadwork Completed - The south end of Old Chesterfield Road is again open from Park HQ north to Chestnut Hill Trail parking lot.
Abe and Gabe Howe, David Weisel, Laura and Art Sussman, Doug Favreau and
dog Hermes, Matt Edson, Krister Raasoch and dogs Art and Harry, John
Hudachek, Adam Moffit and Pisgah State Park Manager Whip Newell met at
10 am on Saturday, June 20th at the Pisgah Visitors Center in Winchester. The goal of the day was to rebuild the bridge on the
southern end of the South Woods Trail.
The Summer 2015 edition of Update the Friends of Pisgah newsletter has been posted. Click here to check it out.
The Monadnock Happy Trails Association (MHTA) work day was a big success! Sharon and Phil Thomsen plus Laura and Art Susmann worked with Park Manager Whip Newell and cleared the Snow Brook trail from Old Spofford Rd to Old Chesterfield Rd. The weather was cool but got warmer as the day progressed. We worked 9 am - 2 pm. Bugs weren't too bad in the beginning but became annoying when the temp increased. Spray was a necessity! Several culverts do need to be replaced; Whip added them to his list. We expected more damage after such a nasty winter but were pleasantly surprised that there were no huge trees down. The Trail is ready for use and MHTA is looking forward to June 6 National Trails Day ride!
Phil Thomsen and Art Susmann using the pole saw:Sharon Thomsen clearing the edge of the trail:
Article and pictures by Laura Susmann
Abe Howe and son Gabe, Matt Edson and his ATV, John Hudachek and FOP trail chief John Herrick met Pisgah Park Manager Whip Newell at the Horseshoe Trailhead at 10:00am. Although chilly to start it was a perfect working day. Starting at the South Woods trail and continuing up the Habitat trail connecting to Old Chesterfield Road, Lily Pond trail, east end of North Ponds trail, Old Chesterfield Road and what we call the ski trail we removed numerous fallen trees and limbs from the trails. We enjoyed lunch overlooking beautiful Lily Pond.