Just took my first hike in your hugh park. Took the Lake Ridge trail and was very disappointed. In one spot there are two trees (sizeable) down over the trail. Not very well marked and in the spot near Paw paw creek, you have to walk a tree to avoid getting your feet soaking wet. Need lots of work just to make it enjoyable. You need to post projects like this on your site so that groups could plan on helping. Vandalism to the pickets on your bridge is just a shame but could easily be repaired with cordless drills and a gator full of pickets.
Thanks for your input. We are well aware of the condition of many of the park trails and are working with the City to make improvements. The downed trees can only be cleared by City work crews and they will get to those you mentioned as soon as they have time. The city is also getting ready to put in new signage and trail blazes on all of the trails on the Lake Ridge side of the lake. We have at least three different volunteer groups who will be helping with trail maintenance and upgrades this summer. We’d love to have someone in our Friends group volunteer to organize our own trail workdays, but at this point don’t have anyone with the time needed to do this. Any interest in helping as a coordinator and/or joining as a Board member?
The NTMBA (www.ntmba.org) has been working with the park on some of the trail issues and is in the process of coming up with a more comprehensive trail maintenance plan. We would love to have you come help us with our workdays at Steele Creek. You can check our website for upcoming workdays this Fall. We tend to schedule work in the Fall to avoid snakes and yellow jackets.
Let’s not get too carried away with making trails “easier”. Downed trees are a fact of hiking life. If one is concerned about getting ones feet wet perhaps it’s better to stick to the flat trail.
The rugged nature of the trails at the park are a major part of their attractiveness. If one has to take a detour or climb a foot or two that makes it better for real hikers.
Consider safety, but keep the trails rugged enough to be challenging.
I’m hiking the ridges there every weekend from one end of the park to the other. I know every trail and several that are not charted.
I would be happy to help keep them clear and especially blaze new ones. But being a business owner I would have to do it on my schedule.
If that suits you send me mail. I could even spend a day blazing, camp out and continue the next day. With special permission of course.
I hiked these paths about a year ago and they really are great. Would love to get back out there sometime in the near future and walk them again. I don’t have anything like them around me. Great maps!