By: Rebecca Herman
Dark clouds and cool temperatures did not keep 12 volunteers from working at Doe Mountain Recreation Area (DMRA) on Saturday, October 18. Paul Stahlschmidt, president of the Northwest North Carolina Mountain Bike (MTB) Alliance chapter, has joined forces with Damon Bell of Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association-Tri-Cities (SORBA-Tri-Cities) in order to sponsor mountain bike trail building at DMRA.
Out of the 8,600 acres at DMRA, 600-800 acres will be set aside for mountain biking and hiking purposes. There are hopes to create trails that lead to scenic destinations such as the Doe Mountain Fire Tower.
There were a couple of steps that had to be completed before the volunteers could begin their work. According to Johnson County Mayor Larry Potter, biologists had to be brought to the future trail site to inspect for protected plants and other flora that could be considered at risk or endangered. The biologists cleared the first half-mile for use. Biologists will return in the spring of 2015 to continue these inspections.
Mini skid steer work was completed by Steve Mason, member of SORBA-Tri-Cities who volunteered his time and machine, to rough cut and create the basic structure of the trail. Once these steps are completed workers can finish the detail work. The end result of this process is a full-bench trail that sheds water, has a small footprint on the landscape, and requires little maintenance in the future, says Stahlschmidt. Having use of this machine also saves time for volunteers who would have had to complete hours of intense labor in order to achieve the same quality of trail.
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