Sunday, September 6, 2009

Piscataqua Trail work

The East Branch of the Piscataqua River in Falmouth runs through a conservation corridor from Rt. 100 to Community park. Two of the parcels were acquired by the Falmouth Land Trust long before any vision of a conservation corridor. But some key work by the Falmouth Open Space ombudsmen Bob Shafto has filled in the gaps and a motley crew of Falmouth Conservation Corps and Falmouth Trails Advisory Committee members have been out this summer cutting trail and building bridges. A key bridge (over the W. branch of the Piscataqua) still needs permitting and a couple of short sections of trail still need cutting.

Sam, Tom, Will and I were joined by Ted Asherman this morning to attack these uncut sections. Ted attacked with the chainsaw while Sam followed, clearing the cut trees/branches. They completed the uncut section on the McCrann section. Tom, Will and I did the more tedious clearing of the small woody plants and perennials that could be pulled off the treadway, as well as clipping of branches that extend into the trail corridor. We through maybe 1/4 of the uncut section. But given the clearing done by Ted and Sam, even the unclipped part of the trail is easily passable, unlike a couple of weeks ago when five of us bushwacked through this section on our jungle run.

The McCrann section of the Piscataqua trail will be a very fun trail to run, walk or ski when it's completed. The woods are beautiful and the terrain is very rolling. This will not be a loop trail. Short loops would require some road sections, for example Falmouth Rd. to Twin Ponds Rd back to Community Park. Or if we can bushhog the powerline, then a loop trail wouldn't need road at all.

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