Gary Knipling

2015 Trail Work Day

It is now a Club tradition that two or three weeks before MMT weekend each year, there is an organized trail work day to allow runners to “give back” some love to the trails that we use and enjoy so much. Although it has been several days since the outing, it is not too late to give kudos to the 20+ participants who gave most of their day on Saturday to improving the trails. There was an overlap of interests represented by PATC members, mountain bike users, and VHTRC members. Wade Bushong of the George Washington National Forest was also on one of the teams.

The plan was to improve trails in the “guts” of the MMT course - those near Camp Roosevelt, Gap Creek, Kerns, and Short Mountain. Five separate teams were assigned to do nipper work, stone surface work on wet places, or chain saw work where need was appropriate.

I believe the results will be evident to any running MMT – especially those that are familiar with the way it had been. There may be a dozen, or more, new blow-downs along the route of the MMT course by the time race weekend comes. But reports from many users of Massanutten trails through channels of horse riders, mountain bikers, hikers, and trail runners indicate that the trails there are in very good shape right now.

The PATC (Potomac Appalachian Trail Club) is the primary “guardian” of trail maintenance in the Massanutten Mountains and most other public lands in the mid-Atlantic area (SNP, Prince William Forest, etc, etc.). Our own Anstr Davidson is the overall coordinator for PATC for Massanutten trails north of route 211. But, many people with varied interests work year round to maintain the beloved trails there for all to enjoy. It is fulfilling to share the ongoing improvement of these trails with our colleague users. Anstr can always use information about problem areas on any Massie trails by whoever notices it at any time of the year.

For any MMT runners, remember that nothing can be done to help with training during the last two weeks. BUT, many things can be done to lessen the chances of an individual from finishing. Don’t do anything stupid now. Signing up has already been done.