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Volunteers to Improve Trails at Coyote Wall

Posted by Ryan Ojerio at Feb 12, 2013 09:10 AM |
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Through a project made possible by the National Forest Foundation and Skamania Lodge, WTA is restoring trails in the popular Coyote Wall and Catherine Creek areas in the Columbia River Gorge.

Early season hikers at Coyote Wall noticed red and orange survey flags blooming along the Labyrinth Trail like wildflowers out of sync with the seasons. These markers indicate plans to reroute the trail to put it in a more sustainable location. Volunteer crews are due to begin work in March.

Last year WTA embarked on an ambitious project to restore and reconstruct many of the user created paths at Coyote Wall and Catherine Creek. A popular hiking and mountain biking destination, the area has seen a proliferation of unmanaged recreation as people seek trails that are free of snow during the winter and early spring. A unique and prolific wildflower display is also a major attraction, particularly at Catherine Creek.

The project is funded through a grant from the National Forest Foundation to implement the Forest Service Recreation Plan. The grant fund comes from money donated by Skamania Lodge that is dedicated to projects to enhance conservation and recreation in the Gorge.

In addition to improving the sustainability of the trail system, the grant was awarded to WTA to train volunteers in trail maintenance techniques and develop partnerships with the local mountain bike community and other trail user groups. Throughout the project WTA’s SW Washington Regional Manager worked closely with the Columbia Area Mountain Bike Advocates (CAMBA) on project designs and outreach.

Last spring WTA partnered with the Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) to host classes in trail construction and design using the Maui Falls Trail at Coyote Wall as a classroom. Then WTA joined with Friends of the Gorge to construct the first phase of the reroute and CAMBA volunteers completed the second phase of construction.

This spring WTA and CAMBA will focus on redeveloping the Labyrinth Trail to fix sections that suffer from serious erosion. Other mountain bike clubs are joining the effort as well, including the Hood River Area Trail Stewards (HRATS) and the Portland based Northwest Trail Alliance (NWTA).

Volunteers are needed for March weekend work parties. Come for one or two days. Saturday features an optional campout and potluck at a campsite on the Klickitat River. Sign up online by clicking the weekend that interests you, or go through our regular work party schedule.