Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Trillium Trail

"Mom, what kind of flower is that?" The question hung in the air as little boys' eyes danced with excitement.

The trillium are in full bloom, blanketing the forest floor off of Brooks Rd. And even on a rainy morning such as it was this morning, they were breath-taking. Beautiful enough that the boys didn't even venture on a long hike, but rather found some logs to just sit and look (and then of course pretend to row, row, row their boat, gently down the stream).
I was hoping to see some deer as well, knowing that these plants are a favorite of theirs, but no such luck (probably the third round of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," frightened them away).
It came as a recommendation to me to check out this spot on the Churning Rapids portion of the trails and I am passing that recommendation on to you. With sunshine in the forecast, you may even see us up there again, taking in the beauty of these three leaved, three petaled, "trinity flowers."

Free fire wood.

In case anyone would like some free fire wood for there camp.  The storage shed at Tomasi TH is coming to its completion and in front of it, we've piled some scrap wood that's free for the taking.
Do note,  other wood found here but not in this pile, is most likely treated and should not be burned plus we are we are not trying to get rid of it.   Just what's seen in this pile, is available for your camp fire..

Take me home!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

News from the trail!

Just a little update with most excellent photos by Carolyn D.  BIG thanks to her for taking them and helping at most work B's.
Martin in the middle of it all.

Sandy with a cleared trail in the background.

Just another trail clearing crew member.
Someone else has been taking trees down all along here.  Does this help?

In other news, the city is adding doggy bags at trail heads.

This is at the Tomasi trail head.

Please thank city council members, city manager Glenn A, or Bill M for their help with this.

We are contemplating doing clean up work on the River trail extension on Monday and/or Tuesday, depending on the weather.  Let us know if you can help either day.

Monday, May 22, 2017


Getting back into our rhythm today after a long weekend out of town was just what we needed. For the first time we explored the gorgeous, Grill House Trail. This beauty runs by Swedetown Creek just before it empties into the canal.
To greet us today were some chirping birds, cardinals, if my bird song identification is getting any better. As always my boys were most taken by the creek and the sound of the water tripping, falling, and washing over and around the stones. They were also taken by the trees, a mix of pine, birch, poplar, among others, and kept arching their little necks back, squinting up into the sky to look in wonder and amazement at the height of the tree tops.

As for me, I spent a large amount of time noticing and wondering about the many ferns nearby. My college botany classes were coming back to me as the term "fiddle heads" popped from my memory. What I didn't remember, and what a quick Google search revealed, is that fiddle heads are young ferns, just beginning to unfurl. And for those of you who are brave, like to forage, and want to extend your palate, apparently fiddle heads make a good vegetable (it is a thing, really....just Google it and be surprised as I was).

Alas, little legs become tired, and little stomachs grow hungry. After spending the morning on the trail, we hiked back to the car, saying our good-byes to the creek, the cardinals, and the pine trees, and the question was asked, "Can we come back soon, mom?"

Music to my ears.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

River trail drainage improvement, and Tuesday work

We were on the River Trail upstream from Tomasi pit road to dig trenches to help remove water-n-wetness.   We also plan to be out there again on Tuesday to cut stumps and leaners, make minor trail adjustments and pull debris off.   Can you help?
Seen here is the only wet spot we have on the River trail extension.

Today we cut a channel to get the water expediently across our new trail.

Now it's moving!

This was needed to help dry this section up.
Could we get a culvert installed here this summer??

That sure would be nice.

Next, we officially took down the #4 signs off the old trail.

And installed them on the new and improved trail.

We also cut channels to help drain the older trail that's closer to Tomasi RD.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

River trail extension blown through!

With the wonderful crew we had with us today, the River Trail extension was cut through today.  More clean up remains, but the BIG job was completed.
Today's crew, going clockwise and starting from Gromit is Julie, Sarah, Tim, Keith, Sandy, Mark, Ken, Carolyn, and Bob. Martin also was on hand. John D. was already sawing when Arly took this photo.
We gather at 9am

This is along the gorge edge that you can see along the left.

Carolyn has been out for most work bees.

The brush a-coming down.

This is the only wet spot on the new trail.

Ken is getting lots of practice, to add to his years
of trail brushing experience including on the Isle!

This crew started on the creek end...

Martin is right in the middle of it.

Later, come corduroy was placed in the wet spot, for now.

It's not all work out here, we take frequent breaks.

Oh that looks tasty!

We had to celebrate punching the trail open!

We still have some clean-up to do, but now the whole re-route is hike-able
without ducking around brush!
Check it out...just be sure to wear study shoes/boots.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Another chunck knocked out!

The rain held off today, so we got another 500ft cleared. 
We'll plan on another work bee this coming Saturday, May 20 and we only have 800ft remaining. Come out and lend a hand but do let us know if you can.
We have 175 hours done on this project to date.
Today's intrepid Tuesday crew.

Break! You can't be working all the time.

Going, going....


As you can see, we got to the edge of Swedetown Creek.

To make it to the gorge, the dog had to jump for joy!

This will be such a nice trail.  You can see the creek in the background.

Come out and visit this spot to see the best little bird watching shelter around!

John D says we only have 800ft to complete this section.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Tuesday trimming?

If the rain holds off, we plan on clearing more of the River trail extension on Tuesday morning, starting at 9.   Can you help?   Let us know if you can at 370-2911 or
Fall trail clearing on the new River trail.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

New River Trail, massively more was cut today

Yes that is correct, with the number of helpers we had today, we advanced a great distance.  Not sure how far we got, maybe 1/4 of a mile farther along.  But we are within 500 ft from the gorge now.
With 2 saws going and 5 others pulling brush away, progress was fast!

Andre, Carolyn, and Evan got their gym work-out.

Smithers was along to supervise.
 He says, hunting was no good with all that noise.

Mark stops to give his saw some TLC.

Martin joined in the fun too.

Carolyn knows to keep her distance...Timmmmberrrrr!

BIG thanks to John D for being a sawyer today.

Another BIG thanks to Bridget and John D for coming out.
They brought the kids as well.
Another crew will be out this Sunday...they could use more hands. If you can help, email Jay at
The kids chipped in too!

Yes, it's a lot of work, but lengthening the River Trail is worth it.

And a BIG thanks to Becca who got to learn the finer points of clearing a trail.

Yes this is what we remove from the corridor.

Heading out, safely over the muck.