Trail Maintenance

2018 has been another busy year on the Hilltop trails network, with over 160 hours of work performed by a very large number of different trail users.  This amount of effort is typical, and includes:
  • Clearing downed trees with chainsaws
  • Re-building bridges
  • Cutting back overgrown trails with power tools
  • Rock-armoring trailbeds and enhancing drainage to harden surfaces and eliminate wet sections
  • Re-routing trails to address erosion
  • Marking / re-marking trails
  • Clearing fallen leaves and branches

These activities fix seasonal and accidental issues, correct past design errors and otherwise help improve safety for all types of Hilltop trail users.  They also help reduce ongoing and future trail upkeep requirements.

There are no paid staff or regular day-to-day trail-keepers responsible for trail maintenance in the Reservation; instead all of this work is accomplished by volunteers who recognize a need and take action individually and collectively with friends to make corrections and improvements.  So when you see people working on trails, be sure to thank them for their work and think of ways that you too can help — there is always a need for simple improvements like picking up small trash, removing fallen branches, cutting / breaking off thorny bushes that lean into the trail, or adding a few more flat rocks every time you visit to gradually armor a wet spot.

The Reservation’s trail network reflects design decisions to ensure trail durability and reduce the need for upkeep, all while protecting trees, terrain and wildlife habitat.  Please do not short-cut trails or ignore signage indicating a trail is closed.  Do not remove logs or “ramp them up” with other forest debris; they have been deliberately left there as erosion control barriers.  New large trees do come down at random and completely block a trail; these should be reported with a clear description of their location.  If you have any questions, would like to help, or need to report an issue with a Hilltop trail, please contact Geordie Smith, Trails Captain.

Explore and enjoy the Hilltop, and recognize that every trail user is also a trail steward and that trails can be improved every day, by anyone.