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Get dirty doing good things for the Treadwell Trail

Trail Mix Inc. hosting a volunteer work day this weekend

Posted: July 19, 2013 - 12:02am

Trail Mix Inc. will be hosting a volunteer work day on the Treadwell Ditch Trail from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 20, and the public is invited to join in the continuing effort to improve the historic and popular trail on Douglas Island.

Erik Boraas, executive director of Trail Mix, said the main goal of the work day will be to spread loads of gravel over persistently soggy areas of the singletrack and to construct a series of steps. All of the improvements, he said, will hopefully make the trail more user friendly.

Boraas said Temsco Helicopters flew loads of gravel from the Crow Hill parking area, near Douglas, to the work site on Thursday.

The site of the planned improvements, he said, is a 700 foot section between Blueberry Hills and Gastineau Meadows. There, the trail traverses the edge of a puncheon trail — a wooden walkway used to cross bogs or deep muskeg — that was built in the 1980s. They plan to stabilize the old trail, then lay gravel along the edge of the aging puncheon to preserve the historic nature of the area.

Those interested in participating in the volunteer work day should meet at the end of Crow Hill Drive. Boraas recommended bringing gloves, lunch, water and to be prepared for the weather and to get dirty.

“It’s not going to be entirely hauling gravel,” he said. “There’s going to be a little bit for everybody — even kids.”

He also asked attendees to leave dogs at home.

Also helping with the trail work on Saturday will be volunteers with Cycle Alaska, and some of the local Boy Scouts may also make an appearance.

This year, the Treadwell Ditch Trail is in the spotlight, so to speak, for Trail Mix crews.

“Treadwell remains Trail Mix’s main focus,” he said. “There’s still a lot of work to do — some major bridges, for instance, and we’re working with the U.S. Forest Service to get those installed next year.”

To date, Trail Mix is roughly at the halfway point on improvements to the Treadwell Trail. Completion is still a few years away, Boraas said.

• Contact Outdoors Editor Abby Lowell at 523-2271 or abby.lowell@juneauempire.com.

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