Slideshow | Improving Peterson Lake Trail

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A walk-behind Canycom trailer sits idle during a lunch break. Trail Mix crews used these track carriers to haul blasted rock into the work site on the 4.3-mile Peterson Lake Trail this week. The rough cut rocks were used as a base to harden the trail. A finer mix of rock will top the trail upon completion.
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Fall colors adorn the muskegs and forest along the Peterson Lake Trail this week. The 4.3-mile trail ends at the Peterson Lake Cabin, a public-use U.S. Forest Service Cabin that was remodeled last year.
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Three rusted nails, which used to secure an iron railway track, protrude upward out of a decomposing timber. Evidence of the mining activity that once went on in the vicinity of the Peterson Lake Trail is evident today trailside.
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Bear bread fungus grows out of a rainforest snag off the Peterson Lake Trail this week.
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Rutted, muddy, soggy and rotting, the Peterson Lake Trail can get ugly. This fall, crews with Trail Mix Inc. are working improve the trail by removing old boardwalk and filling wet areas with rock.
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One of the most colorful sights in our forests in late summer is a shelf fungus known as chicken of the woods, or sulfur shelf. It forms conspicuous orange and yellow "shelves" on tree trunks, and it sometimes gets so big that a single specimen weighs tens of pounds. Chicken of the woods goes by the scientific name of Laetiporus sulphureus, and it is recorded from many tree species including oaks, locusts, eucalypts, conifers and others.
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Old meets new as Trail Mix crews work to remove old boardwalk and lay new gravel on the Peterson Lake Trail this week. The 4.3 mile trail, which leads to a recently renovated public-use U.S. Forest Service cabin, is often avoided by hikers due to the deep mud holes and slippery boardwalk. Once complete, however, the new trail will feature nearly a mile of gravel to replace the most treacherous areas.
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Water cascades over a drop off along the Peterson Lake Trail this week. The 4.3-mile trail is currently undergoing improvements that will enhance the hiking experience for users by eliminating boot-sucking mud holes that make for slow going after a hard rain.
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Winding out of the forest and though the muskeg, the Peterson Lake Trail follows an ancient mining road that once carried materials and ore to and from a mining clam in the area. The trail is currently undergoing upgrades that aim to eliminate the boot-sucking mud holes that make for slow going after hard rains.
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Trail Mix crews used these Canycom walk-behind track carriers to haul blasted rock into the work site on the 4.3-mile Peterson Lake Trail this week. The rough cut rocks were used as a base to harden the trail. A finer mix of rock will top the trail upon completion.
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Fall is the season for fungi and this week was no exception as mushrooms and whatnot sprouted along the 4.3-mile Peterson Lake Trail.
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The Peterson Lake Trail winds in and out of the forest and muskeg as it makes its way to the USFS public-use cabin at Peterson Lake. Historical relics can be found trailside from a time the route was used as a railway to haul goods to and from a mining claim in the area.
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Pelt lichens, like the one pictured, form large flat or fuffly patches on the forest floor, moss-covered rocks and stumps, or they climb up the bases of trees, according to Chiska C. Derr's "Lichens around the Mendenhall Glacier."
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Sunken in the muskeg just off the Peterson Lake Trail are the remains of a decomposing railway that was once used by a mining family to haul supplies to and from a mining claim in the area. Today, the surface of the trail is being improved to provide a drier hiking experience for users.
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The Peterson Lake Trail winds in and out of the forest and muskeg as it makes its way to the USFS public-use cabin at Peterson Lake.
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A long swath of the Peterson Lake Trail now has a base of rough cut rock. Trail Mix crews used Canycom walk-behind track carriers this week to haul blasted rock into the work site. The rough cut rocks are being used as a base to harden the trail. A finer mix of rock will top the trail upon completion.
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Mud hole on the Peterson Lake Trail.
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Crew members of Trail Mix Inc., a local nonprofit which works to maintain and improve local trails, hauled rock this week in an effort to improve the Peterson Creek Trail. Workers used hand tools to spread the material, remove old boardwalk and prepare the trail base. Canycom walk-behind track carriers were used to haul blasted rock into the work site.
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Sunken in the muskeg just off the Peterson Lake Trail are the remains of a decomposing railway that was once used by a mining family to haul supplies to and from a mining claim in the area. Today, the surface of the trail is being improved to provide a drier hiking experience for users.
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Fall in the muskeg.
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Even with XtraTuff boots as a barrier, mud still found its way into nooks and crannies. The 4.3-mile trail Peterson Creek Trail is currently undergoing improvements that will enhance the hiking experience for users by eliminating boot-sucking mud holes that make for slow going after a hard rain.
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Trail Mix crews used these Canycom walk-behind track carriers to haul blasted rock into the work site. The rough cut rocks were used as a base to harden the trail. A finer mix of rock will top the trail upon completion.
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One of the most colorful sights in our forests in late summer is a shelf fungus known as chicken of the woods, or sulfur shelf. It forms conspicuous orange and yellow "shelves" on tree trunks, and it sometimes gets so big that a single specimen weighs tens of pounds. Chicken of the woods goes by the scientific name of Laetiporus sulphureus, and it is recorded from many tree species including oaks, locusts, eucalypts, conifers and others.
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Crew members of Trail Mix Inc., a local nonprofit which works to maintain and improve local trails, hauled rock this week in an effort to improve the Peterson Creek Trail. Workers used hand tools to spread the material, remove old boardwalk and prepare the trail base. Canycom walk-behind track carriers were used to haul blasted rock into the work site.
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Old meets new as Trail Mix crews work to remove old boardwalk and lay new gravel on the Peterson Lake Trail this week. The 4.3 mile trail, which leads to a recently renovated public-use U.S. Forest Service cabin, is often avoided by hikers due to the deep mud holes and slippery boardwalk. Once complete, however, the new trail will feature nearly a mile of gravel to replace the most treacherous areas.
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Trail Mix crews used Canycom walk-behind track carriers to haul blasted rock into the work site on the Peterson Lake Trail this week. The rough cut rocks were used as a base to harden the trail. A finer mix of rock will top the trail upon completion.
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Crew members of Trail Mix Inc., a local nonprofit which works to maintain and improve local trails, hauled rock this week in an effort to improve the Peterson Creek Trail. Workers used hand tools to spread the material, remove old boardwalk and prepare the trail base. Canycom walk-behind track carriers were used to haul blasted rock into the work site.
29 of 30
Old meets new as Trail Mix crews work to remove old boardwalk and lay new gravel on the Peterson Lake Trail this week. The 4.3 mile trail, which leads to a recently renovated public-use U.S. Forest Service cabin, is often avoided by hikers due to the deep mud holes and slippery boardwalk. Once complete, however, the new trail will feature nearly a mile of gravel to replace the most treacherous areas.
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Sunken in the muskeg just off the Peterson Lake Trail are the remains of a decomposing railway that was once used by a mining family to haul supplies to and from a mining claim in the area. Today, the surface of the trail is being improved to provide a drier hiking experience for users.

Description

In just a few weeks time crews with Trail Mix Inc. have vastly improved the degrading Peterson Lake Trail, north of Juneau. But work on this 4.3-mile long trail is just beginning.

The project is one that has been in the works for years and includes plans to preserve historical relics along the trail, integrate interpretive signs, a rest area with a view, among others. The U.S. Forest Service is overseeing the work and has worked with Trail Mix to secure both federal funding and money from grants to make the improvements possible. 

Crews plan to work until the snow flies, when they'll take a hiatus until things thaw in the spring. 

Photos by Abby Lowell / Juneau Empire

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