Trail Treadways

HODENPYL POND BOARDWALK: After a hot summer, our trail crew was activated again for our major project this year of installing 6 sections of boardwalk between Teals CG and Fletcher Creek CG. We delivered 3 loads of materials; 138 sills and 68 sixteen foot planks the preceding week.

On 2 successive weeks beginning September 25, our crew of 17 began hand carrying the lumber and tools to 6 different sites adjacent to each other. Our foresight helped here as we also brought along 2 canoes which were utilized in moving the materials further up- trail. Along with a few fellows in waders and Dick Parks paddling his tippy canoe, we were able to save some back breaking labor.

Now we have 544 feet of double planked boardwalk on the NCT along the beautiful shoreline of the Hodenpyl Dam backwaters.

Note: It was also interesting to discover that Elmer’s was doing road work along the nearby road and had kindly leveled and improved the day parking area at the entrance to Fletcher Creek CG.

NEARBY MANISTEE RIVER PUNCHEON: In mid October our trail crew of 9 weathered the drizzle, after a week of rain, hand carrying tools and materials a total of 6 miles. The construction was the easy part. We replaced an old planked crossing over a drainage gully. This is located midway between Townline Road and Old US 131 SFCG. Some of our adopters may remember this as the terminal point between 2 sectors located in a no-man’s-land. We replaced the old oak planks used to cross the drainage gully and replaced it with a strong 16 foot puncheon. We also made a better approach to the steep bank. Finally a post with the NCT shield sign was erected for future adopters to better recognize this terminal point.

Earlier in the fall, a hiker had informed us that loggers had destroyed some of the

It may seem like we are always eating, but sometimes that is the only time things slow down enough to remember to get the camera out!

NCT making it difficult to find the existing trail. We took a small group of our trail crew and readjusted the short damaged section moving it slightly off from the disarrayed route. It was then that we noticed the need for a better crossing of the gully, since it was located at the end of the logged area. It’s always helpful to our Sector Coordinators when a hiker reports a problem that needs attention.


+ Teal’s Campground has had some inconvenience with hikers walking the power line instead of using the trail so we installed more signage in that area with info regarding the crossing of the NCT on private land.

+ We also installed various other signage as this tends to be an ongoing task either for better directions or sometimes vandalism.

+ Searching for a new route south of CR 612 & Sunset Trail is temporarily put on hold, since the Boy Scout Camp is being abandoned on that property. It remains a goal and we are waiting to meet with a representative.

+ EAST US 131 REROUTE: We continue to survey for the new NCT reroute towards the community of Fife Lake. Hunting season has temporarily interrupted this task, but will continue soon. We also will work with the NPS, Jeff McCusker, in making an archeological survey. This

is a recent process added to the implementation for new trails. The current proposal is making its way through the DNR agencies for review.

+ BOARDMAN RIVER TRAIL: We continue to assist neighboring communities in networking their trail proposals into the NCT. The Traverse City to Kingsley concept already has some proposals submitted to the DNR with one tentatively approved. Of course the removal of the Boardman Pond Dam on Cass Road will be a major hurdle due to several unknowns relating to the timeline and its bridge.

As we enter the winter months and our forthcoming Annual report for 2013, consider goals and items of concern you may want considered for this new year.

More Information: Grand Traverse Hiking Club
Created on Saturday, February 16, 2013

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