Trail Maintenance Tips

Appalachian Trail Conservancy On-line Newsletter

The Register: The Online Stewardship Newsletter of the Appalachian Trail
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Recommended Safety Gear Chart (PDF)

This chart is intended as a guide and is not comprehensive. Common sense and awareness are the best tools for any task.

Basic safety equipment for all trail work includes a first-aid kit, boots, work gloves, long pants, and appropriate dress for the weather.

Tips from The Crew


Waterbar Tips

Water is a hiker’s elixir of life. But, it’s also a trail maintainer’s worst enemy, hence, the need for waterbars. Properly installed waterbars will channel water off the trail, preventing footpath erosion and hours of labor trying to rebuild the path. However, waterbars require annual maintenance to keep erosion at bay. Waterbars are rock or log barriers (preferably rock for longer life) that divert water off the footpath. The basic rule of placement is to channel the water off the trail as soon as it flows onto it. It has been mentioned that some maintainers are not cleaning out waterbars each year on the trails they maintain, which is probably due to a lack of training. The MATC doesn’t regularly conduct training workshops. So, here’s a tip from Julian Wiggins of the Master of Forestry Program at the University of Maine at Orono. He has provided a dowloadable sketch and instructions entitled, “Tips for Annual Waterbar Maintenance,” which shows how waterbars should be cleaned:

Tips for Annual Waterbar Maintenance – PDF File

Bog Bridging Photos

Near north end of East Carry Pond Kennebec District Overseer Phil Pepin, and Assistant Overseer, Peter Roderick, led a bog-bridging workshop near the north end of East Carry Pond. New trail maintainer, A. Gordon Clarke, identified several areas along his trail assignment that needed new bridging due to the deterioration of current bridging and wet conditions causing unsightly widening of the footpath. This one-day workshop employed different bridging techniques ranging from using simple hand tools to more non-traditional methods — using chainsaws and a chainsaw mill.




To view larger images, try the thumbnail images.
Laura Flight felling a tree. Phil Pepin & Gordon Clark working the chainsaw mill.
Phil and the chainsaw mill. The final product of their efforts. Janice Gove stripping the bark.
Peter Roderick & Ray Ronan laying out the new bog bridging. The crew making progress on the bridging. Phil Pepin hauling the split logs to the site.
Thanks, Phil and Robin, for the photos.
Craig Dickstein delivering a log. What the crew accomplished in a day.