The Nature Conservancy of Texas hosts the Central Texas Trail Tamers offering an Introduction to Sustainable Trail Construction and Maintenance at the Davis Mountains Preserve, McIvor Center. This class will take place on Sunday, April 19th starting at 1 p.m. and ending about 4 p.m. The indoor portion of the class lasts for about 90 minutes and then we will spend an additional 90 minutes or so on an outdoor exercise.
This course is based on a curriculum developed by the Pacific Crest Trail Association and U.S. Forest Service Trails Specialist John Schubert. The class will cover working with land managers, what to expect from volunteer crews, trail types and trail users, the basics of sustainable trail design, hillside hydrology, clearing and brushing the trail corridor, methods for building new tread, rock steps and other kinds of steps, retaining walls, switchbacks, water bars, water crossings, and other water management structures. Once students understand how trails are supposed to work, we will discuss maintaining and rehabilitating older trails to reduce future maintenance needs.
Following the classroom portion of the presentation, we will take a closer look and trail building tools, and trail crew safety. Then we will walk a section of trail close to the McIvor Center to apply some of what you learned in the classroom and start developing “Trail Eyes.” This will help you begin to see the forces at work on trails that support or undermine a safe and enjoyable experience for trail users.
This sampler class does not fully prepare students to work independently. Instead, students will understand a range of trail work tasks and have a good idea of what they might have fun doing when working with an experienced crew leader. This class will be taught by Central Texas Trail Tamers President, Scott Newsom (and friends). This class is free and we hope everyone with an interest in securing public access to nature via trails will join us for a fun and informative afternoon.
For students who want to put their knowledge to work immediately, the Trail Tamers are following up this introductory class with a full week project at the Davis Mountains Preserve from April 19th through the 25th. All skill levels are welcome, but sign up quickly because space is limited. You can sign up here.
Location: The Davis Mountains Preserve is located approximately 25 miles northwest of Ft. Davis on Hwy. 118 (about 10 miles past McDonald Observatory and about one quarter of a mile past the Lawrence E. Wood Picnic Area).