Brushing and Polishing: Finishing Shiny New Trail
On September 20th, 2018, 8 students from the Pre-AP Biology class at Flagstaff High School headed to Little Elden Trail at Elden Spring Road to finish off a section of trail that had recently been rerouted.
Little Elden Trail, which is also the Arizona Trail Flagstaff Equestrian Bypass section, has for years followed unsustainable fall line paths up and down various drainages. It is notorious as eroded, rubbly, and rough to hike, ride or bike. And what a shame too! The views of the slabs, the North East Arrett, and South Face of Elden are the most spectacular here! But who can look at the view when you are staring at the rocks rolling under your feet! As part of the efforts by the Flagstaff Ranger District to reduce erosion and improve trail conditions in the area, the first phase of the Little Elden reroute was installed this fall.
Our students, after learning about sustainable trail design and construction, put the finishing touches on the new alignment. After another crew had cut back brush from the new trail corridor, our crew came through and hauled the brush out of site and used it to completely close the old alignment. We carried only a few trail tools in case there were small issues that needed to be fixed. Since we traveled so light and did fast moving work we were able to cover the entire length of the new trail in a single morning.
But is wasn’t all hard work and brush hauling out there. We always make time to hunt for snake skins, visit with local fauna, and explore the rocks, nooks and crannies around us too.
We had a wonderful day that combined adventure, learning, teamwork, and giving back. What a great way to grow and explore.