Genesee Adopters Improve Trails

Have you walked the new trail link from Foothills Drive North to the Wildflower Loop, experienced the tall grasses mown along the Canyon Creek and Hilltop trails, and noticed the new drainage dips along Deer Run Spur, Marsh Meadow, Miner’s Mile, Elk Run, Plains View, and Wildflower Spur, among others? All this and more is the work of a dozen of your friends and neighbors, the Genesee Trail Adopters. Under the auspices of the Open Space program and Trails Committee, all twelve adopters have been professionally trained in trail anatomy, maintenance and construction techniques and safety. All 25 trails in Genesee have been adopted by them. They bring passion, commitment, and yes, even some sweat to our goals of improving the safety, environmental sustainability and hiker enjoyment of Genesee’s Trails.

The recent realignment of the new trail link from Foothills Drive North to the Wildflower Loop illustrates all those goals. It replaces a user-created route, or “social trail” that dropped straight downhill at a 25-30% grade, forming gully erosion that dumped sediment into the stream channel below, and wasn’t a pleasant experience for hikers as they huffed and puffed uphill or closely watched their steps going down. In contrast, the new route follows a relatively gentle 8-10% grade, is aligned to naturally shed water without causing erosion and traces the edge of a wildflower sprinkled meadow along the stream channel. Closure of the old route and installation of erosion control measures are ongoing. See the accompanying aerial photo, courtesy of Chuck Adams’ drone photography. Or better yet, hike it tomorrow! Much work remains to be done to improve our trails and it certainly won’t be completed this year. The adopters will continue to clear vegetation, improve drainage to halt erosion, and realign trails to reduce dangerous or unpleasant experiences. We’ll soon be installing new signage on the trails that comprise the “Vista Loop” to encourage use of the loop and assure residents that they are on the right path. So, if you see someone out on the trails with a clipboard doing inventory or with a pick, shovel, or rake in hand, say “Thanks, neighbor, for making Genesee an even better place!”

Jim Bedwell | Genesee Trails Committee Chair

Genesee Foundation