Pedernales Falls Equestrian Trails

Posted by Ryan Spates in S&S Project Gallery, S&S Trails Blog on Oct. 26, 2009 - 2:51 pm

So, September kept S&S Trails busy with reroutes on the horse trails at Pedernales Falls State Park, and with exploring some contract opportunities for the coming months. We were able to finish about half of the work that needed to be done at the state park. The rest will be finished in November, when the funding is complete.

We used a couple of new to us techniques that really helped make the project go well. We were rerouting trails that were fall line, and putting in contour trail. This also meant we needed to close down the old sections of trail. We wanted to rehab the trails as best we could. This meant that the hard packed earth had to be dealt with. Typically, this would involve scoring the ground somehow, but the trails had eroded down to bedrock in many locations, making scarification almost impossible. Also, we had this issue of all this top soil we were removing from the new sections of trail, that would just get moved downhill. Our solution came in the form of a Bradco Tilt Attach. We used our blade to get the bench cuts started and a second machine equipped with the tilt attach to scoop up the spoils. We then deposited the spoils on the old trail tread, filling it as well as we could. This helped in a number of ways, the largest is it all but eliminated the hand work that needed to be done on the new sections of trail. True, there were still track marks to get rid of and some masking to do, but not the large amount of labor intensive dirt raking.

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The Friends Group supplied us with some hard working volunteers on a number of occasions. They helped with the masking and final raking that needed to be done. It helped that they also rode the trails on the weekends, and could point out limbs that we missed up high that got in their way. Everyone was especially happy with the new sections that went through oak groves, instead of straight down the fence line.

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We’re looking forward to going back and finishing up the rest of the reroutes that are on the books. The trail is getting longer, and the friends group is happy that it is now more horse friendly. The last bit that we’ll have to do is correct some drainage problems on existing trail. There are some sections that aren’t too bad off, but have a berm on the downhill that needs handling.

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