The new Dallas Branch trail on the Monte Sano Mountain Preserve of the Land Trust of North Alabama is now open!
Please get out and enjoy this new trail which runs beside the Dallas Branch creek. Here is the general location, easily found by hikers starting at the Oak Park baseball fields and following the Oak Park Trail toward the Buzzard’s Roost overlook.
Our work day started as all others: cleaning and sharpening our tools ahead of time. It’s a lot easier and safer to work with sharp tools.
We left the parking lot at 9 a.m. with 8 people who were itching to get out of the wind, get moving and get to work. It was a lot warmer than our last work day. We hiked in, began clearing the leaves on the last section and grubbing a couple of trees. Layers of clothes started coming off quickly.
We made our way down the trail filling holes and clearing out any debris that was blocking water flow.
We reached the point where the new Dallas Branch trail crosses the old Flat Rock trail. There is a big muddy swale there that we couldn’t fix, so we brought in a number of flat rocks for hikers to step on (hence the name, Flat Rock Trail).
The great part of working in a group is sharing other interests as we go. Richard and Aaron began talking about fossils, so we took a short side trip just to find a few fossils. It’s cool to think about the entire area underwater so many years ago.
We also learn about each other’s history: Alexis and Bill G. shared memories of serving our country as paratroopers. John collects sweatshirts from colleges that he never attended but they make great conversation starters. Robert was a calm, steady presence and asked good questions.
Just as we finished, we greeted our first official user, a mountain biker who came down the trail with a big smile on his face! He was a little surprised to learn we weren’t also mountain bikers. We design the pathways to share the trails.
After our short trail opening ceremony, we hiked out and noticed we were missing a cohort. No man is left behind! Aaron went back to look for Bill. He came back alone, and just as we were all going back in to look for our lost cohort, Bill G. arrived, still smiling, announcing that he found the Appalachian Trail! Totally a light hearted joke.
Every trail needs tweaking and improving. If you can do yard work, you can help. To join us, just send a text message to 84483 with the word trail and you’ll receive notifications. McLeod Masters specialize in the trails of Land Trust property in Northeast Huntsville.