South Fork Trail given a lift

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55 volunteers with Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) pose on the new 102’ turnpike they built on the South Fork Trail, Sept. 29 and 30. The turnpike will prevent lifts the trail out of the meadow, preventing further erosion.
55 volunteers with Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) pose on the new 102’ turnpike they built on the South Fork Trail, Sept. 29 and 30. The turnpike will prevent lifts the trail out of the meadow, preventing further erosion.

Over the weekend, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) recently completed work at the South Fork Trail in the Williams Fork area. There were 55 volunteers, including one youth, who contributed
a combined 814 hours of work to perform important maintenance work on the multi-use trail, including building a new turnpike to lift the trail out of muddy conditions and installing drainage structures to mitigate erosion.

Two llamas from the U.S. Forest Service Sulphur
Ranger District was on-site to help volunteers transport tools to the open meadow where they worked; after that, volunteers set about constructing a 102-foot turnpike to elevate the trail out of the flat meadow. This was crucial to the trail’s long-term sustainability as the meadow would gather rain and make the trail muddy, which in turn would erode the trail and lead hikers to go off-trail, widening the path and damaging the natural environment.

To create the turnpike, volunteers had to carry and place large timbers; cover them with cloth; transport large cobbles from the nearby river to the turnpike; and finally cover the turnpike with dirt, which was obtained by digging a large hole and transporting the dirt up the trail with wheelbarrows. It was hard work,
but volunteers were rewarded with meals prepared by volunteer Crew Chefs and views of the fall leaves.

Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) is a statewide nonprofit volunteer organization dedicated to motivating and enabling people to be active stewards of Colorado’s natural resources. Since 1984, VOC’s award-winning volunteer, youth, and leadership training programs have engaged nearly 115,000 people of all ages in caring for Colorado’s outdoors – a total donated labor value of $23 million. Such volunteer efforts have made a lasting impact on Colorado through hands-on work in fire and flood restoration, trail building and maintenance, tree planting and re-forestation, and more. For more information, visit www. voc.org or call 303-715-1010.

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