The water was roaring with such velocity that we couldn’t hear one another speak. Mouths moved, like there was supposed to be some sound emitting from its depths but still we couldn’t hear anything.

This was the end of our short hike from the parking lot. We’d travelled over the myriad of created social trails deciding on a route that made the most logical sense and then divided into pairs. Seven volunteers – ranging from first timers to those with more experienced – set out with a goal of creating a consistent clear pathway to Silver Falls.

Our successes include:

  • One water bar using a natural dip in the landscape
  • Two additional water run-off bars
  • Closed 12 social trails
  • Created one 6-foot backfilled log step
  • Created one 3.5-foot backfilled log step
  • Three rock steps

For those that haven’t been to Silver Falls in a long time, the uppermost section of the trail is badly eroded. We had decided not to create any steps primarily because we were unable to gain any purchase in the rock erosion. We needed points of contact and hold using big, multi hernia rocks. After some deliberation we decided to “try” and construct a landing style step, using a log, and by using the existing trees as a point of contact (this has already been used on the trail as a feature).

The first one blew out almost immediately – but, that is the value in learning how to succeed in this type of intensive and time consuming trail construction. Our second effort was better and shortly thereafter we constructed a second landing style step that was much larger.

In the distance the clouds were darkening and a couple claps of thunder rang out. After finishing our tasked goals for the day we sauntered out like the seven dwarfs (only carrying our tools appropriately and safely, not over our shoulder).

Trail work is for nearly everyone and this project shares that principle. Most projects have an array of needs, from lopping to digging to building to sawing and we hope you will participate in one of our upcoming work projects this summer.

For this project we have many volunteers to thank including: Ivo B, Betsy C, Steven E, Tom H, Sam S and Susan M.

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