It’s construction time again. The current plan is for the Progressive Trail Design dig team to arrive here on Monday, February 10th, depending on the weather. They will be transporting equipment, setting up their machines, and will will begin actual construction on Tuesday the 11th. They will be starting from the west end of the new Section 8 at the new Brady Mountain Road Trailhead parking area, directly across from the current termination point of the trail coming off Bear Mountain. There will be a three-man machine team who will work 5-6 days a week, with a target completion date of the end of March. This year’s PTD on-site leader will be Jon Bryan, who was part of the team last year.
Traildog Robert at a large rock outcropping along the proposed Section 8 of the LOViT.
We will take a little different approach to working on the trail this year due to the reduced hand finish work required because of PTD construction techniques. I am proposing we work on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and some Saturdays. The Saturday schedule will depend upon groups who have contacted us about bringing help on a weekend: the Arkansas Wildlife Federation Team, a group of Airmen from Little Rock Air Force Base in Jacksonville, and possibly a Boy Scout Troop.
The initial daily work schedule will be to meet at the Brady Mountain Road parking area and work toward the east behind the machine team. We will meet at the parking area at 9:00 am each workday and work until 2:00 pm. We will provide all the necessary hand tools, fire rakes, pulaskis, limb loppers, and saws, but each volunteer can bring their own equipment if they prefer. Good work gloves, layered clothing, a trail lunch, and plenty of fluids are the essentials for each volunteer.
Directions to the worksite are to turn north off US 270, toward the lake, onto Brady Mt. Rd., and go 4.0 miles to the Brady Mt. Rd. Trailhead parking area. Unlike the last two years, this new section will cross some good roads that we can utilize for access instead of the long hikes into our worksites from one end. We will adjust our rally points as the trail construction progresses.
“Alpha Dog” Jerry on the to-be-constructed LOViT Section 8.
This final section is estimated to be six-miles long, with approximately one-mile of the six being old roads that will not require machine construction, but that will require us to clear trees and debris. Upon completion, we will have completed the planned basic trail set out some twelve years ago, giving us 45 miles of multi-use trail & spurs.
Our first day of construction will be Thursday February 13th. Since the machine team will need time to dig ahead of the volunteers, we are planning to utilize our first days clearing the two roads of downed trees and debris while the machine team works on developing the first part of the new section. The rally point for volunteers for our first day will be at the spillway of the lake. Directions are to turn north off US 270 on Brady Mt Road and go approximately three miles to Owl Creek Road. Turn Right onto Owl Creek road and follow it until it intersects Blakely Mt. Dam Rd. Turn left on Blakely Dam Road and go to where the end of the road comes to the lake; there you will see a large open area that is the actual spillway. If you go too far, you will end up at Echo Canyon Resort (formerly “Spillway” Resort).
We will have a chainsaw crew on this first day of work to help remove the downed trees. We also have a US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) access road adjacent to the Dam that will need some clearing; we will work on this once we have cleared the road near the spillway.
This year’s route is hilly but not as challenging as the last two years, and the route has much better access points which cut down on our transportation time to the actual construction sites. I have attached a couple of photos of the large rock outcroppings the trail will pass by on Blakely Mountain.
We look forward to any and all volunteers joining this effort. As in the past we encourage all volunteers to work at their own pace, to come help when you can, and to leave when you must.
If you have any questions or suggestion regarding this schedule contact me via email () or by phone at .