At the end of October, with the combined effort of Pisgah Area SORBA, Trail Dynamics, US Forest Service, and The Pisgah Conservancy, 1.7 miles of the Sidehill trails were rehabilitated and renovated. These are important connector trails and high trafficked areas of Bent Creek by hikers, trail runners, nature lovers, hunters and mountain bikers. This work was made possible thanks to a grant from Athletic Brewing and the collaborative power of multiple trail organizations. By the end of the week, Pisgah Area SORBA contributed close to 130 hours to this trail, which is nearly $4000 of labor per the USFS volunteer rate.

Many outdoor enthusiasts access this area and have recently seen erosion hit the trail hard. In the central portion of the trail, extreme water erosion had created a 3-4 foot deep “V” in the central portion of a down hill section of trail. Much needed repair was done to this area and to the section below it. The major erosion above had created a catch basin of dirt and debris had all but eliminated a natural spring and led to further erosion and trail damage to an existing bridge. Trail Dynamics were able to dig out silt and leaf debris, and place a new culvert that saw freshwater flow from the spring for the first time in years. Additionally, with help of Volunteers from Pisgah Area SORBA, US Forest Service and Pisgah Conservancy, the lower section of trail was repaired to allow all users better access and trail flow.

In addition to this important work, a portion of Upper Side Hill, the upper portion of the Sidehill system, had some much needed love to the trail drains. Clearing of these drains are important to allow water to flow properly off of the downhill section of the trail. In less than a day, Trail Dynamics repaired 10 drains. What would take two teams of volunteers 3-6 hours of work, using machines, takes each drain about 20 minutes each (not including navigating rocky terrain up a steep section of trail. This work will free up volunteer hours to work on other sections of Bent Creek, like the recent work that has been happening over on the Wolf Branch trails.

All in all, the collaboration of these four organizations has led to much needed and important work for our local trails. We can’t thank Athletic Brewing for the grant as part of 2% For The Trails and the dedication to preserving and maintaining local trails across the country.

Check out the official stats below, then come ride the new section of trail and celebrate the love of trails!

– Rock armoring to prevent future erosion
– Natural spring/creek unearthed and culvert created
-10+ drains cleared/reworked
-2 low spots raised and rock armored
-1 turnpike created
-1 bridge raised and repaired