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Piedmont Trail realignment from fall line to contour

This project realigned a steep section of fall line trail at Fort Abercrombie State Park, Kodiak, Alaska.

By Lisa Holzapfel

Map of Alaska

Fort Abercrombie State Park's trail system is used largely by local residents for both recreation and exercise. Island visitors also make a point of walking its quiet and scenic pathways. It is estimated that over 20,000 visitors use the park trails annually and this number is increasing. Because of the island's fragile soils, park trails have suffered from the use and have required extensive hardening to support the heavy foot traffic. Over the past 15 years, a substantial effort has been made to upgrade trails through a combination of special trail grants and community trail fundraising efforts.

photo: steep trail with timbers across it

The fall line trail before improvement (photo by Lisa Holzapfel - click to enlarge)

The National Park Service-Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program, Alaska State Parks and Alaska Trails trained 25 volunteers in basic sustainable trail techniques for National Trails Day in June 2006.

The local Kodiak residents first completed the 12 hour Alaska Trails-Basic Trail Training course. Then they spent National Trails Day on the Piedmont Trail within the Fort Abercrombie State Park constructing 300 feet of new sustainable contour trail to replace a steep section of fall line trail.


photo: smooth level trail

The new trail alignment (photo by Lisa Holzapfel - click to enlarge)



The trail volunteers learned about trail Best Management Practices, the advantage of using Trail Management Objectives with land managers and how to construct a trail using the basic sustainable trail design concepts. They also walked sections of trail in the park and helped critique long-term maintenance needs for Alaska State Parks.








photo: volunteers in hard hats
National Trails Day 2006 volunteers on the trail

For more information:

Wayne Biessel, Alaska State Parks,, 907-486-6339

Lisa Holzapfel, NPS-Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance,, 907-644-3586


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