Legacy Trails Program Awardee


Bridge Replacement for Trail Access

This project will replace three trail bridges on two NFST trails and perform deferred tread maintenance on one of these trails. Replacing the bridges will keep trail users out of streams, prevent erosion, and improve aquatic species' habitat in these creeks. One is a major trail bridge in Wilderness, and the others are minor bridges in closer proximity on a multi-use non-motorized trail in the scenic State Highway 20 corridor. Bridges will be replaced in accordance with the USFS standard designs for 3-stringer log bridges. The stringer and sills will be native timbers sourced on site.

Applicant: Methow Valley Trails Collaborative
Project Location: Methow Valley Ranger District, Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest, Washington
Amount Awarded: $16,322.00

The work will be accomplished with a combination of labor sources. The organizations contributing to the project are the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance staff, USFS seasonal employees, volunteers from the Back Country Horseman of Washington, Methow Valley Trails Collaborative (MVTC) staff, and the Washington Conservation Corps. MVTC will coordinate the cooperator’s contributions to the project over the course of two field seasons. MVTC will stay in contact with the FS district staff to determine the appropriate scheduling of these projects. In addition, MVTC will recruit and manage volunteers, order necessary supplies, and work on the technical aspects of the bridge. By coordinating multiple groups, MVTC saves the district time and resources. MVTC facilitated the rebuilding of a major trail bridge similarly over the summer of 2022.

Replacing the 40’ long major trail bridge on Louis Lake Trail will be the focus of the 2023 field season. This bridge is located 2 miles from the South Creek trailhead in the Chelan Sawtooth Wilderness. It was decommissioned in 2022 when a bridge inspection revealed rotten stringers, which made it unsafe for stock users. The trail crosses South Creek at a steep canyon, making a stock ford an unrealistic option. Hikers can ford the creek, but this is unsafe during spring runoff. Replacing this trail bridge during one field season after it was decommissioned will allow access to the remaining 3 miles of the Louis Lake Trail and Louis Lake itself. This has the benefit of restoring recreation access in a timely manner. It has the added benefit of allowing work crews to keep the trail on an annual maintenance schedule rather than slipping it into a maintenance backlog. The Local Chapter of BCHW has already purchased the decking for this project and is ready to assist in bringing it to the project site as soon as the snow has melted, and the trail has been logged out. The carpentry work on this bridge will be done with skilled volunteers from the Backcountry Horsemen of Washington, MVTC staff, MVTC volunteers, and the USFS. The necessary rigging will be handled by USFS staff and MVTC staff. A Washington Conservation Crops Crew paid for by BCHW is available to help with the decking and necessary tread work to make the approaches stock friendly. A successful milestone will be completing this bridge before the end of 2023's field season, likely in September.

MVTC will aim to replace the two minor bridges on the popular Multi-use Cutthroat Creek trail in 2024. The current bridges are both two-stringer log trail bridges that cross two small year-round creeks. The bridges are located within 200' of each other on the trail. They will be replaced in kind, but as three stringer brides to help withstand the significant snow load at the 5,000' elevation near the Cascade crest. The snow load is causing the collapse of one bridge and both to settle into the soil beneath their original level. These two bridges have not yet been decommissioned, but they have been identified as significantly deteriorated, and they will be decommissioned in the near future. It is possible to cross these streams without bridges, but this will cause significant erosion into these annual creeks, which flow into Cutthroat Creek and, ultimately, the Methow River. This trial sees annual visitation ranging from 8,000-13,000 trail users and is open to hikers, bikers, and equestrians. Replacing these bridges soon after they are scheduled to be decommissioned will better support all these users and prevent significant degradation to the streaming site. This project will begin in 2023 with the purchase of decking and fasteners. If the materials are available, it is the plan to replace the bridges immediately after they are decommissioned to prevent stream bank erosion. The work plan for 2024 is to rebuild the bridge with MVTC staff, Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance staff and volunteers, and USFS personnel. It is anticipated that the labor needs for these smaller bridges will be less than the Louis Lake bridge since they are in non-wilderness and each only 20’ in length. Any remaining funding for the project will be dedicated to performing differed tread and draining maintenance on the Cutthroat Creek trail as it climbs towards the Pass. This deferred maintenance will encourage the sheet flow of water, ultimately preventing erosion on the remaining 3.4 miles of trail. This trail sees annual maintenance in the form of logout, but drainage structures have gone neglected. A successful milestone of the project will be two new trail bridges by the end of the 2024 field season.

More winners of this award

2024: Highline Trail

2024: Teton Trails Deferred Maintenance

2024: Phase 2 of the Arroyo Hondo Project

2024: Greenhorn Gulch Trail Reroute and Bridge Rebuild

2024: Trail Rehabilitation in Beaverhead Deer Lodge National Forest

2024: Trail Maintenance and Repairs in Pisgah National Forest

2024: Wasatch National Forest Deferred Maintenance and Weather Resilience

2024: Rio Fernando de Taos Watershed Revival

2024: Mineral Creek Trail Reroute

2024: Second Fork Trail Project

2024: Trinity River Watershed Trail Improvement Project

2024: Salmon-Challis National Forest Trail Restoration

2024: Manistee, White, Muskegon, and Pere Marquette River Watershed

2024: Mount Shavano Trail and Riparian Habitat Restoration Project

2024: South Park Ranger District Singletrack Connector Trail

2024: Oak Creek Canyon Watershed Restoration Project

2024: Bartram National Recreation Trail Maintenance

2024: Idaho Panhandle National Forest Sandpoint Ranger District Trail Reroute

2024: Pony Express National Historic Trail Improvement

2024: South Lake and Moss Lake Trail Restoration

2024: West Ridge Trail #176 Improvements

2024: Blue Bend Loop Trail Restoration

2024: Catamount Trail Improvement

2024: Munson Meadow Trail Restoration

2024: Vesuvius Recreation Area Trail System Restoration

2024: Hurricane Creek Trail Restoration

2024: Cove Creek Trail Rehabilitation

2023: The Storm Creek Connector Trail

2023: Backpacker and Lakeshore Trails

2023: Beaver Meadows Trail

2023: Munson Meadow Trail

2023: Imnaha River Trail

2023: Maxon Meadows Trail to Chamberlain Meadows Camp

2023: Lost Lake Trail

2023: Virginia Highlands Horse Trail

2023: Pasayten Wilderness Project

2023: Catawba River Headwaters

2023: Continental Divide National Scenic Trail

2023: Southfork Trail, White Mountain Wilderness

2023: Black Canyon and Trail Creek Drainages

2023: Twenty Lakes Basin Toads and Trails

2023: Dickey Bell Trail Reroute and Bypass

2023: Horseshoe Canyon Trails

2023: Lower San Francisco River Wilderness Study Area

2023: Trails in Ontonagon and Sturgeon watersheds

2023: Bandit Springs Trail System

2023: Caton Lake Trail

2023: Yellowbelly Trail

2023: Santa Cruz Trail

2023: Pioneer Mountains Trail Maintenance

2023: North Country National Scenic Trail Connections

2023: Pincushion Mountain Ski Trails

2023: Rocky Gap Horse Trail System

2023: Shrode Lake Trail

2023: Johnson Creek Trail Re-Establishment

2023: Soda Ditch Loop Trail

2023: Restoration of Buckhorn and Indian Trails

2023: Hauf Lake and One Horse Lakes Trails

2023: Building Resilience on the TRT/PCT

2023: Camp Creek Watershed Improvement

2023: Pomas Creek Trail and Entiat River Trail

2023: Western States Trail & Tevis Cup Trail, within Granite Chief Wilderness

2023: Western States Trail Improvements

2023: Sipsey Wilderness Trails Restoration

256 views • posted 05/24/2023