Tag: Tread

Waterbar on Blue Trail to AT from Parking Area

Waterbars Doing Their Job On Short Blue Trail at Pine Knob.

The heavily used, yet short section of the blue trail from the US-40 Pine Knob Parking area is stabilizing now after I dug a few water bars last summer to direct rain water off of the trail. Over time, the trail tread becomes lower then the surrounding land, and water becomes trapped in the trail tread. Then the water continues downhill and builds with more water. The end result is a deep rut that is hard to walk on.

I prefer these soil style waterbars over the log style. I used to maintain a section of the AT in Shenandoah National Park and these waterbars were built by previous maintenance folks and held up very well. Plus, when built properly, they are gentle to walk over. A nice rock facing on front would add some permanence to the waterbars but they’re pretty sturdy on their own right.

While it’s a fairly simple task to stop the erosion by digging a few ditches and piling the soil on the trail to direct the water off, it does become a long term maintenance item. In fairly short order on this heavily used section, these water bars will fill with soil and clog up, thus becoming non-functional.

Below are pictures from this summer of the freshly built water bars. They’ve really made a difference and no water from the blue trail is making it to the AT and ending up of the I-70 Pine Knob Footbridge. Water is still making it to the bridge though, coming downhill a short distance on the AT from a waterbar I built there last summer as well. Work to come to stop that flow of water.