The picture probably doesn’t look like much. What you are looking at though is something that co-volunteer Bob Andrew saw on the AT in North Carolina. Gene, the current Ridge Runner at Annapolis Rocks has a great name for that, V-Checkdams.
I’m talking about that angled log located below the big log. To digress for just a second, we call these logs waterbars. What they do is hold back eroding soil and level the trail tread so it’s not just a rut. When you put in a big log (you take what you can get [i.e. is close by] and move in this business), many hikers find the step up difficult and cheat so walk around. This widens the trail and creates more erosion.
So Bob Andrews ingenious solution here works like magic. Immediately after installing on of the V-Waterbars, hikers magically walk right down the center of the Appalachian Trail. I call this Trail Magic. There is a little irony here in that many novice hikers see a waterbar and think it’s a step — yet this V-Waterbar actually is a step.
That’s the first one I put in. So far 6 are in place, and probably and equal number to be installed over the summer.