Thursday, June 25, 2020

Palisade Plunge Trail Keeps Moving Forward

The safety of the Palisade Plunge Trail crew is critical. Pictured here: crew members wear a harness and are tied to a rope while cutting trail on steep terrain.

Last week, Palisade Plunge Trail crews divided and conquered: one group carved 766 feet of new trail, leaving them at about milepost (MP) 27, only two-tenths of a mile away from connecting to the lower section of the constructed trail. The other group focused on transforming the notch area at about MP 26.75 into a traversable path.

It's no walk in the park trying to remove the rock in this area. It's a team effort to crack the bedrock on this steep slope.

Additionally, a migratory bird survey was conducted on the first part of the Phase 2 portion of the tail. The study identified two nests within buffer zones. Similar to the raptor nests that were identified near the Blowout on Phase 1, the construction crew will not be allowed to construct the trail within these buffer areas, at least until the nests have fledged out. However, the U.S. Forest Service is going to let the construction crew take a limited amount of trips to walk through the area so that they can at least continue on past the buffer areas with the trail construction.

A Palisade Plunge Trail crew member cracks bedrock.

Fifteen and a half miles of total finished trail has been completed. Only 1.66 miles are left before the completion of Phase 1.

Phase 2 will soon start. Stay tuned for more updates.

A Palisade Plunge Trail crew member swings his pickaxe to cut trail on the Palisade Plunge.

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