In Praise of Trail Maintainers/Volunteers!

On a recent hike of the first 125 miles of the Ozark Highland Trail I was reminded of the importance of trail maintainers/volunteers.  We saw evidence of some great work that has been done over recent months and years.

Then I returned to my “home trail” and what I saw really amazed me.  Volunteers had obviously descended on the Lake Alma Trail and done their magic.  Following recent ice it was difficult to make it around the four-mile loop but today I enjoyed a relaxing hike, noticing evidence of trail work at every turn.

Volunteers are the reason we’re able to hike the beautiful trails of Arkansas!  As a novice hiker I assumed that trails rarely needed attention.  A few years ago I tried to hike a small neglected trail and realized the impact of volunteer trail maintainers.  Now, as an experienced hiker and occasional trail volunteer myself, I know the value of the work done and the satisfaction derived by doing trail maintenance or trail building.

If you’ve never participated in a trail workday, I would encourage you to try it.  You’ll enjoy a good workout and end the day with a deep sense of satisfaction and service to the wilderness and your fellow hikers.  Thank you volunteers!


Chopping trail out of the hillside.


Lunch break under a beautiful bluff overlooking Indian Creek.


Duane, engineer and volunteer, looking at trail grade.

Building the Dawna Robinson Spur Trail.

Building the Dawna Robinson Spur Trail.


Dale building a trail he would then adopt to maintain, the Dawna Robinson Indian Creek Spur Trail.



Keeping trail volunteers fed is a big job!


OHTA Crew on Hare Mountain


Lunch break


Enjoying fellowship and the satisfaction of a good day’s work in the Hare Mountain area. Left to Right: Mike Lemaster, President of the OHTA, Bob Robinson, Chris Adams, and Roy Senyard, Trail Maintenance Coordinator for the OHTA.


Volunteers picking up trash on the Lake Alma Trail


Harry McWater, the driving force behind building the Lake Alma Trail, visiting with volunteers.


Cleaning up the Lake Alma Trail.


Arkansas Master Naturalists helping with trail building.


Volunteers in the Marinoni Scenic Area of the Ozark Highlands Trail


Roy Senyard, Trail Maintenance Coordinator for the Ozark Highlands Trail.


Joe, clearing the Lake Alma Trail.


Cliff, building some new trail at Lake Alma.


Volunteers having breakfast before working in the Hurricane Creek Wilderness of the Ozark Highlands Trail.


Mary is one hard worker when it comes to trail maintenance! She is shown here on the back porch of Mirkwood Cabin during a work trip on the OHT.


Using crosscut saws in the Hurricane Creek Wilderness


Using crosscut saws in the Hurricane Creek Wilderness


Bob Robinson, a “heavy lifter” when it comes to trail maintenance.


New tread being tested after recent side-hilling work.


Steven Parker, right, became Trail Maintenance Coordinator for the OHTA in 2015.

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One thought on “In Praise of Trail Maintainers/Volunteers!

  1. Pingback: Ozark Highlands Trail on The Trail Show Podcast | Ozarkmountainhiker

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