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!

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Chopping trail out of the hillside.

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Lunch break under a beautiful bluff overlooking Indian Creek.

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Duane, engineer and volunteer, looking at trail grade.

Building the Dawna Robinson Spur Trail.

Building the Dawna Robinson Spur Trail.

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

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Keeping trail volunteers fed is a big job!

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OHTA Crew on Hare Mountain

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Lunch break

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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.

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Volunteers picking up trash on the Lake Alma Trail

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

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Cleaning up the Lake Alma Trail.

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Arkansas Master Naturalists helping with trail building.

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Volunteers in the Marinoni Scenic Area of the Ozark Highlands Trail

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

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Joe, clearing the Lake Alma Trail.

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Cliff, building some new trail at Lake Alma.

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

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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.

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Using crosscut saws in the Hurricane Creek Wilderness

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Using crosscut saws in the Hurricane Creek Wilderness

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

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New tread being tested after recent side-hilling work.

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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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