National Forest Foundation Grant Funds Youth Trail Crew and Cache/Game Improvement Projects

This summer the Friends of Pathways (FOP) trail crew worked on the following projects as part of our Cache Creek and Game Creek Trail Improvements.  We had some alterations due to Covid-19 but were able to complete most of the project.

Invasive Weed Mitigation – Teton County Weed and Pest ceased working with groups in person with invasive species mitigation but offered sprayers and seminars at discounted rates.  FOP purchased a 5 gallon sprayer and we educated our youth trail crew on musk thistles.  We completed two blanket spraying days in Game Creek in early June to help quash the major infestation there and the youth crew carried a small 32 oz sprayer with them each day to address weeds we encountered on these trail and elsewhere on our trail system.  We also revisited Game Creek in late summer to manually cut any blooming musk thistle to try and minimize seed spread.

Reroutes – The crew constructed two small reroutes in upper Cache Creek around small landslides totally ~900 feet.  They also completed a larger reroute in Game Creek around a section of the road that floods each spring totaling ~1200 feet.  They also closed and rehabbed the older sections of trail with seed and aspen based compostable rehab netting.

Bridges – The crew constructed two new single log bridges in the upper reaches of Cache Creek.  They also raised the Noker Mine bridge which was flooding each spring and set it on new sill logs ~12 inches higher.  The crew got to use a griphoist and rigging for these projects and said they were their favorite projects this summer.

Culverts – We replaced 3 culverts and added 3 more on the Cache Creek Road/Trail.  We also cleaned out 24 culverts in the Cache Creek drainage.  We have a machine scheduled for the end of September to work on the Game Creek Road and address the drainage issues there.

Drainage Ditches – We dug ~2400 feet of drainage ditches in conjunction with the culvert work in Cache Creek.  These ditches function both to capture year round seeps and also spring snow melt.  There is minimal drainage work to be done in Game Creek but we are adding about a dozen rolling grade dips to allow water to naturally exit the road surface.

Turnpikes – The crew constructed 12 turnpikes this summer on upper Cache Creek and the Game Creek singletrack.  These consisted of cutting, peeling, and setting guide logs, digging ditches to channel water through a culvert, and adding rock and gravel fill to the surface.  Turnpikes are good one day projects and provide lots of tasks to keep everyone on the crew busy.

Backslopes – We re-graded several areas of the Cache Creek Trail where either landslides or the creek had narrowed the width of the trail.  Although this is a singletrack non-motorized trail it is groomed for xc skiing in the winter and we fixed these areas after coordinating with Parks and Rec to make sure they had adequate width to safely navigate their snow-cats grooming equipment.

We are almost finished with these projects with only a small amount of work left to be done in Game Creek with the mini excavator.