NCR / Hereford Volunteers, Inc.
Volunteer Trail Work Day
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Click on Photo for Larger View
On Saturday, Nov. 22, 2008, at 9:00 AM 10 people met at the Monkton Train Station warmly dressed and ready for a cold day - complete with a nice coating of snow - out on the trail.
As the day began, Jen Cashell, Park Technician at Gunpowder Falls State Park, discussed the park's trail maintenance practices and objectives before reviewing plans for the day which were to include hiking to a pre-designated trail to assess as a group trail conditions and identify areas in need of "assistance" - re-routing, minor repair work, etc. Ted Brower, a volunteer at Gunpowder Falls State Park, discussed his personal experiences in trail maintenance.
All participants viewed a DVD produced by the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) and the USDA Forest Service about trail building, maintenance, and re-routing, followed by a question and answer period. Volunteers also practiced using a Clinometer - an instrument used to measure percent grade of a particular trail. This proved very useful while the group was on the trail.
Now, off to do the trail work.
Jen and Christina McCullough, Park Associate at Gunpowder Falls State Park, transported the group to the trail head and distributed the work tools. The work party began hiking down the trail leading to the Gunpowder River. After walking a distance, and making several small maintenance updates, a major problem along the trail became obvious. In one area, a hiker or even a horse and rider could have easily slipped off the trail and landed in the Gunpowder.
Serious work ensued. Using all the information that had been learned earlier in the day, the trail was re-routed slightly up hill and back down to the original trail following the natural contour and bypassing the danger. The Clinometer training was put to immediate use. The "new" part of the trail measured an 8% grade (10% is allowable).
Once the job was complete, everyone congregated for lunch, while reviewing the work done. We headed back up to the van to return to the Monkton Station. All agreed that it had been a very productive and fun day.
Volunteers: Nancy Lease, Greg Tintos, Fred Grey, Tom Breen, Ross McKim, and Ted Brower
DNR Staff - Jen Cashell, Christina McCullough, Sarah Witcher, and Roberta
Note: NCR refers to the Northern Central Rail Trail, the which was officially renamed the Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail, after Maryland's third Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary. NCR/Hereford Volunteers, Inc. focus their efforts on both the Hereford Area of the Gunpowder Falls State Park and the Rail Trail.
This program was developed and facilitated by Jennifer Cashell, Park Technician, with help from Christina McCullough, PSA/Ranger, to educate and recruit volunteers.
To volunteer for future Gunpowder Falls State Park Trail Work Days, contact:
For further information about volunteering in the northern section of Gunpowder Falls State Park, contact: