End of the Year Message from TRTC

We've been active on some trail safety projects and continued our efforts to provide up to date ATT maps and amenities such as our fountain at Pittard Sears and Porta Jon at Scott King. We hope you appreciate these efforts. Give us a wave when you see our volunteers doing maintenance on the ATT. Please take a few minutes to see what we have done this year and our plans for 2017 in this 2016 MESSAGE

Our Fountain at Pittard Sears Road Closed for the Winter

Fountain at Pittard Sears wrapped up for the winter.

Much colder weather is in the forecast so we shut off and drained the fountain on December 2nd. These newer fountains use lots of plastic parts that are proprietary, quite expensive and easily damaged by a hard freeze. We'll re-open it for the new season in late March. Although the fountains at New Hope Church Road are also closed for the winter, the restrooms there remain open and water from the sinks is still available.

Safety Improvements for O'Kelly Chapel Crossing

Signs installed on the ATT at O'Kelly Chapel Road in 2016

During 2016 TRTC has continued efforts to improve the safety at the very busy crossing at O'Kelly Chapel Road. In mid-May our funding resulted in the installation of 3 new signs at each side of the crossing to better alert trail users of actions required as they approach this road. (see image) The Town of Cary funded identical signs for the crossing at New Hope Church Road. In August our long-term advocacy with NC DOT resulted in a lowering of the enforceable speed limit from 50 to 45 mph. As a result of this change and the added pedestrian signs installed in 2015, there are indications that through traffic may have slowed somewhat and more motorists are slowing or stopping as they pass through this crossing. DOT has also indicated they will be installing center line rumble strips at this crossing later this Fall.
We are still working with the Chatham County Commissioners to obtain funding for the installation of user-activated signal lights at O'Kelly. These would be large (~12" in diameter), amber lights similar to those used at school crossings which would flash only when activated by a trail user. Over the past year the Commissioners have indicated support for this improvement and are expected to decide on Bike/Ped projects to be funded at their December meeting.

Kiosk at Eagle Spur Trail

Kiosk at Eagle Spur Trail

As an Eagle Scout Project, Matthew Darby of Troop 402 in Durham, took the lead in planning, fund raising, building and installing an informational kiosk just south of Stagecoach Road on the Eagle Spur hiking trail. The kiosk includes a lockable case for information and over the next few weeks we'll be collecting and developing several pieces on the corridor's history, rules for hunting in this area, maps and other items of interest to trail users. TRTC has maintained this trail for over 15 years and provided a portion of the funding for this very nice amenity for trail users.

New Booklet on Great Trails in NC

North Carolina's Parks and Recreation Division has issued a very nice 21 page booklet in PDF form which has pictures and descriptions of walking and paddle trails throughout the State.

Fourth Workday at the Eagle Spur Trail--May 14th

We had another productive Eagle Spur workday on March 26th and got a lot accomplished. A little over a mile of the trail is now much wider and our future efforts will focus on the final 1.3 miles. However thanks to the recent high lake levels and the amount of time since we performed major maintenance we still have a lot to do. We could definitely use a LOT more "hands" to help out on May 14th. The Eagle Spur is the remnant of the original rail grade that was abandoned with the construction of Jordan Lake and runs from Stagecoach Road 2.3 miles to the lake. The land is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and managed by the Wildlife Resources Commission. Triangle Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has taken the responsibility for maintaining the trail. See map from our site Eagle Spur

If you have hiked the Eagle Spur recently you will have noticed several washed out drainage culverts that are blocking access to the end of the trail if the lake level is up even slightly from normal pool level, which has happened a lot lately. We have plans to replace these culverts. The replacement culverts are about 3 feet in diameter and 20 feet long and weigh about 350 pounds each. These will have to come in via Stagecoach Rd. on a trailer.

However, before we can think about moving the replacement culvert pipe we need to re-establish a suitable working width of the corridor to accommodate the trailer. In a lot of places the trail is only single-track thanks to the growth of a lot of "dog-hair" saplings. The current work efforts are focused on clearing these saplings and widening the trail. This is the same type of work that we did when we did the clearing of the American Tobacco Trail in Chatham and Durham Counties 10 to 15 years ago. Tasks for this workday will include cutting saplings, brush, and vines and removing them from the trail. The recent high lake levels also floated a fair amount of logs and similar debris that has to be cut up and removed from the trail. If you happen to hate seeing trash and litter in the woods, we'll have trash bags and you can have all of the job security you want! No experience or special skills are required. We provide on the job training! About all you need is regular hiking attire, water (it is likely to be warm) and full fingered work gloves. If you happen to have loppers, a bow saw or metal garden rake please bring them. If not we will probably have enough to share. Steve Lund, our Workday Coordinator, will be bringing a chain saw to cut up the larger pieces.

If you would like to come and join the party to help out please contact Steve Lund at slund348@pobox.com. This will give Steve an approximate headcount so he can plan tasks and work assignments. He will be sending an email out a few days prior to the workday to those responding that has further details and meeting location and start time, parking, etc. Thanks,

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