In order to have a beautiful trail, WE NEED YOUR HELP!
Trail adopters usually work a minimum of one day a year. They use hand tools only, such as branch loppers, bow saws, and shovels and keep the trails clean and clear. If a big tree has come down, we ask that volunteers create a bypass around the tree until such time as we can get in there and chainsaw it out.
Available Trails for Adoption
Dixville Bypass Trail – This trail, new to the CT, was built by volunteers in order to bypass Dixville Peak which is now occupied by wind towers. The trail is hilly but beautifully rugged with some nice brook crossings and one view of the Columbia area. This trail would benefit from an adopter who also loves to ATV. It’s accessible by ATV on the north and south ends, and additionally by truck from the south start which is the wind farm road.
Fourth Connecticut Lake Trail – This is the Nature Conservancy path right on the Canadian border where Route 3 terminates at the Port of Entry station. This path starts in the wide border clearing swath and stays with it about halfway until the path leaves the swath on narrow woods path down to and around the pond. This mile-long trail climbs to the west up a steep grade at first and then becomes a pleasant woods walk in true boreal forest up to and completely around Fourth Connecticut Lake (a two-acre fen) that is the headwaters of the Connecticut River.
Tumbledick Mountain Trail – This two-mile trail begins at the south end of the Coleman State Park campground in Stewartstown and climbs up and over Tumbledick Mountain and terminates at a snowmobile trail junction.
This route has two distinct sections and needs. The northern half out of Coleman State Park going southbound is largely a snowmobile trail (except the first 500 feet which is woods path). The snowmobile trail is wide and usually quite clear of debris (removed by snowmobile club members). But some sections of the path need to be mowed. The Cohos Trail Association will be buying a small self-propelled field mower in 2019, so the self-propelled unit should make mowing the stretch easier than in the past. We will also be purchasing a weedwhacker if that suits folks better.
The second segment from Tumbledick summit area down a mile to the snowmobile trail junction runs largely through a recent logging cut. Volunteers in 2018 cleared the debris and did considerable work to improve the treadway. This coming year, the raspberry growth should be more established and will have to be knocked back with either a machete, a Fiskar-like handsaw used as a machete (very effective on raspberries), or with a weedwhacker.
For more information, please email us at [email protected].
We look forward to you joining our effort in keeping the Cohos Trail open and safe.
Trail Adopter Guidelines
1. Use hand tools. We don’t sanction the use of power tools as a matter of policy. Please do not use power tools. If you come across something that requires a chainsaw to remove (and you can’t bypass it), let us know. We will take care of it.
Most blowdowns can be removed with a Fiskar Powertooth hand saw, the best hand saw for trail use ever invented. Or use a bowsaw with a very sharp blade. Or use an ax if you know how to use an ax well. Be sure it is very very sharp so that it bites into the wood and doesn’t bounce off. If you are not skilled with an ax, don’t bring one with you.
2. Use protective eyewear and gloves at all times.
3. Clip the trail four feet wide and eight feet high where possible. Remove larger forest debris on the ground. Do not cut new trail ever. We must have permission to create new trails.
4. Blazing may be retouched. You may only use bright yellow latex paint. Never oil-based paint. Use 2-inch foam brushes only. Touch up blazes carefully and don’t use too much paint so that it runs. You may touch up cedar wood blazes with paint if some are on your trail. Do not add new blazing. You may be reimbursed for paint and brushes.
Never use an ax to cut a blaze into a tree. Use only paint. If we provide you with cedar wood blazing painted yellow and aluminum nails to fasten them to a tree, be sure to leave half an inch of exposed nail so the tree may grow without breaking the blaze off. Do not provide your own wooden blazes.
5. Take a first aid kit with you. Take plenty of water and a snack or lunch. Use natural-substance bug dope and wear a broad-brimmed hat sprayed with bug dope during black fly season. It makes a big difference in your ability to keep the black flies away from your ears, mouth, neck, and eyes.
If you use an ax, be sure to take a belt or a piece of rope with you that you could use as a tourniquet in case of an accident. Take a light source with you, matches, and a space blanket in case you can’t get out of the woods before dark and must overnight in the forest. Packing a rain poncho or shell is a wise idea, too.
6. Check the condition of signs and trail infrastructure such as bridges and bog bridging. Let us know if you think there might be a problem with any structure.
7. Pick up any litter and take it out of the woods, please.
8. Let us and someone you care about know about where you are going to be working and when. If you run into trouble and can’t get out of the woods, someone will know that and help can be gotten to you. Take a cell phone with you. Reception is spotty along the Cohos Trail, however.
9. Please let us know if you can’t continue as a trail adopter. We will try to find another volunteer to take on the task.
10. Ask us for a trail maintenance log form. We can email a PDF to you or send a few to you via snail mail.