It was my 5th volunteer work day with the WTA, which means I’ll receive my very own green hard hat! This one was at the Lookout Mountain Forest Preserve, near Lake Whatcom, an area I haven’t had a chance to explore yet. It’s a great area to explore, with a short hike to one of the tallest waterfalls I’ve seen in the greater Bellingham area. We had a good group of about 15 volunteers, with the goal of creating a new switchback to replace a section of trail deemed too steep, and filled with roots in anticipation of greater foot traffic in the coming years. There is a plan to add lots of new trail to Lookout Mountain, and at the end of the work party we had the opportunity to view the network of trail that is planned for the area. Needless to say, there will be LOTS of volunteer opportunities in the area this summer!
The area where the new trail was going in was moderately steep and well marked with orange flags. My group took the bottom part of the trail, while another group started at the top, the goal being to meet at the switchback. We transplanted ferns, moved duff and worked on creating nice, gradual uphill trail. We lacked rocks – the area was primarily soft dirt, but we made really good progress throughout the day. Our lunch break was up at a nice waterfall, with a wood fenced lookout that made a nice perch for our group of volunteers.
We pushed hard through the afternoon, and by the end of the day we had the trail nearly completed, other than the switchback and some shoring up of the trail with rock or logs to prevent erosion on the downhill side of the trail. Otherwise it was looking really good and I was surprised that making a substantal length of trail go so fast.
To volunteer, please visit the Washington Trails Association website at: www.wta.org