On December 1, 2012 rangers at Chimney Rock State Park hosted a trail work day at the Rumbling Bald Climbing Access area off Boys Camp Road in Lake Lure. The park acquired the climbing area in 2008, but it has long been used by the public for climbing, bouldering, and hiking. The park began stewardship of this land by creating a new parking area and trailhead, and this stewardship continues today as state park staff works alongside local volunteer groups to complete a new trail to the base of Rumbling Bald Mountain.
The existing trail route leading to the base of the climbing area consisted of old logging roads and had become washed out by rain, causing very deep gullies. A new reroute of the trail was flagged out by park staff to a more sustainable grade and also to provide access for emergency personnel. Next, the NC Division of Parks and Recreation contracted with YRU Contracting Inc., a professional trail building company, to do the initial rough cut of the trail and to fix the existing eroded areas. Most recently, local volunteers groups, such as the Carolina Climbers Collation, Friends of Chimney Rock State Park, and the Carolina Mountain Club, all came out to volunteer their time to manicure the newly constructed trail back to a more natural looking state.
The volunteers’ specific tasks and responsibilities included cutting all exposed roots on trail and side slopes, raking side slopes to cover roots and create a more natural looking slope, and removing anything from the trail tread that would be a tripping hazard.Volunteers used a variety of tools including rakes, axes, loppers, wheelbarrows, and ropes to complete their tasks along areas with steep banks.
Chimney Rock State Park Staff would like to give a big shout out to all that were involved in this very successful trail work day on December 1. The volunteers lent their excitement over the project and made a significant difference in the new trail reroute.
For those interested in hiking the new trail themselves, park rangers will lead a free hike on January 1, 2013 in conjunction with the nationwide First Day Hike event organized by America’s State Parks. Join a ranger at the Rumbling Bald Climbing Access at 1:00 that day for a discussion on how the park uses ecological information to reroute old tails and plan new trails.
Pictures by Office Assistant Karen Johnson
Article by Ranger Tyson Phillips