BANDY CREEK — Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area’s Trail Keeper program is a volunteer partnership for people who love the park’s trails and want to help take care of them. The goal of the program is to provide an extended presence in the backcountry while providing Big South Fork’s staff with information on trail conditions.
The Trail Keeper program began in 2014. Currently, there are more than 70 different trails available for adoption. Trail keepers are expected to hike, bike or horse ride their adopted trail at least four times during the calendar year. They also report on overall trail conditions, pick up any trash, and submit a trail report after each visit. Being a trail keeper does not involve heavy trail maintenance or the use of power equipment. Trail keepers may use a small handsaw to remove small trees that have fallen across the trail and may move branches and other light maintenance by hand.
A few of the trails currently available for adoption include: Ledbetter Trailhead to Laurel Hill Multiuse Trail (an easy to moderate 8.7 mile hiking trail); Laurel Fork Creek Trail (12 miles-easy to moderate 12 mile hiking trail); Big Island Loop (8.7 mile horse trail); and O&W Trail (13.6 mile horse trail).
Trail Keepers are a valuable asset to the park staff. To learn more about the Big South Fork Trail Keeper program, email the park’s volunteer coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.