I have to admit, I can’t help but smile. It’s great to see folks take a sense of ownership in their park and get out there and do something about it. That said, you might want to check in at the nature center first and see what to do and what NOT to do while giving your time to help clean up our park.
Yesterday, while hiking up on the East Bluff trail we came across this area (Photo above.) where someone had decided to block an unofficial trail that was forming just to the side of the real trail. It makes sense. You can see how people have walked just above the actual trail to the extent where the ground was compacted and plants had stopped growing. This is happening because the popular paved trails, laid down sometime in the 1960’s at Devil’s Lake State Park are simply too narrow to handle today’s visitor traffic. When it gets crowded, as it often does in the summer, new trails begin to form as large groups of hikers pass each other. (On a side note; last year I discovered the remains of a campfire near this same site!) Obviously some conscientious park visitors decided to take some initiative and block the path with brush.
First let me say, THANK YOU! to anyone who takes a bit of their valuable vacation time to do a good deed for the park.
Second, for all sorts of complicated reasons, it’s probably best to check in with park staff before you get too far into a personal project, blocking trails or otherwise. Sometimes it takes a bit of thought before deciding which trails to block. There are unofficial trails that climbers use as access points, there are others used by bouldering folks and some paths might just be animal trails. You just want to be sure you’re “on the right path” as they say! So if you want to help, my suggestion is just to check in with the park naturalist who can help you make sure you’re putting in your time wisely.. Oh, and you can at least get a thank you for your efforts!!
The next volunteer workday is this Saturday, April 29th. Follow this link for more info.
***Obligatory Disclaimer: This website is NOT associated with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The views expressed in this blog are mine and do not represent the views of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.