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  • Writer's pictureTate Bushell

More pleasurable hikes thanks to hardworking crews

Our natural lands team has successfully restored and/or rebuilt over 2,000 feet of the David & Neva trail so far this year. This trail is part of Acadia National Park’s Historic Hiking Trail System, which was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places, and has long been used by people moving between Little Long Pond and Jordan Pond. The trail provides beautiful views of Little Long Pond while it traverses under a canopy of majestic spruce, maple, and birch trees and crosses roughly a dozen gullies and seasonal creeks.

The trail’s increasing popularity over the decades has resulted in some less-than-desirable trail conditions including erosion, deep gullying, acres of slippery roots, and pond bank failure. We are working to correct all these issues.

The Preserve is very grateful to the Curtis and Patricia Blake Foundation for partially funding this project. Additional funding was provided by the State of Maine through the Recreational Trails Program.

This work has required a huge staff and volunteer effort. Our cadre of over a dozen regular volunteers has been a blessing and we were very lucky to land Katherine Sullivan, our Richard G. Rockefeller Conservation intern through a program administered through Maine Coast Heritage Trust. Another great addition is Nicholas Sandborn, senior at UMaine Machias, who has joined the trail crew full time since June. During June through August, when fully staffed, we had five trail builders plus volunteers. This is the first time we have had such a large long-term presence on our trails!

The photos above illustrate one way we navigate a slope full of slippery roots. The slope is approximately 35% and difficult to traverse, especially when the roots are wet. We took advantage of a nearby pile of natural granite and built a stone staircase that is passible in any weather condition. The good news is that we built the staircase over the roots and managed to save most of them. The stone was moved using a pulley system and took about three days to get to the work site.

Our work on this trail will continue in 2022 with a similarly sized crew. If you are physically fit and want to volunteer, please email land steward Ed Hawes at Come see our progress try out our new work.

Tate Bushell, Director of Natural Lands

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