The Blue Mountain Land Trust Blues Crew, in partnership with the Umatilla National Forest and the Idaho Conservation Corp, worked collaboratively for five days over Labor Day weekend to restore two trails and a Nordic ski area in the Umatilla National Forest.
The Umatilla Rim Trail is a popular, multi-use trail enjoyed by hikers, mountain bikers, motorcyclists and horse riders. The trail travels more than 12 miles from Horseshoe Prairie to the Lake Creek Trail along the eastern edge of the North Fork Umatilla Wilderness.
Teams of volunteers removed brush, cut out logs and threatening trees, and repaired the surface of the trail.
Access to Shamrock Springs along the trail was improved.
Teams also removed an old rusted trough and installed new directional signs to enhance accessibility.
The ICC team cleared 3 miles of fallen trees blocking the Lick Creek Trail.
A team of Blues Crew volunteers spent a full day rebuilding a section of trail destroyed by a winter landslide.
The Lick Creek Trail is particularly special to Blues Crew volunteers because they have worked persistently over the last three years to improve its accessibility.
This is the first time that the trail has been entirely cleared in a single season.
The Horseshoe Prairie Nordic Ski Area was adopted by the Blues Crew in 2019. Separate teams worked to clear a new trail section by removing brush and fallen trees.
This section will become part of a groomed loop trail.
Similar work was completed on other trails that will remain open tracks for skiers and snowshoers.
The most consuming effort was the placement of new blue diamond trail markers. The plastic reflective markers were placed at least 10 feet above ground on trees along the trails requiring the crew to carry long aluminum ladders all day.
This effort was made possible by a grant received from the U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Regional Office.
The ICC youth are investigating careers in land management, conservation and biology while building solid work skills and connections with public lands and local volunteers.
The Blues Crew salutes these hardworking young people and enjoyed our partnership with them and our local ranger district to open up recreational trails in the Umatilla National Forest.
The Blue Mountain Land Trust Blues Crew is a volunteer organization committed to local trails. No experience is required to participate.
Each work party is led by experienced team leaders who provide guidance as to the work to be performed. Tools and personal protective gear are provided.
Upcoming events are posted at bmlt.org/find-a-work-party.