Work day scheduled on North Country Trail

Volunteers for trail maintenance on the North Country Trail will meet at the Bowman Lake Trail Head.

Volunteers for trail maintenance on the North Country Trail will meet at the Bowman Lake Trail Head.

Courtesy photo

With an 80-mile stretch of the North Country National Scenic Trail coursing through the Manistee National Forest, area residents have an opportunity to help maintain and work on a portion of the trail.

The Spirit of the Woods Chapter of the North Country Trail Association is hosting the first of 22  work days, Saturday, April 16, weather permitting, and is inviting volunteers to take part.

On the workday, volunteers will gather at 9 a.m. at the Bowman Lake Trail Head, just off 56th Street in Lake County. The trail head is 5.9 miles east of Lake Street and M-37 in Baldwin, and 7.8 miles south of the intersection of U.S. 10 and Tyndall Road in Branch. There will be signs posted on the day of the event at the entrance of the trail head.

The day will involve trail maintenance, from 56th Street north to 40th Street (2.5 miles of trail), creating water diversions to force water and sand off the trail's tread, and re-benching the slope of the tread, using hand tools at 19 locations, according to a SPW press release.

The SPW will provide tools and personal protective equipment such as gloves, eye protection and hard hats needed for the work day. Volunteers should bring a snack or light lunch and water for themselves. Leather boots or trail shoes are recommended, as well as a long-sleeved shirt, long pants and a rain jacket.

The work day shouldn't go later than 3 p.m.

Volunteers are asked to RSVP for the work day, or if they have any questions, by contacting Bob Dunning, acting trail coordinator, at (779) 772-3344, or by emailing bob.dunning!att.net.

A second work day is planned for May 4, time and place to be determined, and will involve a trail blazing training workshop.