Poverty Creek Trails Coalition: A Partnership Improving Outdoor Recreation

Mountain bikers work on trails

Back in 2013, a small group of committed mountain bikers got together to explore how they might help with maintaining and improving the trails in the Pandapas/Poverty Creek area of the Jefferson National Forest.  Early on, they realized they would need permission from the U.S. Forest Service to do work on lands under their jurisdiction.  With dwindling resources at the federal level to do ongoing trail maintenance, the Forest Service was interested in developing a partnership with community volunteers, but wanted to start slow.  At first the group was only given permission to fix problem spots, primarily scraping accumulated mud and debris along Poverty Creek trail.  Over time, the Forest Service staff came to trust the work of the Poverty Creek Trails Coalition and gave them permission to think bigger and tackle more challenging projects.

Since these humble beginnings, the PCTC has evolved in its mission and to-date has done extensive maintenance on the Poverty Creek and May Apple trails, a complete machinery re-work of the upper portion of Jacob’s Ladder and Snake Root trails, and a relocation of Joe Pye Trail (see map for detail).  The group is currently working on a relocation project for Skullcap Trail.  These projects were chosen and prioritized to address problem areas, primarily issues with water flow and severe erosion.  The work of the PCTC has significantly improved and stabilized trail network for all users, not just the mountain bikers, but also trail runners/hikers, horseback riders, and campers.

New volunteers are always welcome; the PCTC will provide training, tools and personal protection equipment to them.  To contact the PCTC or to volunteer, email: PCTC@googlegroups.com, or join/message the PCTC Facebook page: facebook.com/PovertyCreekTrailsCoalition.

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