Park News 6

Trail work begins on lower end of First Creek Trail


MAMMOTH CAVE, Ky., April 3, 2014    Its time to work on First Creek Trail, said Russell Runge, Acting Superintendent at Mammoth Cave National Park, following a planning meeting.  As a result, 1.5 miles of First Creek Trail, from Temple Hill Trailhead to the bridge near First Creek Lake, will be closed for the next six weeks while an American Conservation Experience work crew repairs and rebuilds the trail.

This section of trail has needed attention for some time, said Runge, who is filling in for Superintendent Sarah Craighead while she is on a three-month detail in Atlanta.  It is rocky and steep, with many exposed roots and washouts.  In its present condition, the trail causes erosion problems and negatively impacts a visitors hiking or horseback riding experience. 

The trail will close for six weeks beginning April 9.  Workers will install water bars and elevate the trail in some places to improve drainage.  The crew will stage their equipment, supplies and vehicles at Temple Hill Trailhead, but there will still be room for visitor parking.  Trail users may travel the upper end of First Creek Trail from the First Creek Trailhead, or McCoy Hollow Trail that heads out from Temple Hill Trailhead.

The American Conservation Experience is a youth organization modeled after the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s, that recruits, coordinates, and trains volunteers to undertake practical environmental restoration projects in America's national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and other public lands.  (http://usaconservation.org/)

In the 1930s, four Civilian Conservation Corps camps were stationed here at Mammoth Cave to transform the property from farmland into a park, added Runge.  They built roads and cave trail, and planted 2 million trees to help control erosion.  Today, we appreciate the American Conservation Experience, a new generation of young people who are here to help us preserve and protect park resources, while they build a personal conservation ethic.

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