Trail lovers, rejoice! The “Sweco” is at work in Dogwood Dell.
I just went over there to take some pictures of the traildozer at work, which you’ll find below. Talk about a force multiplier. The machine rips through underbrush, making bench cuts and felling saplings at a quick clip. I remember Nathan Burrell, the city’s trails manager, telling me that the work it did in Forest Hill Park would have taken 2 years if it had to be done by hand. Over in Dogwood Dell, creating 1.75 miles of new trail, it’ll take 2 days.
It was a veritable who’s who of bike and trail folks at the Dell when I was over there. I ran into Jakob Helmboldt, the city’s bike/pedestrian coordinator, and Stacy Rogers, the Richmond Police Department’s stalwart park cop, who patrols Buttermilk and Forest Hill Park on his mountain bike. Of course, Burrell and his crew were there as well, hard at work smoothing out the rough cut that the Sweco makes through a forest.
Burrell said the Sweco will be done tomorrow, and the goal is the have the trail finished by early March. Every Saturday at 9 a.m. from now until then there’ll be volunteer opportunities at Dogwood Dell to complete the work started today.
Here are some pics.
In one place, the trail runs by a thick bamboo stand. I imagined Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon on mountain bikes.
That’s volunteer Brad Lowry coming in behind the Sweco to work on the trail. Much volunteer help will be needed in the coming weeks to get these trails done on time.
I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?
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