The plan to repair the damaged North Shore Trails at Clinton State Park was released on Tuesday. On Saturday, the plan officially transitioned into action.
The Kansas Trails Council presented two, two-hour trail maintenance courses Saturday at the Corps of Engineers Visitor Center Office near the entrance to the state park. The training courses kicked off the repair effort after approximately 20 of the 23 miles of North Shore Trails were damaged April 18 during the Kansas City Trail Nerds’ Free State Trail Runs.
The training courses, which were led by KTC’s Neil Taylor and Mike Goodwin, were an abbreviated version of trail-building training based on International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) sustainable trail-building standards. The courses provided an overview of how trails are built, the thought processes that go into them, and the processes that must be followed to gain appropriate trail-building approvals.
The main emphasis, however, was on training volunteers to lead work crews that will repair the damage done to the trails since they will only be repairing trails, not building new ones. The primary skills emphasized were tamping, deberming, and how to identify proper placement of “knicks” to help water drain off the trail.
Participants were introduced to the tools that will be utilized for trail repairs, and they were instructed on proper safety when using those tools.
Taylor said the first bit of trail repair was done Friday with a group of 10 volunteers from Westar Energy. Based on that group’s pace of trail repair, Taylor estimated the full repair effort at Clinton State Park would take more than 1,200 volunteer hours.
Taylor noted that the North Shore Trails have sustained considerable damage in the past from other events, and they have been repaired.
In recent days, Taylor has struck an optimistic tone about the ability to repair the damage again this time. He echoed those sentiments Saturday after 41 members of the trail-running and mountain biking community turned up for the courses.
“The biggest difference between this event and past events is that you guys showed up,” he said during the second training session. “That’s huge.”
Those in attendance were taught the basic fundamentals necessary to lead trail repair teams.
Just hours after attending the training course, volunteers are putting their training into action.
The first repair hours have been recorded in the official log for checking out maintenance equipment. In addition, two veteran trail-runners from the first training course, Danny Loenthal and Travis Kierre, have scheduled trail repair days for May 10 and May 17 and are actively recruiting crews.
In addition, the Lawrence Trail Hawks – whose Shoreline Shuffle trail race May 2 was moved to an alternate course as a result of the trail damage – are actively supporting the repair efforts. They have scheduled a trail-building course with Goodwin at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 9, which will be followed promptly by an organized work day.
Details about upcoming trail-building classes and trail repair days at Clinton State Park are included below. These will be updated as more information becomes available.
Trail Maintenance Class
May 9 – 9 a.m. – Corps of Engineers Visitor Center (30 seats total), organized by the Lawrence Trail Hawks (email Gary Henry at email@example.com to RSVP)
Trail Repair Days and Leaders
May 9 – 11 a.m. – Lawrence Trail Hawks (contact Gary Henry to RSVP)
May 10 – 8 a.m. – Danny Loenthal (RSVP on the Trail Nerds’ Facebook page)
May 17 – 10 a.m. – Travis Kierre (RSVP on the Trail Nerds’ Facebook page)