One of the rainiest Mays in Kansas City history is close to its conclusion – the National Weather Service says only four days have been without rain this month – and it will leave many marks on the local community – mostly in the form of events canceled due to wet conditions.
Included in that category are the trail repair days at Clinton State Park’s North Shore Trails. Wet weather leading up to this weekend again soaked the North Shore Trails and forced cancellations of repair days both Friday and Saturday, May 29 and 30.
Saturday’s scheduled trail repair day, which was organized by Danny Loental, originally had been scheduled for Saturday, May 23, before rain forced it to be pushed back a week. Even with the rescheduled date, however, the rain refused to accommodate.
The trend extends even further as the trails have been soaked for five of the six weekends since approximately 20 miles of the trail system were damaged during the Free State Trail Runs on April 18.
The lone dry weekend during that time was the first weekend of May when the Kansas Trails Council trained volunteers on proper techniques, tools and safety to repair the damage.
Volunteer groups from Westar Energy have done a few repair days on the trails during the week since then, and a small group of runners – organized by Loental – put in a few hours on Tuesday, May 19, during a narrow window that the weather cooperated.
A brief look at parts of the trail on Wednesday revealed that some parts of the trail are in good shape, but many others are not. Lands End is smooth again, and it was dry with dirt cracking in the sun on Wednesday afternoon. Just a little way down the Blue Trail eastbound, however, evidence still exists of dirt chewed up from footprints during the race, even though the rain has filled in the holes a bit. On down the hill, the trail quickly transforms into a stream with water pooled in the middle of it with nowhere to go.
On the Blue Trail near Lake Henry, there are stretches of smooth, tacky dirt that look largely unscathed, but there also are soggy spots with considerable evidence of damage caused by feet and mountain bike tires.
Photos taken by others on Wednesday showed the Red Trail completely under water. In addition, park features such as the swim beach are completely submerged by the lake, as are parts of the boat ramp parking lots.
Currently, no trail repair days are scheduled for next weekend, May 6-7. The forecast calls for dry weather this week.
This blog will continue to be updated with information as new trail repair days are scheduled.