Last week, the ADK (Adirondack Mountain Club) professional trail crew worked on a new trail up a small mountain in the Eastern Adirondacks that is set to be a part of the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCNST), a 4,600 mile thru-hiking trail that will span eight states from North Dakota into Vermont, including a 160-mile stretch through the Adirondack Park. Currently in-progress, the trail up the mountain was “grubbed out”—a technical term for defining a trail—in 2018 by the professional trail crew through a grant from the National Park Service. This year’s project was funded by a $5,000 grant from the North Country Trail Association, a nonprofit devoted to developing and maintaining the NCNST, which ADK has partnered with several times over the last few years.
This project focused on constructing a single span log stringer bridge over the outlet of a small pond that parallels the new trail for roughly a quarter mile. Single span bridges are larger, more technical versions of the foot bridges commonly seen in the Adirondack Park. They are reserved for wide crossings where supports are needed on each end (known as “cribbing”) for the bridge to bear weight. Log stringers are debarked, leveled log sections used to create the bridge itself. The professional trail crew was authorized to recycle fallen cedar trees in order to craft the cribbing, stringers, and handrail for the bridge. The entire process, which was performed using only hand tools, took five days to complete.