From the Trailhead - February 2021
We want to generously thank everyone who champions through the cold, windy, and muddy winter weather to help us improve the trail! Trail neighbors and friends were recently joined by Scout Troop 1203 from California, Maryland who came to enjoy some camping along the trail as well as put in some hard work to improve drainage along the Indiantown Road parking area and the section of trail that borders Little Ark Baptist Church and Owens Road.
In addition, Friends of the Dahlgren Trail Board members Warren Veazey and Kevin Biondi invested numerous hours clearing downed trees, mapping re-routes around muddy sections of trail, clearing clogged drainage ditches, and rallying other volunteers who have played such a vital role in the maintenance of our beloved trail.
Here is a thoughtful piece about the maintenance issues along the railbeds on the Dahlgren Trail, authored by Don Kilpatrick:
Ditches are built and maintained to keep the water table well below the bottoms of the railroad ties. Otherwise, traffic will cause movement of the ties and destabilize the track bed and eventually cause the rails and joints to fatigue and fail. This principle is the same for paved roads or trails. The object of purposeful management and maintenance is to divert water away from the tread by digging ditches on either side of the trail which divert water either under or off to the side of the tread. A place to observe our drainage clearing efforts is on the Dahlgren Trail nearing the 2 mile marker. Previously, dirt has eroded off the nearby bank and filled in the ditches on either side of the trail. The dirt and mud is periodically removed and graded so the water flows along side of the tread and is then diverted away. This problem has been exacerbated by the all the rain we've had since August, and maintenance teams spend lots of time in this area of the trail.
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