Trail Work Crew

SMC Sustainable Trails Initiative

The Trail Work Crew is a group of volunteers that meets monthly for a half day to construct new and restore eroded trails in the Reservation as part of our Sustainable Trails Initiative. These Trail Work Days take place on the morning of the first Sunday of each month (shifted back one week for holiday weekends) April through December. Many of the existing trails in the Reservation are not “sustainable trails” — trails which can withstand multiple types of trail users, and designed to spill water easily so erosion does not occur and minimal maintenance is required. Developing and maintaining a complete system of sustainable and enjoyable trails means replacing some older, unsustainable trails, fixing existing ones, and creating new offshoots to allow users to enjoy more of the Reservation’s remarkable landscape.

Conservancy Trails Crew work on re-routing of Elmdale Trail in the Reservation

Conservancy Trails Crew work on re-routing of Elmdale Trail in the Reservation

In July 2007, the International Mountain Bicycling Association’s Trail Care Crew trained over 50 local volunteers in sustainable trail design, maintenance and construction – culminating in almost 3/4 mile of new single-track in the Turtle Back area. Since then, new trails or trail re-routes have been done on the Elmdale trail, including a Painter’s Point cut through; the Oakdale trail; the Lenape trail in several areas, including near hemlock falls; the Mayapple loop and the high-low trail. It takes a long time to build a trail properly, but over the years with many people’s help we have been able to improve quite a bit.

It is relatively strenuous work involving the work of hand tools: pick-mattocks, McLeods (a combination of a heavy duty rake and a hoe, see picture), adze’s and other specialized hand tools used for the removal of soil and rock and compaction of the trailbed. Teenagers above 15 with guardians are welcome. Heavy-soled boots and long pants are recommended. Water, snacks, bug repellant, and work gloves are provided.

So join us and build a trail – the results will benefit everyone for generations to come. For more information on specific dates and meeting places, see the SMC Events Calendar, the e-mail bulletin or  If a location is cited as meeting point for trail work, you can see a Google map of that location by clicking HERE, or going to Park Information > Specific Locations.