Rocky Mountain High
It’s no secret that inland lakes and reservoirs are hotbeds of activity for people seeking recreation. Take a look at any boat ramp in Texas during the summer and you’ll see endless lines of people trying to access a waterway. Swimming, boating, fishing, kayaking, sailing— these are all guaranteed ways to enjoy numerous lakes and shorelines. But for one Central Texas community, the Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir means trails.
Under management of the Army Corps of Engineers, this 6,000-acre man-made reservoir serves as flood control for the communities downstream and also provides drinking water to the region’s population. But the Corps manages more than just the water. Numerous Army Corps parks dot the shoreline, and the sloping banks surrounding the lake can provide great opportunities for trails with a natural contouring landscape, and a great view to boot.
However, building trails around a reservoir is not without its challenges. Fluctuating water levels can leave trails submerged for months forcing users to seek bad routes that skirt the flooding. Such was the case at Dana Peak Park in Belton, TX. Yearning for ways to improve the legacy trails that followed fencelines (and fall lines) the Bell County Trail Alliance (BCTA) teamed up with the Army Corps of Engineers to ramp up stewardship efforts by bringing the IMBA Trail Care Crew to town.
Working together with these groups, the TCC was able to spend the weekend evaluating problems, dispensing knowledge, and developing solutions in this unique landscape. As a highlight, it was fulfilling to see how the TCC visit helped to further grow a working relationship between the Army Corps and the BCTA. We look forward to seeing the fruits of this hard working club’s labor in the future.
We would like to thank the Bell County Trail Alliance, Army Corps of Engineers, Harker Heights Fire Department, and all of the volunteers that made our visit great.
Until next time,