Rocky Mountain High
Our visit this week brought us to the town of Tyler, Texas located about an hour east of Dallas. The Tyler area is known for a few things- including its roses, amazing BBQ, and Tyler State Park- our project site. It is here amongst the lush pine forest you are sure to encounter friendly people, lots of wildlife, rolling terrain, and an abundance of trails.
Over the past few years this area has suffered from massive rainstorms and flooding, with huge impacts to the trails. One volunteer told us that a recent storm had dumped seven inches of rain in one hour. As they say, things are bigger in Texas! But, being from the Southeast this torrential precipitation is all too familiar to us. In fact, the Southern U.S. from East Texas to the Atlantic coast is one of the wettest regions in the country, reinforcing the importance of sustainable grades, drainage, armoring, and planning a trail system around the limitations of the local environment. However, with some extra attention and ingenuitiy, trails subject to this kind of punishment can perservere.
Fortunately, a group of trail enthusiasts known as the East Texas Trail Advocates (ETXTA) has risen to the challenge of solving these problems with a focus on education, stewardship, and sustainable trail design. Working with the IMBA TCC, land managers and trail users, ETXTA is bringing new ideas and knowledge to the table to address old issues like erosion, frequent trail re-routes, and improving user experiences within the local trail network. Judging by the volunteers that came from other cities, organizations, and backgrounds to participate, we’d say they are making great strides towards their goals.
As the Trail Care Crew, we were happy to pass along our knowledge and experience to help this group further their mission of improving the trails in Tyler State Park. We would like to thank the East Texas Trail Advocates, Tyler State Park, and all of the local volunteers and riders for making our visit a success. Until next time!