This report was written by Jeff Renfrow, one of IMBA's go-to advocates in the Lone Star State. Jeff successfully nominated the Fresno-Saucedo ride for Epic status last year.
In this account he offers a great account of some recent work on the trails in and around Big Bend Ranch State Park.
The Big Bend Trails Alliance wants to thank everyone for the opportunity to help Big Bend Ranch State Park build a beautiful new trail linking Fresno Cascades with the Old Government Road. We could never have done it without a tremendous amount of support from Texas Parks and Wildlife and the local community. It took a great deal of advance preparation and it would have been impossible to get so much work done without a huge amount of support.
Special thanks go to Texas Parks and Wildlife for their help with transportation and manpower. The TPWD staff and volunteers put in at least 300 hours and provided helped with transportation that was critical to making the project happen. We would never have pulled this off without all the support of the great staff at the Barton Warnock Visitor Center.
Thanks also to Desert Sports for providing logistical support and donating use of all the equipment needed to outfit 29 volunteers for 3 days in the backcountry.
Erik Walker from the Big Bend National Park helped with the trail alignment and teaching the trails class. His expertise was critical to the big sidehill project that was the most technically difficult aspect of the project.
The Big Bend Trails Alliance and Sul Ross University Hill Club volunteers that provided all the labor and helped with all of the preliminary planning that helped make this happen. Big Bend Trails Alliance volunteers put in over 100 hours in the field working on the alignment in the weeks prior to the work weekend and then, with the help of the Hill Club, put in an additional 400 hours of labor this weekend for a total of close to 500 hours volunteer time on this project (Combined with TPWD, that is at least 800 hours of labor!) Several people also donated vehicles to transport camp and people to the worksite. In addition, the Big Bend Trails Alliance spent approximately $2500 to feed and outfit the workers.
In all, we saw at least 41 people working on this project on Saturday. It was a privilege for all of us to be able to be a part of this and we look forward to working on more great new trails in Big Bend Ranch State Park in the future.
—Jeff Renfrow, for the Big Bend Trails Alliance