During the time Fort Frederica National Monument was closed, most days you could find Tom on the Marsh Trail. Before the closure there was no marsh trail. But, by the time we opened again, Tom had cleared a trail that is fun to walk and has a wonderful view of the marsh.
Clearing a new trail isn’t an easy thing to do. It is especially difficult here where things grow so fast and where so many bugs want to eat you. Add to that temperatures in the 90’s and humidity in the 90% range, and most days Tom came out of the marsh looking like the Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Despite the ticks and marsh flies and the body-soaking humidity, Tom persisted and developed a nice trail. The trail winds from the corner of the cemetery, along the Oglethorpe Trail, past the northeast bastion, and down to the marsh beside the Frederica River. You can see live oaks, ferns, spanish moss, grapevines, deer, lizards, crabs, and cordgrass. It is an especially nice walk if you are wearing your protective netting.
Once Tom cleared the path, he worked on widening it and put bridges over the tidal gullies. He also created cute signposts that he handwrote with a Sharpie on pieces of wood. The easiest way to see the trail is with the polka dot ties he put along the trail to mark it.
The ticks liked Tom so much that he would change his clothes outside the RV every night when he was done, and put the clothes directly into the washing machine. Then he would take a shower when he got in the RV. We found out, even with using Deep Woods OFF and checking thoroughly, that ticks can get through the weave in his socks and attach themselves. Stupid ticks.
The trail is a nice addition to the park, although only the adventurous are currently using it. I think it will be most used in the “winter” when the ticks and biting flies are less abundant. We are hoping the park will put in a marsh overlook to make the view even better.