Trail Blazing to Oglethorpe’s House

Last week I wrote about finding and excavating the foundation of James Oglethorpe‘s house.  If Fort Frederica National Monument is going to have tours to his house, then we need a trail.  And Tom and Tim were tasked with that trail blazing.

The land between the current developed park and Oglethorpe’s house was recently acquired and added to the National Monument.  But it has not been developed at all.  So Tom and Tim had to cut a path through the jungle.

They started their trail blazing by the cemetery.  Armed with a pulaski (a combination of an adze and an axe) they forged their way through the lush undergrowth, skirting the swamp and leaping over Gully Hole Creek.  Actually, the most dangerous part of the work was fighting off all the ticks.  You really don’t want to wander through deep grass or undergrowth around here without a heavy dose of Off and your pants tucked into your socks.  Despite his precautions, Tom still ended up with three ticks on his legs.

I expected Tim and Tom to be trail blazing all day.  But they worked hard and came back with the trial marked in just two hours.  They let maintenance know that there were six logs that would need to be chainsawed.  But the 1/3 mile trail is clear and well-marked.  They spent the afternoon widening the trail and clearing away small brush.  Then they showed off the trail to anyone who was willing to walk it.

Beam over the creek

Last week they went out and built a bridge over Gully Hole Creek.  No more leaping over the creek or trying to stay on the temporary beam across.  Again, they had the bridge done in record time.  Tim and Tom built it so quickly that by the time I got out to take some pictures they were putting in the final screws.

Maintenance hasn’t removed the fallen logs yet, but we have already had people walking on the trail.  They don’t know where it is going but it is clearly a trail.  Visitors come back in the Visitors Center and ask us where the trail goes.  Right now it goes to the road.  Next year it will go to Oglethorpe’s house.

Bridge over the creek

Thanks to Tim and Tom for their hard work in trail blazing and bridge building.  We are hoping all our visitors will soon be enjoying the trail and learning more about Oglethorpe in the process.