When Tom and I returned to Ohio from our trip to Michigan and Wisconsin, I noticed trail improvements on my morning walk. I especially noticed them because, at the beginning of the trail, was a sign that said “Caution: Trail improvements ahead.”
The trail at Char-Mar Ridge Park is part of my three-mile morning walk most days when we are in Ohio. I am very familiar with it and know its ups and downs, as well as its muddy or icy patches. The first area of improvement was large stone boulders placed along the banks of the creek under the bridge. Spring flooding every year had eroded the banks of the creek and would probably make the bridge unstable eventually. Large rocks also diverted water at other places of erosion along the trail.
Because the workers didn’t get to work as early as I walked, I never saw anyone working on the trail. But every day I could see the changes they were making. One day I walked and saw the steps going up to the birding blind had been removed. The next day new steps were in place. Another day the birding platform was missing some planks. A day later the planks had been replaced.
For me, the most significant improvement is along a flat, straight section of the trail. It was the only part of the trail that would get muddy or icy. Whenever it was muddy or icy, it was very slippery. They added a layer of rock to the trail, and then put new dirt on top of it, elevating it and improving the drainage. Once those improvements were finished, I didn’t notice mud or ice on the trail.
Preservation Parks of Delaware County is an exceptional program. I really appreciate their preservation of green spaces in an increasingly developed county. I am also glad to see they are taking such good care of the parks and I am thankful to have Char-Mar Ridge just across the street from my house.