|The SWHC in cooperation with the US Forest Service adopted trail 210, the "Mitchell Ridge", in January of 2001. The trail had been considered for closure due to the number of fallen trees blocking the path but we felt it could be restored.
Unfortunately, soon after came the Southern Pine Beetle infestation followed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. The trail was inundated with dead pines. There were stretches 100 yards long where you could walk on the downed trees without ever touching the ground.
On Saturday, April 7, 2007, we were pleased to report that for the first time in over six years, the entire Mitchell Ridge Trail had been cleared of downed trees, thorny briars, and other obstacles, including a large piece of tin that a tornado deposited there in 1974.
The work does not end however. Some trees are always falling though we were fortunate to not have too much damage from the severe tornadoes in 2011. But the briars, sapplings, and vines will retake the trail unless kept in check.
If you are interested in volunteering time to this effort please contact us. We promise not to work anyone too hard and, hey, breakfast is on us!
Trailblazer of the Year 2015: Wayne May!
Wayne volunteered the most hours for trail maintenance on the Mitchell Ridge Trail for 2015. He is flanked in the photo by last year's winner, Larry Barkey, and Charlie Boyer.
Club volunteers pose for a before and after.
A Thank You from Bart Seymour:
I wanted to take a minute and thank each member of the Hiking Club active and nonactive for your support. Many of you attend Trail Maintenance Work Days and other club events during the year. Many of you are also active in other projects such as River Cleanups and other "Green" projects during the year. Some members have stated that because of distance, physical restraints or other reasons that you knew when you joined the club you might not get to hike as often as you might like but made the choice to support the ongoing efforts to keep hiking trails open in the Sipsey Area. The membership dues and things like T-shirt and cap sales go to support these efforts as well. The club has purchased tools and supplies and continues to make all efforts to maintain the trails here in the Sipsey.
I spoke with a member the other day and wanted to share his story with you. He is a truck driver and spends a great deal of time on the road of course but said that the yearly dues he paid were his effort to help keep the trails open and often he follows the progress using the website. Many times while on the road during stops he views the club site and takes pride that he is a part of trail maintenance even if he cannot attend. In closing, thanks again for all your efforts and the great deal of time you club members put into the overall process that does make a difference in the Sipsey and other areas to promote hiking. Thanks
Our 15 minutes (actually 2:13) on YouTube