Regal Creek Trail #556 reclaimed

Posted on Wednesday, July 20th, 2011 by »

It’s been in the works for a while, but Regal Creek Trail #556 in the Lightning Creek drainage north of Clark Fork, Idaho, is “back in the system.” A trail crew from Idaho Panhandle National Forests Sandpoint District, with the help of volunteers from Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness, recently finished clearing the last mile and a half of the overgrown trail, all the way to the old Regal Creek mine entrance. Over the weekend of July 9 and 10, FSPW volunteers also built new tread on collapsed portions of the trail, and at the Regal Creek crossing.

Part of the crew from the July 9 and 10 work weekend on Regal Creek Trail #556. (Rear, L to R: Sandy Compton, FSPW staff; David Betts, USFS; Jim Doudna and Melissa West, FSPW volunteers. Front, L to R: Dennis and Jody Aslett, FSPW volunteers; Lauren Mitchell, FSPW intern; and Mikaila Bristow and Carly Dexter, USFS.

Part of the crew from the July 9 and 10 work weekend on Regal Creek Trail #556. (Rear, L to R: Sandy Compton, FSPW staff; David Betts, USFS; Jim Doudna and Melissa West, FSPW volunteers. Front, L to R: Dennis and Jody Aslett, FSPW volunteers; Lauren Mitchell, FSPW intern; and Mikaila Bristow and Carly Dexter, USFS.

Regal Creek trail, at Milepost 6 on the Lightning Creek Road, has been a pet project of IPNF Trails and Recreation Manager Mary Ann Hamilton for several years. The severely overgrown upper trail has taken a lot of work to reclaim. “We’ve had help from Gonzaga University student volunteers for two summers in a row,” Hamilton said, “and last summer the LDS church sent 25 youth volunteers and five adults to help.”

Over the course of the work weekend, 14 FSPW volunteers and staffers, along with Hamilton and four trail crew members, finished the last mile of the two-and-a-half mile trail. USFS sawyers David Betts and Anthony Copeland led the way while USFS crew members Mikaila Bristow and Carly Dexter assisted volunteers with swamping, lopping brush and kicking rocks.

The Sunday crew included (L to R) volunteers Rodd Gallaway, Denise Zembryki, Ron Mamajek, and FSPW summer intern Lauren Mitchell

The Sunday crew included (L to R) volunteers Rodd Gallaway, Denise Zembryki, Ron Mamajek, and FSPW summer intern Lauren Mitchell

“It was a great effort,” FSPW exec Phil Hough said, “and added a beautiful, shaded and interesting moderate hike to the west edge of the proposed Scotchman Peaks wilderness.”

We’ve been looking for more moderate trails,” said FSPW summer intern Lauren Mitchell. “This is one that lots of folks can enjoy without worrying that the trail is too strenuous.”

FSPW volunteer participants were tread builders Dan Simmons, Jim Doudna and Rodd Gallaway; and swampers, loppers and rock kickers Deb Hunsicker, Bob and Joann Hough, Dennis and Jody Aslett, Denise Zembryki, Ron Mamajek and Melissa West.

This was the first of three USFS/FSPW trail projects this summer. The next is on Pillick Ridge Trail #1036 this weekend, July 23 and 24, and the third is on the Little Spar Lake Trail on August 20. For more information or to volunteer, write to trails@scotchmanpeaks.org.

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