Conservation Corps North Carolina Crew Completes Black Mountain Crest Trail Restoration Project

Friday, August 28, 2020

A Conservation Corps North Carolina (CCNC) crew of young adults worked with volunteers from the North Carolina High Peaks Trail Association to complete high priority trail work on the Black Mountain Crest Trail in the Pisgah National Forest. The CCNC crew consisted of five 18 to 24 year-old AmeriCorps Members led by a trained Crew Leader. The crew worked on the Black Mountain Crest Trail project August 3-12. Together, crew members and volunteers completed 7.3 miles of trail maintenance from the base of Celo Knob at Bolen’s Creek to Deep Gap. The group constructed large drains to reduce erosion and cleared the corridor with brush cutters to make the trail more accessible for hikers. The CCNC crew camped in the backcountry near the project site the entire time they worked.

The Black Mountain Crest Trail project was one of several projects the CCNC crew worked on for the United States Forest Service (USFS.) The crew worked for seven weeks doing trail construction and maintenance for the USFS in the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests. Their other projects in the National Forest included completing three miles of trail maintenance on the Sassafras Creek and Snowbird Creek trails in the Cheoah District and removing 62 fallen trees while doing trail maintenance on Shinbone Ridge in the Tusquitee District.

Conservation Corps North Carolina is a program of Conservation Legacy, a national program that supports CCNC and other local programs across the nation. Conservation Corps program are a legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and engage youth and young adults on high priority conservation projects that protect ecosystems and restore, improve, and protect North Carolina’s public lands and outdoor recreation resources.

The CCNC crew camped in the back country near their work sites, just over three miles up the trailhead from Bolen’s Creek on the slopes of Celo Knob for ten days. They worked on water erosion issues on the Black Mountain Crest Trail as well as cleared the trail corridor of growth and debris from Bolen’s Creek to Deep Gap August 3 through August 14. “These young adults worked incredibly hard, often amid all kinds of weather conditions, to restore and improve trails in the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests so they are sustainable and offer visitors a more safe, welcoming, and enjoyable hiking experience,” said Jan Pender, CCNC Program Manager.

The CCNC crew members included crew leader Luke Knight or Erie, PN; Alysha Pennachio of Boone, NC; Drew Edelson of Charlotte, NC; Chase Perren of Oxford, NC; Travis Bosler of Spirit Lake, IA; and Peter Chege of Raleigh, NC.

The CCNC crew was sponsored by the United States Forest Service with additional support from the Duke Energy Foundation and Fred and Alice Stanback.


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