The trails leading up to, around, and in some cases, above each crag, were user-created and established without consideration for today's trail standards or sensitive habitats. Many of the trails are steep, eroding, and do not provide stable and safe access.
This project involves reconstruction and maintenance of select access trails to provide sustainable, safe access to the cliffs at Rumney.
Due to their lower use levels, access trails located on the more remote, northwestern side of the project area will receive less reconstruction and maintenance than the access trails on the busier southeastern side of the project area.
The access trail network will be managed in accordance with WMNF Standards and Guides and the Forest Service Trails Management Handbook (FSH 2309.18). High-use access trails will be constructed with a minimum reasonable slope—most grades will remain under 18%, with a target grade of under 12% where possible. Areas with steeper grades require stabilization with rock steps or soil retainers, as well as appropriate drainage control. In areas where multiple paths lead to the same place, the most appropriate route will be improved, and the redundant paths will be closed and rehabilitated.
The existing network comprises approximately 2-1/2 miles of trail. Overall mileage of this network can be reduced by approximately 25%. Generally, improved access trails will have a tread width of 18 inches, with clearing limits of 4-feet wide by 8-feet high. Construction will maximize use of native material when possible. Rock scree will be placed, where appropriate, outside the tread and within the clearing limits to channel use and maintain a stable trail. In higher use areas nearer the parking lots, treated dimensional lumber will be employed to crib trail sides and build steps.
Trail signs will be installed at each trail junction. Signs will identify which crags are accessed by each trail. The Forest Service will work with the climbing community to ensure signage is accurate. Sign density will be higher in more developed areas. In areas where sensitive habitat or species are a concern, small educational closure signs will be installed to encourage appropriate stewardship of these areas and to protect vulnerable habitat or species.
Project Cost $200k
Background & History
The access trails currently connecting crags at Rumney Rocks Climbing Area consist of a largely user-created network of approximately two miles of trails leading up to, around, and sometimes above each crag. Some of these trails were established without consideration for sensitive habitats, were built with no formal trail standards, or are redundant. In many cases, the trails are steep and eroding and do not provide the most stable and safe access.