September Update for Trail Users
Thimbleberry Heart Lake Trail – The section from Blue Lake Road to Heart Lake is impassable and unsafe. Blue Lake Road is also closed to pedestrians until further notice. You can still hike out and back from the Thimbleberry Trailhead to Heart Lake. Sitka Trail Works has applied for disaster funding to rebuild this trail.
Lower Gavan Boardwalk Trail is Closed – Upper Gavan trail is temporarily impassable – The lower Gavan boardwalk trail has been removed and the new gravel trail base is complete from Baranof trailhead to Pherson Street. The trail does not yet connect through to the Cross trail, but it will later in September, Persons and equipment are working. Be alert. The public is advised to access the Cross Trail via the Sitka High School Cross Trail trailhead instead of Baranof Street or the City Cemetery. As a result of heavy water flows off Gavan Hill on the morning of August 18th upper Gavan trail has experienced damage to the extent that it is considered impassable. Sitka Trail Works has a crew of Student Conservation Association workers on site this week and next. They will work to make the Gavan trail safer and passable once again. A complete rebuild of this section of Gavan trail is not within the scope of anyone’s budget at this time. The lower Gavan boardwalk was located on Bureau of Land Management lands occupied by the United States Geodetic Survey (USGS). The BLM and USGS have granted an easement to the City and Borough of Sitka for an extension of the Cross Trail to replace the old boardwalk, which will no longer be managed or maintained by the US Forest Service.
Cross Trail is closed from Cascade Creek to Kramer at the request of the City. The rest of the Cross Trail through to Indian River is passable with some damage in a few areas. Disaster Funds are also being sought to repair sections of the Cross Trail that were damaged by the landslides.
The rest of the trail system is in pretty good shape. Herring Cove-Beaver Lake, Verstovia, Indian River and all the Starrigavan trails are fine.
Executive Director Deborah Lyons is retiring effective 9-7-15 when Lynne Brandon, former City and Borough of Sitka Parks and Recreation Manager, will take over leadership of Sitka Trail Works. Deborah is retiring to spend more time with her family and leaves Sitka Trail Works a strong, effective and efficient non profit organization.
THANKS TO ALL WHO HAVE ENJOYED THE HIKES THIS SEASON. WE PLANNED, PERMITTED, FUNDED, BUILT AND MAINTAIN THESE TRAILS WITH OUR PARTNERS AT USFS AND CBS. BECAUSE THE TRAILS CROSS MULTIPLE LANDOWNER BOUNDARIES, NO AGENCY WOULD HAVE TAKEN THE LEAD TO BUILD THEM. IT IS THE VISION OF THE SITKA TRAIL PLAN AND YOUR SUPPORT OF SITKA TRAIL WORKS EFFORTS SINCE 1999 THAT HAS MADE THIS TRAIL SYSTEM POSSIBLE.
REMEMBER SITKA TRAIL WORKS WITH a DONATION PLEASE. Thank you!