Posted by: Matt | June 17, 2009

First Creek Trail #1374, Wenatchee NF

Drove to top of hill near Lion Rock as I was planning on running the ridge line behind the cliff of the rock this morning. The road to Lion Rock is closed near where the ORV portion of #1374 turns west and parallels the creek so I chose to run down the creek and then back up.

The ORV portions of this trail are in *serious* need of repair. There are many places where water draining over the path has accumulated eroded soils at the bottom of reentrants as the path traverses the hill side. Additionally, I’ve documented several places where ORVs have left the trail to circumvent winter deadfall as well as to run through soft, wet soil near the trail.

Eventually on the descent you come to a water crossing and there is a large Douglas fir spanning most of the creek. Just beyond the creek crossing there a foot path branches off to the left of the ORV path. Its head is very difficult to detect and there are a few deadfalls blocking the way at this point. Once you’re on the foot trail you quickly move away from the ORV path and can enjoy the sound of the cascading water just below you as well as the many birds that roost in the trees.

I run this trail routinely and it’s a very nice place to be for human powered activities. Since the spring began to thaw in this area there have been regular examples of motor cycles using the foot path for recreation. These vehicles have altered the trail in a short period of time. There are several spots where water bars and diversion bars have been completely removed from the path as a result of knobby treaded tires running over these features. Additionally, it seems nearly impossible for whoever is riding their motorbike here to stay on the trail and often they head out off the path thereby increasing potential for erosion in this fragile watershed.

Otherwise, the run went pretty well. I ended up barefooting this one and the loose rock on the ORV trail in particular was a minor concern. Yet another bruised toe, this time on the left foot. Neither of them hurt very much which is fortunate although a little weird.

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