CAMBC and RTF Plan to Reroute a Dangerous Section at O-Hill

Please join us for trailwork on Nov. 14th!!!

Most people familiar with O-Hill are aware of the trail on the cliff above the highway. It is a trail that developed as an offshoot from the Rivanna Trail near Fontaine. These types of “social trails” develop when existing trails guide users away from features or destinations they want to see. If people go off-trail repeatedly and follow the same path, new unsustainable and potentially dangerous trails can be the result.

Badly eroded trail perched high above the highway.

Badly eroded trail perched high above the highway.

CAMBC and RTF are setting out to fix a hazardous situation. The trail we are targeting sits precariously above the highway, and experiences a massive amount of erosion each year. The cliff edge that once defined the outside edge of the trail has begun to erode across the trail. This creates a dangerous situation for trail users, and users of the highway below.  In addition, we will be rerouting a section of existing marked trail that is badly eroded because it travels down the steepest part of the hill.

The re-route has required dozens of hours to plan out, starting with CAMBC members going onsite numerous times to measure slopes, locate interesting areas where the trail should go, and dangerous areas to avoid.  Several iterations of the design were drawn on maps and discussed. Finally the brightly colored pin flags were put on the ground to mark the new route. Our primary goal is to build sustainable trail that won’t erode. The result will be less steep trail with ruts and roots that O-Hill has a reputation for, and longer, fun, flowy trail that is appealing to everyone.

With a week remaining before the workday, we need as many volunteers as possible to be ready to take action. There will be a ton of leaves to move, and a lot trail to cut. We will be building proper turns out of rock. This will be a joint effort between CAMBC, RTF, and hopefully several other trail use groups. These trails see a lot of use from bikers, runners, hikers, naturalists, and others. With the recent MOU with UVA to perform work on O-Hill, CAMBC and its partners are ready to take action and provide miles of trails to the outdoors community.

Thanks Drew Duke for the photos, and thank you Jason Hiser and all the other volunteers that have helped plan this.
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