Why we rock… at Reiter Foothills

Lisa Anderson, DNR's recreation planner, examines a freshly built trail at Reiter Foothills. In the foreground, you see a finished section of single track ORV trail where volunteers have covered the rock base with native soil, logs, and other obstacles. Photo: Sue Jensen, DNR

Lisa Anderson, DNR’s recreation planner, examines a freshly built trail at Reiter Foothills. In the foreground, you see a finished section of single track ORV trail where volunteers have covered the rock base with native soil, logs, and other obstacles. Photo: Sue Jensen, DNR

Trail construction is in full force at Reiter Foothills and off-road vehicle (ORV) enthusiasts are excited to ‘hit the dirt’ in August when the first loop of the new trails will be completed.

Reiter Foothills was temporarily closed in November 2009, due to resource damage that had caused environmental and safety concerns.

As enthusiasm builds for the new trails, many have asked, ‘how can we prevent these trails from being closed in the future?’

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is committed to building sustainable trails that not only protect the environment, but will last.

So, what is one of the tricks to trail longevity in the Reiter Foothills?

…rocks.

As simple as it sounds, when designers use rock and gravel to reinforce the trail base, it extends the life of the trails, especially in rainy climates.

…and there is one other benefit that riders really enjoy. Not only will the trails last longer, they can stay open later into the rainy season.

It’s simple really. Adding rock on trails provides a long-lasting, stable base that minimizes erosion and allows water to drain correctly over trails. Combined with sustainable trail design, including selecting good locations, ensuring proper trail grades, putting in drainage systems and using the correct type of construction, the new Reiter Foothills trail system will be around for years to come.

Washington Conservation Crews (WCC) lay a base layer of rock on a single track trail at Reiter Foothills. This rock layer provides a stable base that minimizes erosion on trails. Photo: Sue Jensen, DNR.

Washington Conservation Crews (WCC) lay a base layer of rock on a single track trail at Reiter Foothills. This rock layer provides a stable base that minimizes erosion on trails. Photo: Sue Jensen, DNR.

But what really ‘rocks’ at Reiter Foothills is the experience while riding the trails.

There have been two work parties where volunteers have spread soils over the trail base and added rocks and logs to increase the challenge of the trails.

Want to help out? Join our July 29 volunteer work party to help put the finishing touches on the trail.

Want to learn more about sustainable trails? Check out the Sustainable Trail Development Fact Sheet.

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One Response to “Why we rock… at Reiter Foothills”

  1. Great Restoration Project in Washington State - Sportsmen Ride Right Says:

    [...] http://washingtondnr.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/why-we-rock-at-reiter-foothills/ [...]

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