On Wednesday August 10, Charlie Kearns led several members of Central Oregon Nordic Club (CONC) on a major trail maintenance project. They were joined by three Forest Service personnel and lots of tools, to decommission the old bridge on the Water Tower Trail in the Dutchman/Todd Lake area. The effort required good balance, ingenious pry bar levering, chain sawing while wading, and wood splitting to remove and recover the old 12 inch spikes! It was difficult work that was actually fun due to the cooperation of everyone involved.
The 2021 CONC Nordic Trails package included a reroute on this trail that avoided the need for a bridge entirely, and eliminated the safety issue of skiing over the creek on a hairs-width pinnacle of snow. It also represents a big savings in infrastructure and long-term maintenance and was the final step in implementation of the reroute and bridge decommissioning. The new trail across the meadow was signed and used all last winter. It still enters and exits the meadow in the same locations and does not affect the quality of the skiing the meadow in any way. The aerial view below shows the trail coming up from Todd Lake at the top of the picture and the reroute in Red. New signage has been created and the maps will be updated.