New Year Brings Trail Opportunities – Hot Springs Village Voice

Special events will provide opportunities to enjoy the Hot Springs Village Trails next year. Maintaining keys early in the year will help users enjoy the trails safely.

The HSV Property Owners’ Association Trails Committee reviewed the year, and also looked to the future, at the December meeting last Tuesday.

Recreation Department Manager Terry Wiley also introduced the members to the recreation staff who will be involved in programs and maintenance.

And the painted rocks on the Cedar Creek trail continue to be a problem. The problem is not the little boulders with cute sayings, like the ones painted in school by the students, but the fact that someone is writing on big boulders that are part of the landscape.

Member Janet Rowe told the committee that the sayings are “cute” because they all involve the word rocks, but the graffiti is out of place in the natural setting.

Volunteers must travel through sometimes difficult terrain, including in the middle of a stream, to remove graffiti. The committee asks that artists direct their creative efforts elsewhere.

Wiley said a bridge and benches on the Balboa Spillway Trail will be addressed early this year. Caution is advised when using the bridge at this time.

Council approved the first year of a four-year plan that would focus on key maintenance on the 32 miles of trails over the next four years, or roughly eight miles per year. Wiley thanked the POA board for approving the maintenance funds.

“For the first time in a long time, we have real money to do some things,” Wiley said.

Maintenance staff plan to use composite wood to repair the benches in a three-year plan. The new benches are made of metal, for less maintenance.

The committee hopes to work with the Village Audubon Society on the Magellan Beaver Trail, including replacing the signs. Wiley’s goal is to start in May.

He hopes to have a quick response code, or QR code, on each sign, to give information about trees and birds on the trails. A user could scan the code with a phone to learn more about the flora and fauna on a specific trail.

Paul Barnard spoke about the need for benches in certain areas

Donors have long had the option of requesting a bench, with the donation covering the full cost, plus some maintenance. A list defines the areas that need a bench.

Researching these events will include (indicated with tentative dates and times – check with the recreation department prior to events to ensure the latest information):

• Working day at 10 am on Thursday January 13 at Hernando Trail. The working days will be the second Thursday of the month, from September to May.

• New Years Hike on Saturday January 15th at Harriet and John Cooper Nature Preserve.

• Walk for non-walkers on April 14 at the Balboa Spillway Trail

• Photo competition in May.

• Dam to dam hike on Tuesday May 17th. This month’s Trail Committee meeting will be on Tuesday, May 24th.

• Trail marathon in April.

• Full moon walk on August 11

• Kayak “Yak Run” in September.

Staff are working on a trailhead trump card to post online.

And the vice-chair of the committee elected in November is Peggy Miles; a November article misidentified her.

Villagers are encouraged to enjoy the trails and consider joining Friends of Village Trails, which involves applying to be on the mailing list and volunteering to work.

About Ethel Partin

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