Trail Building at the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve

IMG_1110 IMG_1111Nine hard-working members of the Central Texas Trail Tamers and Capital Area Master Naturalists had a fun and productive day at the City of Austin’s BCP Reicher Tract Saturday, February 14th (Valentine’s Day). We worked on an old trail originally put in by volunteer groups in the 1990’s. Frequently used for docent-led hikes (many of the docents are CAMN’ers), the trail had been blocked for at least two years by a massive tree fall. The trail was beginning to erode due to short cuts and drainage problems.

The group cleared much of the dead wood and then constructed new steps where the trail had to be re-routed. We all learned to operate grip hoists, rock bars, picks and straps to work big rocks down the slope from the rock harvesting area.  The steps were then moved into place to replace a switchback blocked by a massive stump that had pulled loose and destroyed the trail.  We also re-routed some lower canyon sections that were falling down slope. We also moved out some old limbs and brush to help with fire control, and cleaned up the slopes where we had worked the rock down.

It was a great day and lots of fun. The group included three new Trail Tamers and two members of the 2015 CAMN class.  Check out other Trail Tamers work projects at


Text and photos by Mark Wilson.