Thread: Swede Mountain
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Old 08-25-2021, 10:56 PM   #45
DSettahr
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Join Date: May 2007
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I made it up Swede this afternoon. Short but nice hike. A few observations:
  • Most of the trail is well constructed but there's a few short stretches that either need more work or should've been routed differently. The first hundred feet or so out of the parking lot is most noticeable- it's by far the steepest stretch of the trail and it's already quickly turning into a muddy otter slide. There's a few other stretches that need more/better drainage work and soil stabilization (and honestly possibly even a reroute or two), including one causeway built across a particularly muddy stretch using stone retaining walls that was incorrectly backfilled with organic soils rather than mineral. For the most part, however, the trail was dry and pleasant to hike on. There are also some patches of punji sticks that present a tripping hazard- and accordingly, also a lung-puncturing hazard- and they really need to be cut flush with the ground ASAP.
  • All of the new signage- literally every single trail marker, every "stay on the trail" sign (there's a bunch), every posted sign, and every arrow sign- has been nailed flush with the trees each sign is posted on. The consequence of this is that the majority of this signage will last a few years at the most (whereas by leaving several inches of the nails protruding from the trunk of each tree, many of signs could've easily lasted 1-2 decades).
  • The lower two-thirds of the trail or so pass through very heavily cut over industrial timber lands. In the absence of some sort of on-site interpretation, I suspect that this likely to promote lower levels of enjoyment- and even some level of conflict- among many visitors. I'm also hopeful that Lyme Timber has agreed to leave a buffer in place around the trail during future harvests- but I'm not sure that I hold out that much hope for this sort of protection.
  • A substantial amount of work has visibly gone into the tower itself. All new wooden steps and flooring, plus chicken wire for safety. And if my observations are correct, a new foundation as well. Kudos to whoever did this work.
  • There are excellent views to the northwest from the tower- but all other directions are blocked by trees that are just about as tall as the tower itself. I had the thought while standing in the tower that it might be worth cutting a few trees to enhance the view further. Based on Dave's post above, it sounds like I'm far from the first to have this thought.
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