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New Trickledown Trail is worth a try

The junction of Trickledown Trail and Romantic Ridge.

A couple of years ago we started thinking about a new trail for the nature park, and with plenty of research and lots of volunteer assistance, work on it is now complete. Designed with bikes in mind, the new Trickledown Trail connects Romantic Ridge with Upper Army Road. skirting alongside Hole #7 at the Trickle Creek Golf Course.

Before Trickledown Trail was built, access from the north end of the park around the golf course involved steep climbs and descents. Many people wanted to build a more moderate route to the park from the existing trails above Levirs Ave and Norton Ave. We knew that an improved route would deliver more hikers -- and especially riders -- to the north end of Romantic Ridge. From there, folks had the option of taking Cabin Trail to Upper Army Road (which involved a steep drop and climb through a fairly lush and sensitive part of the park) or a potentially confrontational jaunt out onto the cart paths of the golf course.

Roughing in the trail in October of 2017.

As with any nature park trail proposal, the first step was to ask knowledgeable volunteers to scout the route and see if any rare or special populations of plants would be impacted by a trail. When that assessment determined that there were none, the next step was to hire some archaeologists to check on potential heritage impacts of building a trail in that area. Their report gave us the green light to go ahead with detailed pin flagging of the route. With flagging in place, volunteer work parties started grub-hoeing and digging out the path.

A small bridge over a seasonal drainage channel.

By the end of the 2017 work season, with the first snows of winter upon us, a substantial portion of the trail had been roughed in. Work continued in the spring of this year with volunteers, the new general manager of trails, and a summer student. By the end of June, the earthwork was complete. Culverts and a small wooden bridge were built across a couple of seasonal drainage courses, and new trail signs routered and painted by long- time KNPS volunteer Gerry Drane were installed by the trail crew.

By mid-July, the trail was already being well used by hikers and bikers. With a little fine-tuning over the next year or two, it promises to be a popular part of the park trail network. Look for it in the new KNPS Trail Guide (Fifth Edition), which is being published this summer and will be available in stores around town.

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