We have a community Trails Group that maintains our trails, clearing branches and clearing up wash areas. They also cut new trails through the common areas. When a new trail is complete, all neighbors are invited to a "grand opening" with a guided tour. Such was the case on September 5, when the Salola Trail was officially opened.
The flyer gave some good advice for hikers: "Bring plenty of water, wear sturdy hiking boots, and a hiking stick." In this case it was a bit of overkill. The new trail is barely a mile long with a total elevation of only 170 feet. And the notice said refreshments would be served at the trail's end, along with transportation back to the car for people who preferred not to hike the trail in the opposite direction.
This is the trail's head. The group did a fine job of building steps and providing hand rails in many spots.
The trail crossed a small stream that is likely not running in dry weather. There was very little water (and lots of muck) in spite of recent rain.
The trail winds through laurel thickets and deep green forest.
The sun shines on the path in many areas.
This is the opposite end of the trail. Several people are already gathered at the trail's end.
And refreshments? How can you have a grand opening with Champaign? There were also soft drinks, water, brownies, cookies, etc.
This was an easy trail, more a walk in the woods than a hike. Yet I was surprised at the large numbers of people who took the shuttle back to their cars. Perhaps they had plans for the morning and needed to get back home.
We love hiking the trails in our community, although we won't likely use this one. It's too far from our house and is not well-suited for the dogs. The mucky creek bed along the trail would definitely be a deterrent. But the new trail tour made for an interesting morning. It's always nice to get out and meet neighbors you didn't know. And, more importantly, to support those people who get out and work for the good of the community.