hmtc maintenance guidelines.
(hmtc is no longer active)


maintenance guidelines for volunteers.

All trail maintenance is done in accordance with the
Appalachian Trail Conservancy standards.The "Appalachian
Trail Design, Construction and Maintenance" manual can be
purchased through the ATC Ultimate Trail Store for about $15.

trail maintenance categories.
1. Cleaning Drainage Channels
2. Clearing Trees, Branches, Annual Grasses, Brush
3. Clearing Blowdowns
4. Painting Blazes

1. Cleaning Drainage Channels
As you travel along the trail, you will quickly notice that there are very few level sections. 
The rolling, weaving nature of the trail is an intended design feature developed through 
the accumulation of generations of trail construction experience (what works and what 
doesn't). The biggest threat to a trail is erosion and what you can expect to see alot are 
series of rolling dips spaced about 30' to 50' apart whose sole purpose is to drop water 
off the trail. During the year, loose dirt, rocks, sticks and leaves will wash down and 
settle at the bottom of the dip and form a berm that blocks the natural flow of water 
off the trail. Maintenance of these dips will require these berms to be raked back up on 
the trail, minus the sticks and trash, and then packing it down with your feet.

2. Clearing Trees, Branches, Annual Grasses, Brush
The following standards are condensed highlights that have been taken directly from the 
Appalachian Trail Design, Construction and Maintenance manual provided by the 
Appalachian Trail Conservancy, ATC.

The ATC Clearing Standard
The trail shall be kept clear of vegetation and obstructions that unnecessarily impede 
foot travel. It shall be cleared to such a width and height that a hiker with a pack can 
walk the trail without undue difficulty.

Width
As a general rule, clear the trail to a width of four feet. In some cases, you may want to 
vary your clearing practices to prevent deterioration of the trail and it's surroundings. 
On trails constructed across a slope, clear woody and annual growth on the bank above the 
trail but only woody growth on the downhill side, to guide hikers to the inside of the trail 
tread, which is normally stronger.

Height
Clear the trail to a height of eight feet. Remove branches that obscure the vision of 
descending hikers, as well as those that will droop and block the trail when weighted down 
with rain or snow.

Pruning Technique
The main thing to remember about pruning is to trim branches, brush or small trees flush. 
Stumps can trip hikers. Stubs can catch on clothing, appear unnatural and slow the healing 
of the tree. Cut stumps close to the ground. Prune limbs where they fork from larger 
limbs or the tree trunk. If you have to remove the top of a young tree, remove the entire 
tree. Just cutting the leader stem stimulates lateral growth into the trail.

3. Clearing Blowdowns
Volunteers are not permitted to use chainsaws in the Talladega National Forest unless 
they have a USFS Class A, B or C Sawyer certification card.

4. Painting Blazes
The blaze system on the Pinhoti Trail follows the guidelines set by the Appalachian Trail 
Conservancy, with the only exception being that we use blue for the main trail and white 
for side trails.

Color
Wal Mart Exterior Latex Enamel, name of blue color - Stencil ~ main trail.
Wal Mart Exterior Latex Enamel, White ~ side trails.

Size
Blazes should be about the size of a dollar bill (appx. 2"x6").

Brush
Use a cheap 1 1/2" brush. When you press down on the brush, the bristles will spread to 
2". Measure 6" along the brush, starting from the tip of the bristles, and make a mark on 
the handle to use as your guide.

Preparation
Smooth bark trees are the best choice. If you need to use a rough bark tree, then you 
will need to smooth off a very small section of the bark. The cheapest tool for this is a 
small bow saw or a pocket saw. Be careful not to cut into the inner bark and draw sap.

Location
Try to paint blazes at eye level on hardwood trees that are at least 6" in diameter. 
Sometimes when there are no trees, it may be necessary to use 4"x4" posts or paint 
blazes on rocks. When using rocks, try to use a smaller rock instead of painting on the 
side of a big boulder.

Distance
The standard distance between blazes is 1/10th of a mile, or 264 - two foot long steps. 
In areas that may be confusing to hikers, try to paint the next blaze where you can see it 
from the one you are standing beside. This is called "line of sight" or "see one from one".

Single Blaze
A standard 2"x6" vertical rectangle, which is used as the trail guide.

Double Blaze
Two standard 2"x6" vertical rectangles, which are used to make you aware of an upcoming 
trail feature; side trails, road crossings, water, camps, etc.. The second blaze is set inline 
above the first blaze with a 2" space between them.

Off-Set Double Blaze
Two standard 2"x6" vertical rectangles, which are used to make you aware of an upcoming 
turn on the trail. The second blaze is set above the first blaze with a 2" space between 
them and is also off-set either 2" to the left or 2" to the right, showing which way to turn.

Report the following problems to the PTA
Blowdowns / deadfalls / leaners / eroded trail / eroded switchbacks / washed out spring 
and creek crossings / insufficient trail markings and signs / unmarked turns and road 
crossings / damaged shelters, picnic tables, bridges, signs / any suspicious or illegal 
activity.

Tools
Volunteers are asked to provide their own trail maintenance tools: small loppers, small 
bow saw, small digging tool, gloves and safety glasses.

Volunteers should dress appropriately for trail work and use gloves, safety glasses and 
other protective gear when necessary. All work shall take place during daylight hours and 
be performed with safety in mind.

Do not attempt any tasks that you are not comfortable with.


HMTC
ACTIVITIES
BASE CAMP

TOOL SAFETY

TRAIL CREW
TRAIL MAINT

^ climb up.

​​​pinhoti national recreation trail / pinhoti millennium legacy trail

a southern region appalachian trail connector

* section and mileage numbering system example: "s7 ~ 0.2" / s7 = a section number and 0.2 = a landmark mileage *

* In case of emergencies, dial 911.​ This is the only public service that knows your exact location

Do phone reset first ~ go to settings / go to privacy / turn on location services *

visit the georgia pinhoti trail association for trail guides and trail info

pta facebook.

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current weather @ pinhoti trail mid-point / 181.3 ~ cave spring trailhead