Building the Herb Parsons "Holiday Loop Trail"

The latest trail addition at Herb Parsons Lake was envisioned during a meeting between MSTA and Lake Manager Damon Boyce in March 2005. The land southwest of the dam had sat idle since the lake was impounded in the late 1950's and was not being used. Damon stated some ideas were considered and all were abandoned. MSTA was told, "if you think you can build some more trail there and get some use out of the area, go for it!"

So we did. Exploration of the area started after Thanksgiving 2005. Many of those doing the exploring thought it would be easy to get a new trail in by Christmas. The name "Christmas Loop" began to circulate. The crew soon realized how thick and heavy a 50-year accumulation of forest debris could be. More exploration took place during the first half of 2006. Refining the design to avoid problem areas and keep the trail flow matching the original Herb's trails.

By July 2006 it was time to get into high gear. The trail design was getting finalized and the 6-Hour race was taking shape. With the design decided, MSTA rented a Bobcat MT-52 walk behind mini-dozer. The trail was cleared over a three-day weekend using the Bobcat.

The two creek crossing were another matter. Steve K. knew of a boy scout, Andrew, who was working towards his Eagle Scout rank and needed a Leadership Service Project. We gave Andrew bridge plans obtained from the IMBA web site. Andrew consulted with an engineer who suggested using culverts instead.

Andrew arranged to get the materials donated and for a scout troop to help with the work. MSTA rented the Bobcat again to help. Lake Manager Damon Boyce assisted using the lake's tractor with front-end loader.

Below are pictures showing the building of the Holiday Loop.

The Bobcat MT-52 made clearing this trail a breeze.

Clearing brush along the trail.

Even heavy brush is no match for the 'Cat.

A very clear new trail - with support vehicle.

The new trail meets the old. The Bobcat at the old fire tower base.

The two culverts were installed by an Eagle Scout candidate as his Leadership Service Project.
The first culvert is set and back filling begins.

Damon on the tractor taking the second culvert to it's location.

Lowering the culvert into the creek while Anderw checks the position.

Back filling the second culvert begins.

Lake Manager Damon trying out the Bobcat. Now, how to talk the boss into one?

A bridge was needed over a pesky gully. MSTA pre-cut the bridge parts.

The little blue object is a generator to run "real power tools".

Just like on TV. Woosh, the bridge is nearly complete.

And the test ride. Thanks Brian!

Here are some pictures of the new trail.