After the City of Santa Fe completed the removal of the old Filter Plant building, the Trails Program Manager and volunteers began work on this long-awaited Dale Ball connector on the morning of April 26, with help from project partner Bob Findling of The Nature Conservancy.
We started at the north end where we worked to convert a challenging, steep, informal trail into an alignment that can be more easily negotiated by a variety of trail users and more easily maintained in the future by volunteers.
This work continued on the afternoon of May 9 and the morning of May 19, by which time we nearly completed a stone “bridge” (really, a short causeway with culverts) across a deep arroyo, as well as wide bench cuts above and below to complete the steady climb from the old Filter Plant site to the junction with the Nature Conservancy’s Santa Fe Canyon Preserve trail.
On the morning of May 24, we returned to complete the south end of the “bridge,” add some rock armoring on the outside edge of the adjacent tread, erect some sign posts (awaiting new Dale Ball Trails junction signage to be put up this Summer!), and get a start on clearing the southernmost part of the connection, between Cerro Gordo Trailhead and the Santa Fe River below Two-Mile Pond.
On June 10, we were happy to see that the fence along the Santa Fe River had been removed and we made considerable progress bringing the trail to the old Filter Plant building site from each side.
We returned on June 15 and 21 to touch up the bench cuts, relocate signage relating to The Nature Conservancy’s prohibition of bicycles and dogs in the Santa Fe Canyon Preserve, and perform some needed maintenance of nearby Dale Ball Trails – South.
Now we are just waiting for the Water Division’s contractors to complete work at the Filter Plant site so we can finish up and formally open the trail!