Moosalamoo volunteers lend helping hands to rebuild bridge
RIPTON — A group of 15 volunteers, including nine Moosalamoo Association board members, met this past Saturday morning in Ripton to demolish a broken down trail bridge on the Oak Ridge Trail. The 20-foot hemlock bridge, located northwest of Forest Road 92A off Goshen Road, had collapsed and fallen into the small brook it crosses.
The crew removed the collapsed bridge, then replaced it with a new bridge supported by three 20-foot trusses sistered together with six new 2x12x20 pressure-treated timbers donated by rk Miles Lumber. The company also donated flashing, screws and expanded steel mesh that was tacked on the planks afterward to provide an anti-slip surface. Blueberry Hill Inn donated the pressure-treated planks that served as bridge decking.
After hauling the material to the site, the crew also split off to clear a mile of trail from blowdowns. The trail accesses the top of Mount Moosalamoo from the north, starting at the Oak Ridge Trailhead on Route 125 in Middlebury and is used by mountain bikers, hikers and cross-country skiers.
The Moosalamoo Association is a citizens board that works with the U.S. Forest Service to manage and make improvements to the 16,000-acre Moosalamoo National Recreation Area, stretching between Route 125 and Route 73 (Brandon Gap road) and east of Lake Dunmore — its most popular trails are Falls of Lana and Silver Lake, though those two trails represent a fraction of hiking and terrain available to explore. Blueberry Hill Inn sits in the heart of the MNRA.