In addition to our trail stewardship, every year ECTA completes significant projects that provide safe access to trails that have become inaccessible due to flooding, deterioration of essential structures like bridge or boardwalks, or wear. These projects are customized based on location, severity of issue and types of use, and many involve innovative solutions. We rely on grants and our generous donors, sponsors and especially our members to fund these projects. Membership matters. If you are not already a member join today!
Here are some examples of our work.
This popular trail that goes up the hill out of the Asbury Street parking lot is used by every type of trail user and is an important link in the park for equestrians. Chronically wet and rocky with terrible footing this section of trail was in desperate need for permanent repair. In July 2022 we worked with R.P. Scanlon Landscaping to regrade, widen, and repack the trail with organic material and seed. We also repaired the trail at the top of the hill. The preservation of these two sections of trail was funded by the contributions to The Fund in Memory of Patrick Keough and a generous donation from Michael and Peggy Schrage.
Completed in July 2022 in partnership with Essex County Greenbelt, this project was a much needed solution to a muddy section of the main trail. Working with T.W. Excavating we raised the trail, installed a small culvert to allow water to flow under, and added material to improve footing. Permitting and planning was provided by Greenbelt and construction was funded by ECTA.
See the before and after and view a time lapsed video of this work.
ECTA’s replacement of a 30 year old wooden bridge that crosses the Miles River at the border of Hamilton and Ipswich preserves a key trail connection from Gardner St. to Fellows Rd. It’s an important part of a network of trails through fields and wetlands used often by a diverse group of visitors including walkers, bike riders and equestrians.
Miles River Bridge, before and after
Culverts used to be a simple solution to keep trails dry. ECTA has completed many replacements of failed culverts. Recently however, the state requirements have changed. Where once a 24 inch pipe could be replaced in kind, now the pipes need to be 1.2 times the bankfull width of the stream, which in some cases may be 5 feet. ECTA has devised a solution to these projects, some of which are deep in the woods and hard to access with vehicles. We utilize arched culverts that are easily transported and are more affordable than concrete culverts. These culverts are inviting to horses and will last for 20 years. A perfect solution that keeps up with the times!
Lingerman culvert, before and after
Willowdale Trail 44 Culvert
In the right location, boardwalks are a great way to solve a periodic or seasonal water issues. They allow water to flow freely and make trails accessible year-round to walkers, bikers and horseback riders.
Coffin Street Boardwalk, before and after
Beaver Deceivers were developed by Skip Lisle of Beaver Deceivers International, Grafton, Vermont. They have been widely utilized as water flow devices to control the flooding associated with beaver dams. These innovative devices enable ECTA to lower the water level to protect the trail, while also allowing the beavers to continue to live in the area. ECTA never uses traps.
Many of the trails in our 6 member towns are old and are worn with use, and they trap water in the center of the trail causing muddy and sometimes impassable and unsafe conditions. In these cases, ECTA resurfaces the trail in ways that allows the water to flow to the sides of the trail. The specific solutions vary depending on the severity of the problem. This work lasts for years.