Roadside Crag is one of the Red River Gorge’s most popular crags. Minutes from the parking off a major roadway and hosting wide range of climbs, Roadside attracts dozens of climbers of all abilities every weekend. Roadside is located on the Graining Fork Nature Preserve, land that is owned by climber-friendly Grants Stevens and Jon Haight. Over the years, though, Roadside’s popularity has contributed to increased wear and tear on the approach trail, especially near the steep trail-head. The increased foot traffic led to obvious problems with drainage and erosion.
On Saturday, April 3, 2010 Mike Driskell of Driskell Home Repair in Louisville organized a second trail day at Roadside Crag to try to address those problems. Thirteen people came to put the sweat of their brow into helping remove litter, trim tree branches, widen the trail-head, and improve drainage along the beginning of the trail. They refueled with some Miguel’s for lunch, provided by Driskell Home Repair, and stuffed their packs with some RRGCC schwag. After working on the trail-head, Driskell and company moved to the area near Roadside Attraction, a classic and popular trad climb, where the trail went straight up a series of rock steps. The poor drainage and steep incline led to severe erosion in this area. Now, after plenty of volunteer effort, the trail now accesses this area via a switchback that should mitigate the impacts near Roadside Attraction.
Mike hopes to return complete the new section of the trail on the next Roadside Trail Day, possibly in the spring of 2011. Additional projects also include working to stabilize the erosion around the base of the slab routes to the far-right of the cliff line.
Thank you to the volunteers that helped: John Grider, Malcolm Akindana, Randy Tebbs, Carrie Kirkpatrick, Dave Jasperson, JR Goodwin, Mark Rohr, Robert Keith Todd, Bryan Spencer, Josephine Neff, Derrick Powell, and Mike Driskell.
If you were not able to participate in this event, please mark your calendar for Johnny & Alex Trail Day (check out last year’s JATD), which will be held on August 14th, and stay tuned for more! Or, if you want to throw yourself at a project all your own, tell us about it and we’ll support you!