Above: EcoCorps crew members Connor, Isabell, Emma, Ryan, Anya, and Rachael haul tools into the Torch Lake Nature Preserve to build a new trail for visitors.
SEEDS EcoCorps created a brand new trail in the Torch Lake Nature Preserve! The new trail is about three quarters of a mile and winds through the 95-acre wooded property in Antrim County.
“We built a trail from scratch, and now more people can visit the nature reserve without disrupting the ecosystem. It was a really fun project!” – Petra Foote, EcoCorps Crew Member
To make the trail, crew members explored the trail area, helped select and design the route, removed brush and trees, hauled sand to cover slippery clay, and leveled the trailway. The project required awareness of erosion control, tree health and root systems, and managing natural trail surfaces for accessibility and safety.
The trail is now open to the public for hiking. The Torch Lake Nature Preserve is a Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy (GTRLC) property and has 95 acres of mixed hardwood forest with seasonal views of Torch Lake.
“We are incredibly thankful for the continued hard work of EcoCorps crews. It’s such a win-win. Their work at the Torch Lake Nature Preserve exceeded expectations and we look forward to working with them again soon.” – Steve Lagerquist, a Land Steward for GTRLC
Above: EcoCorps crew leader Joe clears large brush and fallen trees for the new trail at the Torch Lake Nature Reserve. “Steve from the land conservancy taught us trail building for this project, and getting first hand training was really valuable.”
EcoCorps has collaborated with GTRLC on numerous other projects, including:
– Bench construction for Green Point Dunes Nature Preserve in Benzie,
– Cabin preservation at the Upper Manistee Headwaters: The Milock Family Preserve in Kalkaska
– Training and trail building at Lower Woodcock Lake Nature Preserve in Benzie
– Boardwalk maintenance at Trapp Farm Nature Preserve in Benzie
SEEDS EcoCorps program is only possible thanks to the support of a great many partners like GTRLC. A grant from the TC Track Club allowed for the purchase of new, high quality trail-building tools which were used extensively during the 2020 and 2021 seasons including on this project.