Spring Hike after last summer’s tornado

I thought I would share my hike along the Benmiller section of the Maitland trail with you.  We hiked this section last spring and it was one of the most beautiful trails we had hiked in a couple of years. Steep hills, rolling sections as well as some lush valleys with low bush and small creeks.  Then came the tornado, I think it was last June. This is the result of one minute or terror and utter distruction. Entire hillsides laid flat, all the trees lined in neat rows, as if a firing squad had executed them. We walked through at least 4 km of this distruction. What was equally amazing is what the Maitland Trail Association has accomplished in the short time they had to restore the trail last fall. Their accomplishment is nothing short of amazing. Whole new sections had to be opened because of the massive piles of tree trunks and roots.  Amazingly, some of the bridges were not touched by the storm.  I had a very uncomfortable feeling walking through some of the more messy sections. It felt as if we had no right to be there because the job was not done yet. I expected the entire hillside to slide into the river below. The return walk was better since the initial shock had worn off. It will be interesting what the greening of spring will accomplish. My feeling is that the signs of the tornado will remain, clearly visible, for many years to come.
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