Crews clear path for Somerset Lake trail
Progress was made this week on the trail that will one day surround Somerset Lake.
Somerset County parks and trails director Lindsay Pyle said Thursday that crews were working this week to clear about 600 yards of brush to make the path that will one day become the trail around the waterway.
“Now we have something people can walk on,” she said.
Wood chips made from the brush were spread to make a temporary path.
The trail’s route is veering away from the existing primitive trail. Pyle said she has been working with Earthtech engineers to make the most cost-effective path while avoiding steep slopes and wetlands, and keeping trees intact. She said that some were upset that the new path is not as close to the water. She said the goal is to eventually cut down brush to give those using the trail a view of the lake once it is refilled.
Pyle’s maintenance workers were working to clear brush while inmates from the county jail’s work release program were using a wood chipper borrowed from Jefferson Township to make the chips for the path, making it a cost-effective project with little waste.
“They are cutting through a wall as they go,” she said.
The path will start at the north parking area off Gilmour Road and lead to Wood Duck Road.
Pyle explained that the county will be applying for a mini-grant through the Southern Alleghenies Planning & Development Commission funded by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. She said the grant is a $50,000 matching grant. The other funding will come from the community and fundraising efforts. The application is due by the end of June.
“It is a $100,000 project,” she said.