Tales of Trails in Rose Valley
Fifteen year-old Gabriel Ma of Wallingford is a member of Boy Scout Troop 272, headquartered at the Old Mill in Rose Valley. Through years of Scout activity and weekly meetings there, he’s sometimes walked with his dog Sky through the Saul Nature Preserve, which has a trailhead behind the Old Mill and an established trail along Ridley Creek. When it came time for him to choose an Eagle Scout project, Gabe didn’t have to look far for inspiration.
“My Eagle Advisor Mr. [Bill] Hale and I talked over what we could do to improve the trails, and to create some new trails. We came up with a plan, and I sent out a blast email and got other members of the troop to volunteer,” Gabe said recently. The project Gabe developed has two parts: creation of a switchback trail to high ground in the Saul Preserve, and creation of a new trail which will wind along a ridge overlooking the floodplain of the creek through the preserve.
With the switchback trail complete, the ridge trail will be undertaken as part two of Gabe’s project. Scouts will gather for a work session this weekend, and the ridge trail should be ready for visitors wishing to see fall foliage from the heights, as well as the quarry from which the stone was mined for the mill’s dam and waterworks, and an ancient tulip poplar known as the “wolf tree.”
Inspired? If so, those who have matured beyond scouting years are also invited to join a trail project at the Saul Preserve. During the week of July 15-19, each morning from 8 a.m. to noon, a group of volunteers will undertake the elevation of low spots to improve the original trail along Ridley Creek. Volunteers are eagerly sought for this work. Gravel will be delivered by motorized wheelbarrow to muddy sections along the trail, where volunteers will rake and fill holes. Those interested should contact project leader Jim Audley at email@example.com.