Get to Know the Noble Puncheon
Have you ever wondered what those little bridges are that keep your toes dry and happy on trail? Well, meet the puncheon.
Late last November, WTA partnered with Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust to complete a new puncheon on the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River. Volunteers worked for 6 days to complete a 50-foot structure on The Middle Fork Connector Trail.
The structure is near the trailhead, which made it convenient to use as training. The volunteers were able to focus on the skills necessary to make them even more effective stewards of Washington’s hiking trails. They practiced backcountry carpentry skills and increased their familiarity with specialized construction tools.
Puncheons are well-suited for the Middle Fork Connector, since they span wet areas that can be subject to seasonal mud and drainage issues, and allow trail users to cross these obstacles on a durable surface. Otherwise, hikers may destroy surrounding vegetation to avoid the mud.
The structure WTA completed for the training had to be extra durable to contend with added wear and weight from horse travel. When complete, the Middle Fork Connector will use about five of these structures to give users a wonderful glimpse of the forest surrounding the wild Taylor River while connecting to the new Garfield Ledges Trail.
To see some puncheons that WTA has built, check out one of these trails (and then write a trip report about your experience!):
- Wagon Road, near North Bend
- Franklin Falls Trail, near North Bend
- Beaver Lake Preserve, Sammamish
- Evans Creek Preserve, Sammamish
- Grand Ridge, Issaquah
- Chybinski Loop, Squak Mountain
- Red Bluff Trail, approach to North Fork Trail in Colville National Forest
- Bead Lake, Colville National Forest
- Thunder Creek Trail, North Cascades Highway
- Heliotrope Ridge, Mount Baker area
- Big Four Ice Caves, Mountain Loop Highway
- West Fork Humptulips River, Olympic Peninsula
- Lovers Lane, Olympic Peninsula
- Cape Disappointment, Long Beach area
From brushing and tread work to clearing downfall and building trail structures — our volunteer work parties have a ton of opportunities for learning new skills. Sign up today to join us on trail!