Featured Project: Big Rock Falls Trail
From Jan 24 to Feb 2, 2014 Belize Trails worked with volunteers on a community service project to improve access to Big Rock Falls, one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Mountain Pine Ridge. We made significant improvements to the hiking and horse trails, and even did a little work on the road.
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(For more pictures from this project, see our Facebook page)
17 Ft. Stone Water Crossing
A rather treacherous 4×4 post crossing was in place upon our arrival. Belize Trails worked with volunteers to design a stone bridge strong and heavy enough to withstand rising waters in the stream. The foundation of the bridge was designed to allow water to pass through easily, and stones in the 400 pound range were used for the final surface. We were proud to build with such heavy rocks considering no rigging was available. This is a tribute to teamwork, small rockbars and a knowledge of mechanical advantage.
Raised Trail at Hiker/Equestrian Trail Junction
Exposed bedrock with a constant flow of water and moss growing over it made this area dangerous for unsuspecting tourists hiking this section of trail. Belize Trails worked with volunteers to alleviate this issue. Liner rocks were built, 6 inches of crush rock were added and layers of dirt were compacted for a raised trail tread. Both hiking and equestrian trails were raised in this junction and for over 60 ft. of the hiking trail leading up to it.
Stone Feature with Waterbar near Blancaneaux Trail Junction
The trail was badly eroded, with a trench over 2 ft. deep from erosion due to rain running down the trail. Belize Trails worked with volunteers to design and install a stone step, a waterbar and liners. The ruts were filled in with crush rock and new soil was compacted on the trail to bring it back up to grade. Some revegetation was also done in the area to slow erosion issues off the trail and to provide a visual cue to keep horses on the trail.
Raised Trail near Equestrian Stream Crossing
With water constantly flowing over exposed bedrock and constant mud, the equestrian approach to the stream crossing was in dire need of help. Belize Trails led volunteers in the design and installation of a solution. We built liners where necessary, built up the trail 6 to 8 inches with crush rock and compacted layers of dirt on top of the crush. We also added over 30 ft. of drain ditch to direct water into the stream.
Handrails Added to the 7 Existing Lumber Stairs
The bottom half of the trail is quite steep. 7 wood staircases were already in place; someone else’s earlier attempt at relieving some of the safety issues. Belize Trails worked with Gilroy, a carpenter from Mariposa Jungle Lodge, to design and install handrails on all the existing stone stairs. The final result made the steep trail a lot safer to walk down in wet weather and a lot easier to walk up.
Stone Steps Cemented in Along River Edge
After Belize Trails finished the initial phase of trail reconstruction at Big Rock Falls, Mariposa Jungle Lodge donated materials and labor to help put in a stone walkway on the river edge. Belize Trails provided additional labor and expertise on the 2 day project to cement in stones for an easy walk to the falls.by