One of our high-priority tasks at WTF was to build a set of trails around the edges of the property.
Although I did a lot of reading on trail construction, making the trails has been straightforward. To start, I used the rotary cutter on our John Deere tractor to clear the trails of the small brush that grew up since the fields were last farmed. The clay soil on the property makes a good foundation for the trails and we’ve not had to dress them with gravel or other ground material. In 2020 and 2021, we’ve been able to maintain the trails by cutting them every three weeks or so with our ride-on lawnmower set at a 3-4″ cut. There is only one small length of trail that is prone to washing out/staying muddy; I could put a small walkway there but for now we’ll live with it.
Naming the Trails
We’ve had a lot of fun naming the trails:
The east side of the property is covered with blackberry plants, so the name was pretty obvious. Blackberry Trail starts at the bridge we built in 2020 and ends at a log bench where you can look out over Lake Erie (as seen in the title photo). Blackberry Trail also gives the best views of the trees we had planted in 2016. In the future, the trail will sit between two rows of oak trees for much of its length.
We’ve seen a lot of deer moving across the farm right at the cliff’s edge. I think it was Becky who said “Look. Deer on Deerfoot Trail.” The name is also an ode to Calgary since everyone except Lily lived there for quite a few years.
Turkey Run Trail
In the early days owning the farm, we would most often see wild turkeys on the west side of the property, so we choose to name this trail after them. Turkey Run Trail also runs through the forested area in the northwest corner of the property; this stretch is probably my favorite part of all the trails.
Centre Trail runs down the middle of the property following the old gravel road for part of the way. It is the main access route for getting our tractor into the south part of the farm.