By Jim LeMonds
Forty volunteers came out on June 3rd for what has become an annual maintenance day at Coldwater Lake on the north side of Mount St. Helens. The effort, which was sponsored by Northwest Trail Alliance, was successful to say the least as the crew of 40 was able to clean 9.5 miles of the 12-mile loop around the lake.
The 4.5-mile 211 Trail that runs from the boat launch to the intersection with the 230 at the east end of the lake was completely buffed, using a combination of metal-bladed weedeaters and human-powered loppers and handsaws. A small crew drove over to the 230A and cleaned from the trailhead to approximately .75 beyond the logging equipment damaged in the 1980 eruption that remains at the top of the initial 1.8-mile climb; snowpack on the east end of the 230A limited additional coverage.
The largest portion of the crew rode to the east end of the 211 and worked up the overgrown 230 for nearly two miles with chainsaws and weedeaters.
“The 230 isn’t a trail we typically deal with,” said Jim LeMonds, who handled the crew assignments. “Since the snow kept us from putting a full hit on the 230A, we had enough crew to address it. It gets a lot of hiker traffic, so I’m guessing they will be very happy with our effort.”
LeMonds said the ability to use e-bikes and trailer bobs to move tools was a key to the group’s success.
“Coldwater is an incredibly beautiful place, and the riding has a little bit of everything,” LeMonds said. “It can be difficult to get crew because of the driving distance, but we always seem to manage to pull it off. The bottom line is that we have the best people, and that makes everything possible.”