In 2019, the Nez Perce Appaloosa Horse Club (NPApHC) completed its fourth year of Trail Clearing work on the Nez Perce (Nee-Me-Poo) National Historic Trail. This year in 2019 the NPApHC cleared and reopened approximately 1.5 miles of trail from the intersection of Forest Roads 107 and 500 to where the trail intersects the 500 road near the Devils Chair.
This year’s work on the Trail was very difficult and challenging. The trail was very overgrown with trees and shrubs and had numerous large trees (2-4 feet in diameter) that needed to be sawed and cleared. But once the trail was cleared, the trail tread was very evident with a majority being 2-3 feet in width and 6 inches to 1 foot in depth.
Given the difficulty of the overgrowth and downed trees, it took the NPApHC more time per mile than in previous years.
The NPApHC did the regular 4-day camping and work on the trail but had to send a contingency of works up on two additional trips to finish the section competed this year. The
NPApHC was very determined to finish this section as the annual Appaloosa Horse Club – Chief Joseph Trail Ride goes through this area in early August of 2020.
The first hitch occurred August 15- 18, 2019. This hitch included 12 adults and 6 youth NPApHC members. This included 4 sawyers and multiple trail clearers. An important part of the trail clearing process is to ride horses on the cleared trail to work up the trail tread and make sure all branches and such are cleared sufficiently. The club brought up 6 horses and road the cleared trail 3 times. Nez Perce Historical Trail markers were posted throughout the newly cleared trail.
The second hitch was on Sunday October 6, 2019 and included 3 members. There were 2 sawyers and 1 trail clearer. This hitch was particularly challenging in that there between 2-6 inches of snow on the ground.
The third hitch was on Saturday October19, 2019 and included 2 members.
Emmit E Taylor Jr., Nez Perce Appaloosa Horse Club
Progress Report – Nez Perce (Nee-Me-Poo) National Historic Trail – Winter 2020