Stepping up

The Nature Trail is a scenic, steady-paced stroll that winds from downtown to Fort Lewis College enjoyed by everyone from dog walkers to hikers, bikers and students. But some-times, when you're late to class or work, or just want to get to the top in time for sunset, a more direct route may be in order. Trails 2000 recently took on this challenge: hand-building more than 500 new steps from 10th Street to the rim, an overall elevatin gain of 250 feet. The project was done almost entirely by an army of volunteers who spent untold sweaty hours hauling dirt and rock, cutting and moving timbers, and swinging pick axes. But it wasn’t all toil – there were snacks, beverages and plenty of jokes and camaraderie to make the work, well, not so much like work. Plus, there’s nothing like the satisfaction that comes from putting one’s back into a trails project and literally getting to walk (or run or ride) on the results. Willing hands are always welcome for Trails2000 volunteer work days. For more info., go to

There was plenty to do for those with strong backs and good pulaski skills
Teamwork making the dream work: a fire line carries buckets of dirt down the hill to fill in steps.
The bare bones of the steps before being filled in with dirt.

Jonah Smith dumps dirt into a bucket for Wyatt Johnson to carry.

Trails 2000 Crew Leader Gino Pastore gets his workout carrying lumber down the hill.