Forks Area Trail System Devastated By Ice Storm - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Forks Area Trail System Devastated By Ice Storm

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Edgefield County, SC -

This is what mountain biking looks like when conditions are perfect on the FATS bike trail in Sumter National Forest.

Then, the ice storm hit and what was once a perfect weekend recreation is now impossible.

"The ice storm did a tremendous amount of damage not only in Augusta and the surrounding communities, but also devastated the trails out here," said David Kozlowski.

David Kozlowski is the President of Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association CSRA and he's been mountain-biking his whole life.

But Kozlowski says he's never seen a trail get hit this hard.

"The danger is that many parts of the trail are unrecognizable. Many of our trail-markers were on trees and they went down as well," said Kozlowski.

Kozlowski says the biggest problem is that some of the pine trees are "spring-loaded," meaning if they bend, and there's tension, they could spring back.

He says if someone that's not U-S forest-certified tries to cut these trees they could get hurt.

"We are not only discouraging people from cutting trees out here but also from using the trails because right now they are very difficult to navigate," said Kozlowski.

Only about a third of this 37 mile trail has been cleared.

There's still a lot of sticks, branches and trees that need to be moved safely before anyone can ride.

"The more help we can get the sooner we can clear the trails and get them reopened for public use," said Kozlowski.

If you would like to help clear trails you can find more information about volunteering at:

http://sorbacsra.org/

https://www.facebook.com/SorbaCsra

 

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