COLUMBIA — Rock Bridge Memorial State Park opened its first new hiking and biking trail in more than eight years with the help of a boy scout troop from Columbia last month.
The trail is a connector between the existing Spring Brook and Sinkhole trails at the park and was built with assistance from Eagle Scout Adam Wilkerson and other boy scouts from Columbia Troop 6.
Willkerson said he first got the idea to do his project at Rock Bridge while running there in the fall as a member of the Rock Bridge High School cross country team. Planning for the trail started last summer when Wilkerson called the park looking for an Eagle Scout project. Park Superintendent Jim Gast suggested that Wilkerson help create the new trail.
“A connector between Spring Brook and Sinkhole has always been in the plans to give people a way to avoid having to drive Rock Bridge Lane to get between them,” Gast said. He explained that the park hadn’t had the time and manpower available to complete the trail before Wilkerson volunteered.
Construction began in March once the trail was approved by state officials. Over the course of two Saturdays, Wilkerson and about 30 scouts and parents from Troop 6 removed leaves, rocks and debris from the trail and tamped down the dirt to prepare it for foot traffic.
The wooded trail features a pond and two major intermittent streams, as well as scenic views of several bluffs.
“Two weeks ago, my troop had a camp out at Rock Bridge State Park and we backpacked the trail,” Wilkerson said. “It was really nice to see it start from nothing and progress to a really nice trail.”