Berry trails now more accesible

Jared Crain, Campus Carrier  Deputy News Editor

Miles Flora, Staff Writer

A work crew assembles the new kiosk that will hold a map of the trails, hunting regulations and trail updates.

With the establishment of the new Trail Committee, student representatives plan to make hiking trails at Berry more accessible and informative. According to junior Leslie Bowen, who will take on the role of president of SOLE as well as the trail committees SOLE representative next year, the first committee meeting introduced both the issues that students and visitors alike have brought up concerning the trails and the ways to address these issues.

 The current president of SOLE and committee SOLE representative, senior Zach Lemcke, voiced these concerns.

“Some problems we saw with the trails that prompted this committee were the trails being inaccessible, the trails being roads and not really true trails, poor maintenance on the designated horse trails as well as a lack of proper signage,” Lemcke said.

According to Lemcke, the short term goals include making sure that maps viewed by different groups on and outside of campus match up as opposed to all having different names for the same trails. 

SGA president Teddy Palmer, also a representative on the trail committee, explained that they hope to give some say to the students with regard to the trail names before they put them on the map.

“Those trails without names, we are currently thinking of proposing ideas to choose from student body suggestions and voting to start that process,” Palmer said.

 Lemcke is currently undertaking the task of drawing out a master map that will include a visual of the trail system as a whole, agreed upon trail names by the students and even a topographical profile that shows elevation changes for different trails.

Bowen explained that a single master map will be much more helpful for all who use the Berry trails.

“It will be far more comprehensive than the current map, with better regards to topography, actual trail distance and layout, secondary trails and locations of interest,” she said. “This will allow everyone on the trails to navigate more effectively and safely.”

A major goal of the new committee is to establish and create new trails by either becoming involved with an outside source like the Southeastern Conservation Core or even creating a new student work team.

Palmer explained that a new student work team could potentially be funded by the Special Projects funds to exercise these both maintenance and trail creation efforts. 

“We have long term plans of maybe adding trails and (providing) trail maintenance, and maybe one day (adding) some student work positions as well as involvement with other organizations,” Palmer said.

According to Lemcke, a kiosk has been built by the Old Mill to house the master map once it is finished, as well as display regular hunting and trail updates. 

“The kiosk over by the Old Mill is all done and will house signage regarding if there’s a hunt going on (and) any updates regarding the trails, because that is a central point for visitors and the Berry community alike,” Lemcke said.

Lemcke, who is drawing the map, and Amanda Highfield, the Outdoor Recreation representative for the trail committee, have been overseeing the construction of the kiosk that will provide students and visitors alike with helpful information. 

Bowen said that beyond the mapping and maintenance developments for the trails, the committee plans to also develop intra-trail signage like mile markers in the foreseeable future.  

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