Scree Walls, Trail Stewardship

Scree walls, hiker descending Boott Spur Trail in the White Mountains, New Hampshire. Afternoon sun reflects off the Wildcat Ski Mountain. A scree wall is in view. Scree walls are built on the edge of trails to discourage hikers from going off trail. Building these small walls helps protect the fragile alpine habitat.
Scree Walls – Boott Spur Trail, New Hampshire
 

Scree Walls, Trail Stewardship – Today’s blog article focuses on a keyword search term. I chose one search term in this case “scree wall” and searched my image archive to see what imagery I have available that represents this area of trail stewardship. As photographer, these keyword searches help me determine what subject matter I need more coverage of. The below imagery showcases this search term.

In the alpine zones of the New Hampshire White Mountains, trail stewards build scree walls on the edge of trails. These non intrusive walls keep hikers on a defined path in the alpine zones, and this helps protect the fragile alpine habitat. Some of the alpine flowers that grow in New Hampshire are rare and only grow in the alpine zones of New Hampshire so protecting this habitat is essential.

Alpine Tundra System along the Appalachian Trail (Franconia Ridge Trail), near Little Haystack Mountain, during the late summer months in the New Hampshire White Mountains. Mount Flume and Liberty are off in the distance. Scree walls line the trail edge and are used to protect the fragile environment.
Scree Walls – Franconia Ridge Trail, New Hampshire
 

Franconia Ridge Trail (above) is one of the more popular trails in the White Mountains, and on most weekends during the summer the trail (Mt Lafayette / Little Haystack Loop) is a mad house. Hundreds upon hundreds of hikers traverse this trail, and I am sure you can understand the impact this has on the alpine environment. Over the last decade, great efforts have been made to protect the fragile alpine habitat along Franconia Ridge Trail. Stewards have put in many hours building and maintaining scree walls along the trail.

Scree wall along the Appalachian Trail (Franconia Ridge Trail) on the summit of Little Haystack Mountain in the White Mountains of New Hampshire USA during the summer months. Scree walls are built on the edge of trails to discourage hikers from going off trail. Building these small walls helps protect the fragile alpine habitat.
Scree Walls – Franconia Ridge Trail, New Hampshire
 

If you want to see some impressive stonework that is making a real difference in the White Mountains hike the Franconia Ridge Trail (Mt Lafayette / Haystack loop). Much of the trail is lined with scree walls, and you would think that long lengths of man-made stone walls would be out of place in the alpine zone, but there not. They look natural and blend in with the surroundings. I love seeing quality stonework along the trail system, and we can’t ask for better trail stewardship.

All of the above images can be licensed for publications by clicking on the image you are interested in. And you can view more images of scree walls here.

Happy image making..


 

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Erin Paul is a professional photographer who specializes in environmental conservation and historic preservation photography in the New Hampshire White Mountains. His work is published worldwide, and credits include; Backpacker Magazine, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Appalachian Mountain Club, and The Wilderness Society.

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