The Birch Hill trails need your help!

Robert Hannon during a brushing reconnaissance with a SCUM group in 2019.

The incredible trails at Birch Hill Recreation Area are only incredible if you can use them. They are in constant need of brushing for both winter and summer use. The NSCF Trail Crew has already done some brushing but more is needed.

Head Groomer Tom Helmers says brushing is needed on these trails:

  • Moilanen Meadows
  • White Bear


Tom encourages individuals and groups to head out onto the trails and do some brushing. He does have a few rules:

  • Don’t get hurt.
  • Remove any brush within 2 to 3 feet of the trail and farther back if the weight of snow could bend it on to the trail.
  • Remove anything you cut off the trail surface.
  • Do not fell any trees larger than two to three inches in diameter.
  • Watch for overhead power lines–do not cut anything that will hit the power lines.
  • Have Fun!

Also, be on the lookout for bird vetch, a prolific invasive plant that has started to take over parts of Birch Hill. Pull it or mow it if you find it. However, be careful if it has gone to seed, as you can easily spread the seeds by accident. It’s best to put plants that have gone to seed in plastic bags, tie them up, then throw them in the trash. For more on vetch see one or both of these resources:

If you have any questions, contact Tom at

If you or your group does some brushing, send photos and a list of the person-hours (hours per person) you put in to We’ll post it and try to encourage others to get out and do the same. Do you want to challenge another person or group? We’ll post that, too (after getting permission from the other party).

Let’s help keep the trails at Birch Hill in great shape for winter and summer!