Recently we have been running a number of columns discussing Aiken’s Hitchcock Woods. Another favorite natural area is Aiken’s Carolina Bay located just to the North of Price Avenue. The Bay is much smaller than the Woods but it is much more accessible. This accessibility explains some (but not all) of the problems that keep cropping up there. The brief accompanying slide show should speak for itself.
As for the sticks on the trail, this was discussed in an article written a year ago. The problem with not removing sticks from the trail following work on the undergrowth and/or tree removal is one that could cost the city dearly if someone were hurt due to the failure to maintain the trail in a safe condition—something that is or is not done at the City’s convenience. That cost would depend on the severity of the injury and the capriciousness of the jury. See http://www.examiner.com/article/aiken-s-carolina-bay-update-again . Roots in the trail are another problem. Maybe a local scout troop would want to take on the trail as a project that would allow them to hone their axemanship skills while providing a service to the City (just something for our city fathers to consider.) Then again, maybe having such a group try to do this kind of work would present its own liability. Our City Manager and City Attorney would undoubtedly know much more than this reporter about any potential liability matter.
And finally, let me put in a vote for gravel in the parking area. The wood chips are OK as long as the weather is dry and the chips are smoothed out. Rain and rubber tires play havoc with the area, though, almost to the point of making its use highly questionable.
Still, problems or not, the area remains a City asset. I enjoy using it, and so does my quadruped friend TobiJuan. I think the Open Land Trust and the City did a good thing with their collaboration to make this area a public asset, and pray that someday all of its users will join with them in keeping it presentable.