Using a mower behind an all-terrain vehicle, Neil Bass, natural resource specialist, cuts a path along Heritage Trail while performing maintenance on the multi-use trail with a volunteer May 21 near Camp Miles. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Katie Peterson | Staff Writer

Fort Leavenworth’s Heritage Trail, near Camp Miles, is being prepared for multi-use purposes including running, mountain biking, hiking and horseback riding, thanks to the $3,800 National Environmental Education Foundation Grant the post received from the DoD Legacy Park Rx Awards.

Volunteers have been working on a 4.5-mile section of Heritage Trail in preparation of the 1908 Ultra Celebration Trail Run, a 19.08-hour, four-person relay event that was originally scheduled for April and has been rescheduled for Sept. 26. The significance of “1908” is that it was the year the Army Reserve was federally recognized. The trail, located by the Girl and Boy Scout camps, is multi-use for hikers, mountain bicyclists and horseback riders. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


“The trail maintenance in general, it’s going to make it less muddy and more accessible,” said Neil Bass, Directorate of Public Works natural resources specialist. “(Mowing) will keep the insects at bay. There will be less ticks, less chiggers to get on you because the vegetation won’t be climbing up to your waist.”

Neil Bass, natural resource specialist, mows along Heritage Trail as volunteer retired Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Brannam walks ahead to remove limbs and other debris May 21 near Camp Miles. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


Maintenance of the four-and-a-half-mile trail, which began in February, has included mowing, cutting down trees, clearing debris and distributing rock in boggy areas to help with erosion.


“It’s called trail armoring,” said retired Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Brannam, who has been one of the volunteers helping with the project. “(Rock) reduces the erosion that is caused from natural stuff.”

Neil Bass, natural resource specialist, mows along Heritage Trail as volunteer retired Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Brannam looks for obstacles such as fallen limbs to remove from the path while performing trail maintenance May 21 near Camp Miles. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


The trail will also have 80 new trail markers, four compost toilets and wooden foot bridges for crossing drainage areas.


The path along Heritage Trail will be the site of the 1908 Ultra Celebration Trail Run Sept. 26-27, which was part of the reason why Fort Leavenworth was able to receive the NEEF grant, Bass said.

Neil Bass, natural resource specialist, followed by volunteer retired Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Brannam, walks by a section of muddy trail made more passable by rocks placed earlier by Brannam while working on trail maintenance and improvement projects May 21 near Camp Miles. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


“As part of that (grant), you had to set up an event associated with it that was about getting people outside for health reasons or health benefits,” Bass said.


The 1908 run was originally scheduled for April 25-26 but was rescheduled because of COVID-19. The run challenges participants, either as singles or four-person teams, to run the four-and-a-half-mile loop as many times as they can in 19 hours, eight minutes. The event is meant to honor the 112th birthday of the Army Reserve, which was first recognized on April 23, 1908.

Trail maintenance volunteer retired Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Brannam talks about a section of muddy trail made more passable by rocks, one of the trail improvement projects he has helped with, on a section of Heritage Trail May 21 near Camp Miles. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


Runners will begin at 2:24 p.m., or 1424 hours.


“Beginning the race at 1424 hours signifies when Congress passed Senate Bill 1424: ‘The Reserve medical officers in the corps could be ordered to active duty by the Secretary of War during times of emergency,’” said Col. Angel Liberg, Combined Arms Center Army Reserve Affairs assistant chief of staff. “The location being on Fort Leavenworth provides a great opportunity to introduce trail running to residents.

Using a mower behind an all-terrain vehicle, Neil Bass, natural resource specialist, cuts a path along Heritage Trail while performing maintenance on the multi-use trail with a volunteer May 21 near Camp Miles. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


“The trail has many terrain features for trail runners to practice their skills,” she said. “It is a great place to explore nature with lots of plants and creatures to observe.”


To sign up for the run, visit https://ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=73831.

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