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    On September 20, 2008, Greenway volunteers built climbing stone steps, replacing previously installed 6" x 8" D-logs affixed to the ground by rebar with 3' x 2' x 7" native gneiss stones. The steps ascended from the wooden bridge over Mill Creek to the gravel road that intersected with Maple Street at the old jail.

Loading the StoneTransporting the Stone

To minimize the impact of construction on the environment, hand tools and small machines were used to build the new stairway. The large stones were transported by a Canycom tracked loader to the top of the hill and released down the slope.

Unloading the StoneSliding the Stone

The stones were then dropped into prepared bench cuts, leveled to direct drainage back into the hillside, and tamped for stability with small rocks, intermediate gravel, and loamy soil.

Setting the StoneLeveling the Stone

Each step was stacked on the back of a lower one to accommodate the steep ascent and was locked into place with rock bars and pulaskis.

Aligning the StoneCutting the Stone

Some stones were cut with maul and sledge hammer to remove dangerous projections. The final stairway was groomed with the duff and organic layer previously removed. Construction of the steps caused no damage to the outlying areas—no winch systems, helicopters, or mule trains—and is solid enough to require minimal maintenance.

Three StepsFour Steps

Greenway Steps BeforeGreenway Steps After
Before                                                                                                     After
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This website is constantly under construction. For more information about the Highlands Plateau Greenway, please Contact us or write to P. O. Box 2608, Highlands, NC 28741.
Last modifiJuly 24, 2017.