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    On January 21 and 22, 2009, guided again by Fred Lashley, Greenway volunteers began replacing steps made of railroad ties on a steep portion of the Rec Park loop trail with more substantial 300-to-400-pound stones. To minimize damage to the forest floor along the slope, the heavy stones were moved in the air by use of a highline.

Highline Diagram Strapping the Live Spar Tree

Loop slings were attached high up on two spar trees, and a Warrington Seale wire rope was strung through snatch blocks hooked to the slings and then anchored to a winch tree at the top and a sauerman grip between two back trees at the bottom.

Installing the WinchOperating the Winch

Each stone was shackled to the wire rope and lifted by a Griphoist T-516 continuous-feed winch, capable of lifting a safe working load of 4,000 pounds.

Shackling the StoneRaising the Stone

The stones were belayed down the incline and pushed, pulled, and rotated into place, beginning at the bottom of the stairway so that each step rests upon and holds down the back of the other.

Winching the StoneAdjusting the Stone

Gravel and small stones were added as filler for support, and the first six steps were complete.

Adding Gravel SupportThe First Six Steps

The Mountain Garden Club, which donated the $3,000 used to purchase the stone, was invited to view the project, and hot potato soup, homemade bread, and brownies rounded off the day.

Mountain Garden Club. Photo by Hillrie Quin.Potato soup and Homemade Bread

Greenway Trail BeforeGreenway Trail 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 modified on July 24, 2017.