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Balsam Branch Trails Now Lighted!

A light pole goes up at the Balsam Branch Trails!

Ski trails don't groom them selves, nor do they light themselves. As a Nordic Ski Club with membership that enjoys many of the ski trails across the region, it's important that we chip in and contribute. Contributing financially and also with work gloves & a shovel are equally important!

One such opportunity presented itself a few weeks ago at the
Balsam Branch Trails, which is between St. Croix Falls and Amery, WI. Not knowing for sure what "putting up light poles" would involve, I brought with a shovel, some work gloves, and work clothes. Shortly after I showed up, the Osceola contingent of Cyclova XC showed up to help out as well. We teamed up with some hard working members of the Nordic Ski Club of Amery to put up about 30 poles.

Putting up these poles involved:
  • Stringing wire the length of a pole through a PVC conduit pipe
  • Guiding the pole into the pre-drilled hole
  • Back-filling the hole ensuring the pole is vertical
  • Burying the cable from the conduit on the pole to the buried electrical junction box next to the pole.
Power cables had already been trenched in and buried in advance, with the huge pole holes all pre-drilled as well - which must have taken a huge amount of time and some heavy equipment. The final stage in finishing up this project was for an electrician to install the light fixtures at the top of the poles and connect the pole cable to the electric power in the junction box.

Yes, it takes a huge amount of work to light a ski trail! Yes, it will be amazing to have another great option for night time skiing at Balsam Branch, with 4.5k of lighted trail!

Looking like a lazy road construction crew, the Cyclova XC work crew (Mike, Steve, and Duane) get ready to put up some light poles.

Next time you're out enjoying a great ski trail, take a moment to thank the great volunteers that make it all possible!

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