Eagle scout at work: Scouting project refurbishes trail in Cooleemee

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Scott Jenkins

Salisbury Post

One thing scouting has given Randy Linhart is a love of the outdoors. And the 17-year-old hopes he can pass along some of that passion with his Eagle Scout project.

As part of the process for Linhart to attain the highest rank in the Boy Scouts, he and some friends refurbished a trail and repaired a canoe portage at RiverPark at Cooleemee Falls on Saturday.

Linhart said he became aware of the needs at the park, which a lot of folks know as the Bullhole, when Scoutmaster Alfred Wilson said it might be a good place to look for projects.

One of the first places John Peeler, the park director, took him was the quarter-mile trail.

“It’s a really pretty trail through the woods,” Linhart said. But, he said, the trail has been damaged by erosion and “a lot of debris has fallen across it and it’s starting to get run down.”

On Saturday, Linhart and a group of volunteers from Scout Troop 448 and the church where the troop is based, Coburn United Methodist, cleaned up the trail and lined it with timbers donated by Chandler Concrete.

The group also repaired a canoe portage at which South Yadkin River sediment has been pulling a step out into the river. Linhart expected all the work to take between five and eight hours.

The son of Randy and Julie Linhart, the younger Linhart said he has been involved in scouting since the third grade, when he joined Cub Scouts.

A senior at Gray Stone Day School, a charter school on the campus of Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer, Linhart plans to attend Appalachian State University and said he will take the lessons of scouting with him.

“I learned things I probably wouldn’t have learned anywhere else, like leadership skills” and financial, time and personal management skills he learned earning a personal management merit badge, he said. “And I’ve made a lot of friends, also.”

Linhart said his favorite part of scouting, though, has been the outdoor activities, such as such as backpacking, rock climbing and canoeing, in which Troop 448 is very active.

“That’s the part I really love about the scouts,” he said.

He hopes his work at the park will help others experience those types of activities.

“I had no idea how big this project was going to be until I got into it, but I think it’s going to pay off when I’m done with it,” he said. “… It’s a beautiful trail, it’s a beautiful park, they should be out there and enjoy it.”

Contact Scott Jenkins at 704-797-4248 or sjenkins@salisburypost.com.