Eagle Scout helps trail group install maintenance system

Cyclists Rick Soltesz and Susan Scarpelli, from the Great Allegheny Passage Ambassadors program, stop at the newly installed trail maintenance sign to test the QR code.

CUMBERLAND — With the help of Eagle Scout candidate Ben Eft of Boy Scout Troop 9 in Cresaptown, Mountain Maryland Trails installed 11 signs along the Maryland portion of the Great Allegheny Passage with a QR code and link that allows users to access a trail maintenance and incident report form with a single click from their phone.

GAP users can quickly report issues such as downed trees, trail washouts and other areas that need to be addressed for the safety of trail users.

Reports are sent to Allegany County staff who manage maintenance issues along the trail.

Created in partnership between Mountain Maryland Trails and Allegany County, the reporting system has been in place for a little over a year, and with its success, Mountain Maryland Trails desired to install signage along the trail with details for trail users to access the form.

Eft helped Mountain Maryland Trails realize its goal when he took on the endeavor as his Eagle Scout project. Eft designed the project, coordinated partners and oversaw the production and installation of the signs.

“The reporting system has been a great tool in aiding the trail maintenance crews to address problem areas along the trail,” said Robin Douglas, maintenance and development chair for Mountain Maryland Trails. “Our hope is that by installing the signage, the reporting system will be more accessible and more widely used.”

Signs are installed from Cumberland to the Mason-Dixon Line above and below trailheads at Canal Place, Cash Valley, Woodcock Hollow and Frostburg.

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