Waterbars divert water from the Trail as soon as possible to prevent erosion damage to the treadway. The two key materials in waterbar creation are wood and rock. Rock is the better of the two because it lasts longer than wood.
In the rock waterbar scenario, bigger is better. Large rocks require loads of energy to set into the ground initially, but once they are there, there is little chance of them dislodging over time. (Read more about on pp 72-78 of A.T. Design Construction and Maintenance.)
However, finding a perfect and necessarily huge rock in a rock-sparse environment can prove impossible. Enter the shingled rock waterbar! Tune into this short yet informative video where Matt Stevens, ATC Conservation Resources Manager, lays out the proper technique for installing this feature.
Note: Header photo by Bill Rogers. Photo originally included as part of TATC's Crew Briefing Booklet.
Broader Relevancy and Engaged Partners Intern
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Based out of Asheville, NC
Biology Student, University of North Carolina Asheville, in Asheville NC