This is the best time of year for trail planning. Now that the leaves are off the trees and the views are opened up, you can see better through the woods to establish trails and destinations.
In my woods I had a few trees fall onto my trails, blocking them. They are too dangerous to cut right now as they are hung up on other trees or tree parts, so I will allow them to dry out and possibly fall loose from wind storms over the winter.
However, because these partial falls have blocked 2 of my trails and have inhibited safe passage on another, I have spent some time this week clearing new trails around the falls to provide safe access to the trails.
My one main trail on the East side of the woods is blocked with a jacknifed tree that has fallen top first down onto my trail. Therefore, walking back toward my house on that trail I notice that the animals were going around that fall and creating a "run" that would bring me out to my clearing by the pond.
There were lots of branches down on the run and some logs that needed to be moved, however, with very little effort and a couple hours of time, I was able to pick up and move aside the fallen branches and logs and clear a trail that in a round about way gave me new access to my trails around my partially fallen tree. This new trail also offers some new views and new areas access, mostly through an alder swamp. The new trail goes off to the East from my main trail that is blocked, all the way to the ditch that separates my woodsy area from a field we are allowing to revert to woods. I was able to clear a trail all the way to a road on the other side of the ditch, but will need to build a bridge over the ditch in that area for human crossing (deer don't mind jumping). Then I turned back around the direction I had come and realized that there was an opportunity for a trail to go off to the Southwest that would come out into our clearing just nort of the north bank of our pond. I worked that trail clearing it well to the clearing, pushing a lot of dead branches and wood out of my way. This will also give access to the deer from the run to our pond for their water needs.
So now there is a round about way to get to the field (once a bridge is put in) and to my main trail until I can get the falls cut down.
There is another fall that is hung up in trees OVER my trail back by the apple tree north of the horse barn, that will have to wait until spring to be cleared, as it is a large heavy tree and could fall and cause an injury, so that trail will remain closed until spring.
I had started a new trail from there to the east through the woods to a clearing in a swampy area in the center of our woods, but that won't be accessible either until that fall comes down, or I'll have to make another access trail to it. We'll see if an Indian summer gives me time to work on that later this fall...or not...a lot of work done this year on the trails so I'm satisfied and looking forward to spring so i can transplant a lot of my plants along my trails in the woods.
Also I put a lot of cuttings along the trails and threw berries and seeds out into the woods, so it will be interesting to see what cuttings take and what plants grow from seed and berries, in the spring.