XC volunteers

Members of the Lincoln Academy Cross Country team, along with parents, teachers, and Coach Garrett Martin, stand on one of the new bog bridges on the LA Cross Country course.

The Lincoln Academy Cross Country trails are a series of paths through the woods across Academy Hill from the main LA campus. The trails start and finish from the parking lot for the LA tennis courts and new John Bowers baseball field. They are used by the LA Cross Country Team during the fall season, and by various academic classes and clubs throughout the school year. Neighbors often walk the trails as well.

“The trails have a long history, and a wonderful legacy at LA,” said Lincoln Academy Cross Country Coach Garrett Martin. “In 2016 we started making improvements: adding some connecting trails, removing downed trees, and clearing sections that had become overgrown. This spring Andrea [Kushgarian] and Margery [Kelly] planned and constructed the first bog bridge with their students during Eagle Term. They graciously offered to work with members of the team this weekend to continue that work so that the trails are in tip top shape when school starts this fall.”

During Eagle Term in May students and teachers built an 80 foot stretch of bridge just behind the baseball dugouts over a particularly muddy area. On July 16, members of the cross country team and their parents gathered for a morning of trail work completing two more bridges totaling 40 feet, plus several drainage ditches.

Levi McAtee, senior captain of the team, said, “There is something satisfying about building a bridge.”

The plan is to build one more bridge and make other improvements before the Cross Country season officially begins in mid-August.

“It was fantastic working alongside school faculty whom I did not know previously and to learn that they are invested in the LA cross country course,” said rising senior and cross country runner Tommy Thelander.

Coach Martin made a point of saying that improvements will make the trails more functional for both runners and walkers to use year around. “Cross country runners do love an occasional ‘shoe-sucking bog,’ but the trails have been pretty muddy in recent years. It was time for some trail work, for sure. We really appreciate Andrea and Margery’s initiative and the work of their students earlier this year. Many hands makes light work and that was certainly the case this past weekend given the number of kids and parents who showed up to pitch in. The team’s stewardship of the trails builds community and provides direct benefits. It also makes Lincoln a more attractive venue for both competitions or a leisurely stroll through the woods. We look forward to the coming season!”