The Fairfield Loop Trail is a nearly 16-mile path that circles the town and is perfect for walkers, runners and cyclists who wish to enjoy the great outdoors.
What users of the trail may not know is that its pristine condition is thanks to the work of one man, who has made it his mission to keep the trail in tip-top shape.
Fairfield resident Bob Hunerdosse has been an integral player in the trail’s development since its beginning 23 years ago.
Hunerdosse, now 73, was the Jefferson County Trails Council’s first and thus far only treasurer, a position he still holds. He is an avid trail user. Hunerdosse loved to run on gravel while training for marathons, He has run 70, plus another six 50-mile runs.
For the past 15 years, Hunerdosse has donated his time toward cleaning up the trail by clearing honeysuckle vines or tree branches that grow too close to the path. In the warm weather months, Hunerdosse can be found on the trail about every other day with his hedge clippers or weedeater pruning away. He said the worst area, that he’s spent this past summer on, is the area between Lamson Woods on the southeast edge of town and the driving range on the north side of town. In the winter, Hunerdosse takes a saw to the honeysuckle bushes, which he avoids in the summer due to ticks and poison ivy.
Hunerdosse said that he’s now working on the section of the trail between B Street and the driving range, which he said looked like a “tunnel” when he started. He said he began clearing the trail for “selfish” reasons, because he felt claustrophobic going through the thick trees and brush north of Walton Lake. Now, he hopes that other people are better able to enjoy the trail thanks to his efforts.
“It makes me feel good knowing I’m doing something for the trail,” he said.
– Andy Hallman