5 Things You Should Know About Wayne Fogg
Meet Wayne Fogg: the extraordinary volunteer
giving thousands of hours to our Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails
and how you help him.
There are good volunteers. There are great volunteers. And then there is Wayne Fogg.
Wayne is quirky, different, and fun, consistently giving over 1,000 hours a year (frequently 2,000 hours) in volunteer service to the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails. (Fact #1:) He is perennially the volunteer with the most hours.
Wayne only started hiking in his early 40s (Surprising Fact #2!). As he hiked the Blue-Blazed Trails in the early 2000s, he was disturbed by conditions on some trails.
Wayne, together with the Rock Stars, uses a pulley system to place a rock for a stream crossing. These rocks can weigh several hundred pounds!
“As he hiked the Blue-Blazed Trails, he was disturbed by conditions on some trails.”
Not one to sit idly by or not express himself, (Fact #3, he joined in 2003!) he volunteered to help, became a Trail Manager, and joined the Trails Committee.
Wayne is best known for his work in creating and managing the Rock Stars, a group of volunteers who use block and tackle (and brute strength when needed) to move large rocks. (Fact #4: Why choose guitars when there are shovels?!) They improve trail safety and access by building stone staircases, retaining walls, and stepping stones. And he shares his knowledge by helping train others—including the Connecticut Woodlands Conservation Corps.
Because of selfless people like Wayne, the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail Network is maintained and safer. Your ongoing support makes it possible for volunteers to do their great work.
Thank you for continuing to support our trail volunteers and Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails, and thank you, Wayne.
Fact #5: Wayne loves to wear bright colored shirts on the trails! That’s how he got his trail name “Parrot”.
SPECIAL BONUS FACTS FROM WAYNE FOGG!
The rocks must be at least 150 to 300 lbs. It’s a physics thing – mass vs. mass. If you don’t want the rocks to move when people step on them, they must weigh almost as much as they do.
We build things way out in the woods. Far from where you can get equipment with gas-powered motors. Can you imagine what a backhoe or a “bobcat” (a small, one-man tractor with a scoop on the front) would do to our precious woods? We must move these 150-plus pound rocks with just stuff we, ourselves can carry in (and out)… maybe for miles.
Since we can’t possibly use any gas-powered equipment, all of the equipment must be powered by… us (a bunch of old, retired, men and women).
How do we do it? Well, we rely on techniques and tools developed in the past and set aside and forgotten during modern times. Like building retaining walls without the use of mortar. This has been done for centuries and the technique is just making its way back.
We “repurpose” modern tools like the grip hoist (a type of winch that can multiply our strength by a factor of 20) or children’s snow sleds which are remarkably effective in moving 100 lb rocks. We research and use the techniques our forefathers used. We use the math we learned in high school to understand why these things work and how we can develop some innovative techniques to be even more effective, and safe.
There is some specialized equipment involved. The grip hoist costs about $2,000 and requires about another thousand or two in support equipment. Hell, a pair of hammers used for shaping rocks cost about $350. A specialized rock chisel costs about $80. Okay, the snow sleds… we often get them for free from former parents, and some of our ropes are old ropes from climbing gyms, but a new rope, good enough for “flying” rocks (moving a rock on a high line), will run about $300 per 100 feet and ours are about 250 feet long. And the Rock Stars? Well, their talent, their hard work, their knowledge, their innovative spirit… all free.
All of our rocks are locally grown and locally sourced, and we never use antibiotics… Ever! We work with nature. We don’t try to overpower it.
Each year, hundreds of incredible volunteers give their labor freely to keep the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails
safe and accessible. They do this because they care—and because you care.
By becoming a Conservation Champion, you help keep our trails open by providing crucial, reliable financial support to the Connecticut Forest & Park Association’s trail maintenance program. It’s easy—all it takes is one donation of any amount per month.
With donors like you, world-class Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails are possible. Thank you for helping us keep our trails open and beautiful!
Become a champion at ctwoodlands.org/donate
❤️ CFPA relies on donor support to fulfill its mission. Thanks for creating a lifetime of fun outdoors.