Hitchcock Woods open after weeks of debris cleanup

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Friday, Feb. 28th, 2014

Aiken, SC (WRDW)- "We got the chain saws out and had to cut our way down south boundary," said Bennett Tucker.

The first thing crews did after the storm was close access points into Aiken's Hitchcock Woods.

"For folks out here using the woods if somebody were to get hurt then we would not be able to get to them," said Tucker.

Just a two man crew working to clear more than 70 miles of trails.

"10 to 12 hour days, everyday," said Eric Grande.

Bennett Tucker and Eric Grande were back out today. Cleaning debris, chopping down snapped branches, and riding through the trails to see what needs to be done.

Some trails were completely blocked off by downed trees following the ice storm, but now they are passable. Even more debris will be cleaned out over the next few weeks.

"80 percent of the trails are passable at this point, and we still have a little more work to do, but at least people can get back out here and enjoy the woods again," said Tucker.

Sam Cato and her dogs were out for a walk today. The same day the trails reopened.

"I am thrilled to death after spending more than a week walking five dogs on leashes and being dragged all over town like a mad woman," said Cato.

Cato is a regular in hitchcock woods, and is glad they're open again.

"I hadn't realized how important the woods were to my daily routine.
Spending part of the day with horses and dogs," said Cato.

"We're just happy to have the woods back open for the users," said Grande.

Tuckers says they've had a lot of people wanting to come out and help with the storm clean up, but he says they have to have professionals out for safety reasons. If you want to help you can make a contribution to the Hancock Woods Foundation, and all their contact info in on their website.