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Monday, January 14, 2008

First Trail Marking Session

Went out today and starting marking the new trail from the Jeep Road off of Sanford Road to end of the ROW where the trail turns east. Not sure what to do at this point about the stone walls and horses. I will have to send a note to the DEP to see if they can be breached. The one partial breach that I have found works for a mountain bike, it's just an up and over.

Below is the existing trail that was part of the original trail proposal and since it might be hard to see the changes, I have added a blow-up.

I decided to re-route two sections of the trail. The turquoise section is the original routing and the gold represents the change. Extending this loop does two things, it adds more a direct shot when passing through the stone wall that is in this location and keeps the trail off of a swale in which I originally routed the trail up through, which would probably be more effected by erosion. Also, by removing this decline, it takes out the 90 degree turn you have to make you only have 10 feet to line up for the up and over on the stonewall. It's too easy to chicken out. At least with a longer approach, while the psyche factor increases you will have enough speed to hit it cleanly every time.

The other change, while hard to really see is that I am not getting rid of the Tunnel of Love. This is an up and over I built last spring after the Class I Tornado that ripped through Newtown and knocked out this big tree which knocked over another tree, effectively blocking the ROW. I went in by hand and chopped a section out of the trunk that was over the trail so that it would lay flat on the trail. Then I piled stones that were knocked off the stone wall when the trees toppled over to make the up and over. The reason I call it the tunnel of love is because there is another three of about 5 inches in diameter that got pulled over making an arch over of the trunks across the trail.

There is another benefit to this obstacle and that is it will keep out the ATVs. Of course since the trail has to stay on state land, I am going to have to cut an opening through the trunks further towards the base to allow horses and bikes to pass through. Then there will be another stone wall breach, another fallen tree to clear and then the trail makes a nice transition onto the ROW.

On the detail map you will notice a circle with a number one next to it. That is the start of this tremendous rock garden because that is essentially a wetland. Bikes can get through there, but I don't know about horses so we might have to find an alternative through here. On the way back, I happen to notice another breach in the stone wall on the east side of the trail. Unfortunately, I was running short of time and didn't have a chance to further explore it.

Not bad for 2 hours worth of work. Need to start bringing my camera and taking pictures of what areas that will need additional work, like benching and ramping.

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