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Upper Paugussett is Closed

Saturday, December 26, 2009

ATVs in Upper Paugussett State Forest

After skiing I drove down to the other trail head to see where the ATVs came from. The first thing I noticed was that the No Motorized Vehicle sign was torn down. It appears one set of tracks may have come from the north and the other set of tracks came from the south, which I would have to assume came from Bramble Trail.

Close up of the torn off sign

This is were the ATV(s) appear to be coming from

Intersection of Bramble Trail and Hanover Rd

Following the tracks they seem to be coming from the first house on the left

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Cross Country Skiing on the Gussy

Finally got out and took advantage of the last snow fall to blanket Upper Paugussett State Forest with 6 inches of powder. I should have skied on Sunday when we got the snow but just wasn't feeling it, not to mention it was 20 degrees and pretty windy. Above is the route I took today. The grey line is the approximation of the logging road because I forgot to turn on the GPS.

I started with a blaze orange, windstopper fleece jacket that I normally wear during hunting season but that got too hot, 15 minutes in. Went to a vest for another 15 and then took that off too. Stayed with the sweater, zip jersey, and riding shirt underneath. Couldn't find my long johns so I went with my riding tights and BDUs.

To give you an idea the route I took compared to how the trail is normally ridden I overlayed my last mountain bike ride on the Gussy and I have to say while it's a great trail to ride, it is not conducive to Cross Country Skiing. Still, it was worth spending two hours in the forest and getting an outstanding aerobic workout!

Doesn't look like that No Motorized Vehicles sign is having any impact! Looks like the kid on Bramble Trail had a field day on the Poly Brody. At least, that is my guess because I drove by the other end later and found ATV tracks leaving the forest in the direction of Bramble Trail. Also the first house on the left, on Bramble trail has quite a few ATV tracks around, not to mention on particular set exiting the property onto the road.

Yesterday, I saw a bunch of cars parked at the Pond Brook Boat Ramp and quite a few of them had bike racks. Looks like they had a great day of riding, too.

No ATVs on the Mulikin Trail so I went this way for the fresh powder and then took the little connector trail back to the Poly Brody. No way was I going to take it all the way down, that descent would be deadly on the skis.

At the Gussy Trail head (above) you can see where the bikes went in (or came out). The ATVs seem to have churned up a lot of leaves. They probably came through on Sunday, just after the snow.

No this is interesting. It would appear that the riders took the connector trail that NBLA made back in the day to the blue trail but all the signs that I saw further down pointed to riders coming up the Gussy Trail rather than riding down it. Could be they went both ways.

Snowshoes tracks

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

One more tweak before blazing!

Well it's high time I finish up the Gussy Trail so that I can move on to bigger and better things. I recently joined the town's Trail Committee and going to look at building an extension or feeder trail to the Gussy on some nearby, town open space. I am also looking at helping someone built a trail on some state land, also in Newtown, and if that isn't enough making an extension to the CT NEMBA's Rock & Roll Trail so that it links up with the Blue Trail that goes into South Pond.

As for the Gussy, it's high time I get out and blaze the trail because I am getting complaints from visitors that they can't find the trail to start or once on it, they can't follow it. I guess these riders shouldn't try riding the trails at Nassahegen then because they will be in for a shock.

Wednesday's ride was really fun because I rode up the trail on my Single Speed for the first time and I think I am going to start riding it this way more often because it certainly gives you a different perspective. The short climb past the armoring, that Tren and I did this spring, has been bugging me since day one and I think I have it figured out now.

When you pass through the two pines there is a nice swale with maybe a 3% slope heading up to a little hillock above the trail. On the other side of the hillock it's really flat with some nice rocks that could be fun to roll off of - kind of like a miniature golf course, only for bikes.

Going the opposite direction, I want to bring the trail through the two pines and then cut diagonally across the lower swale and bring the trail around the little basin to meet up with the existing trail right at the start of the bypass for the horses. Hopefully, I'll be able to move that tree to create a nice skinny and use some of the pieces Tom cut up as an up-and-over or an elevated corduroy.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Leaves are down

It seems like it's been a month or so since the last time I was on the Gussy Trail. Did a quick spin on it and it's looking great. With all the leaves down, though, it's really slippery. Also of note, I have heard through the grapevine that some trail riders came up to Newtown the other day but couldn't find the Gussy so it looks like I am going to have to finally blaze the trail. Look for that sometime this month or early next. Probably be green to stay constant with what has already been done.

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Fall on the Gussy

There are a lot of leaves down on the Gussy but it's still pretty dry. The leaves make things a little slippery though. Also, it looks like the Western Connecticut Orienteering Club is using the Gussy for one of their meets. I found three points on the trail.

Last time I went down the Gussy on a rigid bike I was on my Fetish 69er. This is my Soul Cycles Dillinger on it's innaugural ride.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tire Tracks on the Gussy?

Doesn't look like an ATV and it while it wouldn't be difficult to get a car up to this point, which is about 50 yards in from the Poly Brody, I think I would have noticed matted down grass on the way that a car, ATV or a tractor would make. Now that I think about it, my guess is that this mark belongs to some sort of hunter's contraption used to haul dead deer.

Not far from those tracks there was an Oak Tree limb down across the trail. At first I was wondering if I could make it into some sort of natural blocker but it wasn't shaped right.

Instead, I did what any good CT NEMBA Trail Ambassador would do, I cleared it away and opened the trail back up.

Seems there has been quite a bit of horse traffic lately and they are doing a much better job at curbing, too. In fact at one point it appears some piles were recently kicked off the trail.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Almost only counts in horsehoes and handgrenades ...

but it appears curbing your horse appears to be a new contender to that category. Perhaps it's the relationship to horseshoes that made the rider feel that they only needed to get off the trail a little bit. I appreciate the effort but next time I hope that rump is further off the trail.

By the way, the armoring on the stream crossing is really sweet!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Stream Armoring

I took my daughter, Katie, with me today to do some work on the Gussy Trail. I really wanted to finish the Pond Brook Connecter by armoring the stream crossing. First we went deep into the forest to a Rock Store to get a few flat rocks.

Then began the process of arranging them and getting them to fit just right. I found a few flat rocks nearby to supplement, too.

Not only were my boots and gloves wet from working in the water, I was drenched with sweat.

Two hourse later it was done. Now your disc brake rotor won't get wet crossing this stream.