Need help with trail upkeep (Burdocks)


September 05, 2020, 12:24 AM

Pros of being legit:
  • Money from CORP budget for tools and annual maintenance.
  • Better organization/communication through CORP channels.
  • Some assurance that the trails will be around and continue to be maintained.
  • Potential ability to do larger, funded projects.
  • Trail listed on CORP page with conditions, so more wheels, hopefully more volunteers.  The East Side is definitely a trail desert, and a surprising number of people don't know about the Burdocks; just getting them on the web page would increase awareness quite a bit.

Cons of being legit:
  • It's possible that the land manager/owner doesn't want trails there and doesn't know they are there, and it ends up being a sleeping dog we shouldn't have woken (this is pretty unlikely; it's hard to believe they don't know, and we have a good track record of working with land managers and crafting agreements that work for both parties).
  • Land manager and/or their lawyers may have issues with and/or ideas about what trails should look like.
  • For it to really work better than it does now, someone will have to be in charge; of trail conditions, of interacting with the land manager, of dealing with other users and sometimes telling people what they can and can't do.  That all takes more time and commitment than just showing up when you have some free time.
  • Some of the cool, organic, hobo vibe goes away.  It's actually pretty easy to keep most of this, but for some people, especially who have been using and caring for the trails for a long time, this may be a sticking point.  We will get accused of trying to "take over" the trails if we move ahead.

We went through this a few years ago at Quarry Park, and I think most will agree that it has worked out for the best.  Instead of cycles of a couple years of decent maintenance followed by a couple years of neglect, then a bunch of work to try to bring it back, it's consistently in great shape, a lot more people are riding there, we've got a really good relationship with the City and with the other users of the park, and it still has a pretty unique feel.

As far as an "Other Trails" section of the website, that's a tough call.  Drawing more attention and riders to trails that aren't supposed to be there isn't necessarily in the best interest of the trail.  Whether the land manager doesn't know they are there, or does and is choosing to look the other way, keeping it on the down-low is often the best approach.  On the other hand, we don't get a ton of traffic outside the mountain bike community, so that may not be much of a risk.

Bottom line for me is, it would be good for the trails, good for the riders currently using them, and good for the local community to bring the trails above board, but it will require someone, or hopefully a few people, to put in a little time, first going to meetings and emailing and such, and then organizing work sessions and maintaining the relationship with the landowner.  It's not as glamorous as trimming weeds and digging in the dirt, but it's worth it to see the trails in better shape and more people riding them.

Thank you augs.

I suppose another pro is that much needed signs could be put up to urge a direction of travel.
Today I almost collided twice with the same MTBer who seemed to have a "Devil may care" attitude of riding in whatever direction on whatever trail he felt like at the moment while I was riding in what I believe is the direction of travel that makes the most sense. 
Signs may upset these kinds of "Whatever" riders but safety should be above that. 

As you point out with them being sorta secret is an appeal. I hesitated sharing them on here for as long as I could until I couldn't tolerate the neglect of basic maintenance any longer or where there were needs that would have, IMO, required power tools to deal with it.
For me I like the Burdocks because they are the closest ones where I can actually ride my MTB to them as opposed to driving a Death Monster to other trails that are farther away even though driving gets me to better trails.
The Burds has a couple of turns that are, IMO, just really sharp and tight and there are two places where it goes really tight to maneuver between trees. I get it that someone is trying to make these natural obstacles fun but I don't think it was very well planned. 
If they were official then perhaps those tight turns could be improved for a better flow.
Until that can be dealt with, if ever, in the meantime it could use another trimming and there is a fallen branch that now blocks part of one of the smaller off shoot trails where it would require a chainsaw to make it passable again.
If power tools is frowned upon then one of those really huge two man lumberjack saws or an ax would suffice.
And then there is the overgrowth of "weeds" that could use a really good trimming in a lot of areas.
If anyone wants to help let me know right here and what tools you have and can bring. 
I plan to be there on Sat. Sept 12th. at 1pm.
If you cannot be there let me know and we will coordinate it so we can work on this together.
If I do not get any response to help then I will have to get a weed trimmer and other tools and go at it myself.
I know there is some objection to using power tools but if I am alone then I will feel that I don't have much of a choice at taming this jungle.

Since I have a lot of free time I'd be willing to do what it takes to turn these trails into official ones.
Where and how do I start?

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XXX

September 11, 2020, 05:28 PM

Updates:
I put out a suggested call for working on this trail on Sat 9/12 at 1 pm.
So far, no response.
If anyone wants to meet and work on this trail let me know and we can do it that way.
Otherwise if you have the tools and the time just go for it.

I called the local hardware store to see if they have a weed trimmer for rent.
No dice.
I do have a manuel weed whacker but I just do not feel like I would have the time and energy for doing the whole trail with it.
The only way I would be motivated for weed trimming with manuel tools is if there can be a good number of workers.
Or else if I could perhaps borrow one from anyone who can lend it.
Letting me know here or email is optional.

As for the fallen branches that are blocking the paths:
The store does have an ax that I could rent for cutting at least one of the fallen branches that is blocking the path. 
Or if you have a chain saw and want to help I would like to meet so I can show you where they are unless you happen to already know.
And I could help with moving the logs after you cut.

In case this got lost in the shuffle before:
If there is no objection I have the time and am willing to do what it takes to turn these into official trails.
Let me know where and how to start the process.

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« Last Edit: September 11, 2020, 05:50 PM by RedStrong »

XXX
augs
President
Board Member

September 12, 2020, 08:05 AM

I'm not sure how big the trees are, but you can do more than you think with a decent handsaw.  I have one of these, which I figured would be passable, but has turned out to be a great tool; small enough to fit in a riding pack, makes quick work of anything up to 4" diameter, and with a little patience and determination can handle 6".  Step up to a bigger Silky or a Fiskars, and you'll wonder why anyone lugs around a chainsaw.  Some trail workers swear by a sharp hatchet, too. 


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XXX

September 12, 2020, 04:22 PM

There are two fallen branches that are blocking two different paths.
One of them is on the ground on an MTB path and the other is at an angle still attached to the tree blocking a bike or hike thru way.
I plan to rent an ax very soon for the one on the ground. 
As for the other, I believe it wood take a saw bigger than what you suggested and I am not sure about swinging away and chopping at that one.
I may at least give it a try but I'm under the impression that axes are only meant for wood that is horizontal and vertical.
If you object to us citizens using chain saws any suggestions for anyone of county parks to call about it would be welcome.

And it's not like the county is unaware of this land.
There is a section where they dump natural waste such as cut logs, brush, dirt etc.

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XXX
augs
President
Board Member

September 12, 2020, 07:48 PM

I wasn't suggesting that you shouldn't use a chainsaw, only suggesting alternatives if you can't find one.   

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XXX

September 14, 2020, 09:55 AM

I don't have much in the way of tools (I have tools for construction but not landscaping), but I can provide labor

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XXX

September 14, 2020, 11:43 AM

If anyone is interested in meeting up Saturday the 19th around 11am to do some trail work, let me know.  I have a bow saw, loppers and a weed whip.  also I will try to gather some people or at least their tools if we can get a few of us out there.  It would be a good chance to meet up, exchange numbers and maybe talk about teaming up to make the trails legit.  Also, having a group text in addition to posting here maybe a more effective way to get stuff going and get stuff done.

I will try to scout out Downed trees that Redstrong has mentioned and see if a bow saw would do the trick.  I know someone from the community that has  an electric chainsaw that we could potentially get out there if thats what it takes.

Saturday looks like it will be a nice cool day so hopefully the mosquito's will stay away.  If another day or time works for others feel free to suggest something.

-Cory

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XXX

September 18, 2020, 11:33 AM

Thanks for organizing the trail work on the 19th. Unfortunately I can't make it but I had some free time and I haven't contributed in a long time so I did a little work out there this morning. The trails looked good and there were very few mosquitoes. A few notes:

  • I cut down the branch across the blacktop trail and moved it out of the way.
  • I cut down the big branch across the trail in the middle of the park. When someone stronger or a group is there they can drag it off the path.
  • There was another tree down across the new trail near the national guard fence. I didn't cut this one up because I was out of time.
  • If someone wants to do some cutting there is a small yellow bow saw that is always at the park. I last saw it hanging from a tree near the bmx style trail area.
  • Of the trails I walked, the old trails just seemed like they needed a few branches trimmed with a loppers. The trails from this year are overgrown already and will need more work.
  • If someone could bring a garbage bag there is broken glass on the trail next to the baseball fields. Otherwise not much garbage.
  • There is a bicycle parking sign and post next to the trail. I can't help but assume this is stolen. This makes us look bad. If it is stolen and the person who put it there is reading this please put the sign back where you found it.

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XXX

September 19, 2020, 09:52 AM

I haven’t got much feedback on getting together for some trail work, so I may not make it out there until a little later.  I must have just missed you yesterday  Justin,  I was Able to get the rest of the downed tree off the trail in the central area As well as another downed tree on the newer section Of the trail.  I weed whipped the new trails Along the north-East of the area, but didn’t get the entirety of it.

I’ll update here on any work I get done as I’m sure others will too.

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XXX

September 22, 2020, 01:26 AM

I wasn't suggesting that you shouldn't use a chainsaw, only suggesting alternatives if you can't find one.

OK thanx.

Could you please send me an email to the address I gave you?
All the letters in the address are lower case.

I wanna run a couple  of things by you that we touched on Sunday re: Burdox.

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XXX

September 23, 2020, 12:17 AM

Thanks for organizing the trail work on the 19th. Unfortunately I can't make it but I had some free time and I haven't contributed in a long time so I did a little work out there this morning. The trails looked good and there were very few mosquitoes. A few notes:

  • I cut down the branch across the blacktop trail and moved it out of the way.
  • I cut down the big branch across the trail in the middle of the park. When someone stronger or a group is there they can drag it off the path.
  • There was another tree down across the new trail near the national guard fence. I didn't cut this one up because I was out of time.
  • If someone wants to do some cutting there is a small yellow bow saw that is always at the park. I last saw it hanging from a tree near the bmx style trail area.
  • Of the trails I walked, the old trails just seemed like they needed a few branches trimmed with a loppers. The trails from this year are overgrown already and will need more work.
  • If someone could bring a garbage bag there is broken glass on the trail next to the baseball fields. Otherwise not much garbage.
  • There is a bicycle parking sign and post next to the trail. I can't help but assume this is stolen. This makes us look bad. If it is stolen and the person who put it there is reading this please put the sign back where you found it.

As always, thank you for all you do Justin!

Is the "blacktop trail" a shorter track that loops near the large hill entrance of the old trail?
There is also a crumbling stretch of asphalt that runs behind the backstop of that small park that could use some attention from the overgrown brush etc.

^ I wasn't suggesting that you have to trim that.
Just add it to the "Honey do" list for anyone who wants to clip it.
 

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« Last Edit: September 23, 2020, 04:02 AM by RedStrong »

XXX

September 23, 2020, 04:08 AM

I haven’t got much feedback on getting together for some trail work, so I may not make it out there until a little later.  I must have just missed you yesterday  Justin,  I was Able to get the rest of the downed tree off the trail in the central area As well as another downed tree on the newer section Of the trail.  I weed whipped the new trails Along the north-East of the area, but didn’t get the entirety of it.

I’ll update here on any work I get done as I’m sure others will too.

Thanx for all your work on it Cory!
Much appreciated.

I had other plans last Sat.
Though I agree that perhaps we could create a list (Would have to be email for me since I don't have a cell.) for interested trail workers and put out suggested dates/times  to be there well in advance so folks can schedule it.
Sats are prob. going to be best since it is now Packers Sunday unless the time is before or after a game.

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XXX

September 23, 2020, 08:02 AM

Is the "blacktop trail" a shorter track that loops near the large hill entrance of the old trail?
There is also a crumbling stretch of asphalt that runs behind the backstop of that small park that could use some attention from the overgrown brush etc.

The trail I was thinking of is the one behind the backstop in Carpenter-Ridgeway Park. It runs in a straight line nearly from the Starkweather Creek Path to Carpenter Street.

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XXX

September 23, 2020, 01:02 PM

Is the "blacktop trail" a shorter track that loops near the large hill entrance of the old trail?
There is also a crumbling stretch of asphalt that runs behind the backstop of that small park that could use some attention from the overgrown brush etc.

The trail I was thinking of is the one behind the backstop in Carpenter-Ridgeway Park. It runs in a straight line nearly from the Starkweather Creek Path to Carpenter Street.

OK so that is the latter one I also mentioned.

Thanx for clarifying.

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XXX

September 23, 2020, 08:13 PM

Today (9/23/20) I did some work and riding on the Burdocks.

Here are some notes on what I experienced:

I checked out an offshoot trail that is being reclaimed by nature that is off the newer ones that runs by the Natl Guard fence and it goes up to Carpenter St.
I am going to request that for now we leave this trail alone of riding and trimming unless further discussion on a decision is needed.
I think it should be left alone because:
1`) Why not give a little back to nature?
2) If it becomes an entrance/exit to the trails the neighbors might not like to see cars parked along the street.
3) There is already another entrance/exit to the trails off of Carpenter St anyway.

I managed to move by pulling a huge branch out of the way from one of the small looping trails which makes it easier going up that hill again. (Yay me! And you are welcome.) 

Someone had hung up three old bicycle helmets and in two of them put in potted plants. I dunno how to feel about such "decorations."
I saw the bicycle parking sign that was mentioned earlier and I agree about it not belonging there.
It is in what I call "The Funky Corner" which has a cow skull and other bones nearby as well as toys in the branches.
In another place someone has put up a bunch of dolls on a branch ("The Barbie Tea Party")
On the one hand it's kinda cute.
On the other, do we want to remove as many signs of plastic in nature as possible?
Perhaps a lot of this stuff can be cleaned, sanitized and donated to Goodwill if consensus agrees it shouldn't be there.

I met another rider who lives just minutes away and it was his first time there so I would say there is a demand for E.Side official trails.
He grabbed the shovel and was working on a jump.

There are now two huge tree obstacles right next to each other that are blocking the outermost loop on the East side of the new trails.
(As you enter with your back to Starkweather Path look to the left to see the small entrance that will take you to the blockage.)
It will take either a chainsaw or lots of time, energy and commitment with a handsaw to remove these.
I have some ideas of some folks to ask about a chainsaw.
If anyone knows where they can get one or if anyone takes it on with any saws at all please post it here.
 

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