Blue Mounds Potential

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And last but not least.......

August 19, 2014, 12:19 PM

Just wanted to give a shout out to Walt and whoever helped with some of the Blue Mounds trail work that was recently done with berms and such.  I think if there were even more relief points 'breaks from overly technical trail' perhaps it could get ridership up.

Blue Mounds is a state park with a ton of mtb potential that has a pool with showers, camping, and a lot of other amenities that just aren't present at other locations.  I usually only ride it once a year in the summer mostly cause I feel like I do not have the technical chops for it and that it always seems to be closed.

I am sure other people have had similar thoughts so I just wanted to post something for some visibility.  Is there anything we can do to get the trail to drain better and help with some of the road blocks for trail re-routing (I thought I heard Walt saying he was getting some resistance from the parks people)?


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Walt Hougas
Trail Steward - Blue Mound SP
To Be A Man...

August 19, 2014, 02:38 PM

Thanks for the recognition. I could not have done the dirt work without the help I got from Gary, Ryan, Curtis, Rich, and Rick in handling the overwhelming weed cutting job this year. Also, credit is due to everyone who turned out for the work day and helped rough in the boundary adjustment reroute.

I'm planning to make a presentation to the Friends of Blue Mound State Park this fall. What we need more than anything is (preferably) a professional with machinery to ditch and fill with gravel the parts of the beginner trail that are chronically wet in the spring. If I can get more time to talk, I want to make a pitch get financial support to reconstruct the current beginner trail plus Chert Dip and Serpentine Climb into a true beginner loop. I have come to believe that Blue Mound would benefit greatly from having one loop that almost anyone can ride. I'm willing to devote significant time to this, but it's a big undertaking and the process would go considerably faster if I got some professional help with it.

The boundary adjustment reroute in Holy Schist is a gamble and an experiment. I think Holy Schist would attract more riders if the downhills were more buffed. Already I've been put on notice not everyone is pleased, but I think most riders will enjoy the unfamiliar sensation of letting off the brakes a bit. The most challenging parts will be kept as is. Even if no one else is happy, this compromise will please me.

I am meeting with DNR official Jeff Prey next month to discuss the fate of the Pokerville trail loop. This is the issue that is still unresolved with the state, because it isn't in the variance to the master development plan. The beginner loop idea could be signed off by the park manager because it could be implemented by tread improvements coupled with some minor reroutes and would not require new trail.

Walt

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Nate W.
Club Raconteur

August 20, 2014, 09:08 PM

Walt, is the DNR still opposed to board walks as a means to get above and over those chronically wet areas?

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Walt Hougas
Trail Steward - Blue Mound SP
To Be A Man...

August 21, 2014, 06:20 AM

Walt, is the DNR still opposed to board walks as a means to get above and over those chronically wet areas?

Hi Nate,

I'm not sure about the acceptability of board walks. I haven't asked.

I don't know how the costs compare between turnpiking and board walks. It seems like board walks should be cheaper and faster to install.

How do you like the turnpiking that has been done?

I know a lot of people are highly impressed with board walks, but I am worried about putting in several hundred yards of them, then having to go back and do it over again in 5-10 years.

Do you think board walks are newbie-friendly? Good for dog walkers?

Walt

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Nate W.
Club Raconteur

August 21, 2014, 07:12 AM

Hey Walt,

Lots of good questions there...I'm not sure I know the answer to them.  I've just spent a week riding in the land of board walks (Copper Harbor and Duluth) and it was at the front of my mind.  I only really noticed it because we were on a seemingly brand-new trail in Duluth that had a bunch of short board walks over wet areas and we got to a point where the wood wasn't installed yet and the wet spot was pretty evident.

It seems to me that board walks would be easier to install, but that is based on helping with some of the turnpiking...I've yet to help with wooden features.  I have no idea about cost.

I think the turnpiking is just fine...there is a bit of it at 9 Mile in Wausau also that seems to be holding up and working well.

I'd be concerned about replacement of the wood also.  Remember that Copper Harbor has a full-time payed trail crew in the summer months.

If they were wide enough and boards closely spaced, I think the board walks would be perfectly usable by hikers and pooches.

It's probably a wash between the two methods once you consider the replacement cost and effort of rotting wood.

 

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JHenry
Technical Terrain (TTF) Crew

August 21, 2014, 08:50 AM

Hey Walt,

Lots of good questions there...I'm not sure I know the answer to them.  I've just spent a week riding in the land of board walks (Copper Harbor and Duluth) and it was at the front of my mind.  I only really noticed it because we were on a seemingly brand-new trail in Duluth that had a bunch of short board walks over wet areas and we got to a point where the wood wasn't installed yet and the wet spot was pretty evident.

It seems to me that board walks would be easier to install, but that is based on helping with some of the turnpiking...I've yet to help with wooden features.  I have no idea about cost.

I think the turnpiking is just fine...there is a bit of it at 9 Mile in Wausau also that seems to be holding up and working well.

I'd be concerned about replacement of the wood also.  Remember that Copper Harbor has a full-time payed trail crew in the summer months.

If they were wide enough and boards closely spaced, I think the board walks would be perfectly usable by hikers and pooches.

It's probably a wash between the two methods once you consider the replacement cost and effort of rotting wood.

The boardwalks at CH are bunked for the most part. Meaning that cedar trees within close proximity to the trail were harvested bucked into pieces slightly longer than the boardwalk is wide. The boardwalk is then constructed on top. This method was used for the boardwalk in the section of Outback that was closed. We used telephone poles as our bunks and built 8' sections at the garage then trailered them to the site. We had a crew of 8-10 and completed 110' in one day. Cutting the treads took the longest but all in all I think offsite construction took one full day. We were really happy with the results. We anchored each 'log' section with one or two pieces of 4' rebar. Pretty tough to do with rock. I would imagine anything over 2' is heavy enough to rely on gravity though.

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Gary S
Board Member, co-Trail Steward Blue Mound SP
Administrator

August 21, 2014, 09:29 AM

I'm not a big fan of board walks, but aside from that, i believe the current variance specifically states the trail be natural surface, which I take to mean dirt or rock or even logs from the area, and not processed lumber. Perhaps the new master plan will include different language, but we haven't asked for it and I'm not sure they would just throw that in on their own. I suppose it might be nice to have the option. Ideally either board walk or turnpikes are kept to a minimum. I'm pretty happy with the current turnpiking and see it as easier to do. Even more so with a machine.

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G
And last but not least.......

September 02, 2014, 12:14 PM

Walt that would be great to get the beginning of the trail to drain better.  :D  It seems that I am busy every time there is scheduled trail work there but I would like to help.

Would there be any interest in having a Winter Corpfest type event out there this winter?  With that nice warming shelter right there, ample parking, and great winter riding I think it has the potential to be a really fun event.

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XXX

September 02, 2014, 01:36 PM

I'd love to help put on that kind of event.

I had been toying around with an enduro style event out there, which would be cutting it close with the length of the downhills, but doing it in the winter would be just the thing to stretch out the downhill runs.

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