augs
President
June 12, 2022

It's that time of year again;  the weeds are tall, growing fast, and taking some of the fun out of our excellent trails.  Almost all of our trail maintenance is done by volunteers, and that could be you!  Trimming is relatively easy, can be done with one or two people, and can be done whenever you have time.  We have the equipment, you just need to hook up with a trail steward for a brief training (10 minutes or so), and then you are off.  Check the links at the bottom of this message to get involved at your favorite trail.

One thing to remember is that weed trimming is not a detail operation; you need to cut back much more than it seems like you might at first glance;  if you leave the trails nice and rideable, between the fast growth and what falls back over the trail, in a couple days it will seem like you were never there.   

When trimming grass, prairie plants, and any non-woody growth, you need to trim as far back from the trail as the growth is high.  In other words, if the weeds are 3' tall, you will be cutting a swath about 7' wide (3' on each side plus 1' of trail).  Otherwise, the uncut growth will grow and fall into your corridor and quickly crowd the trail again.  You can do this by cutting low for the full width, or by tapering up at 45 degree angle, so that the plants  that tip over toward the trail still don't reach it.  This will seem like a lot, and will look  butchered when you are done, but come back in a week and it will look great instead of needing to be trimmed again.  If you can talk a friend into following you with a blower, that's great, but traffic will clear most of the trimmings off the tread in short order.  And don't forget to look up; there are many grassy/prairie sections that have a few trees around, and you want to get the face-scratchers while you are there.  Usually you can whack these off with the string trimmer, but it doesn't hurt to carry a small pruning shear for the occasional woody branch.

If you are trimming woody growth, again, trim much further back than you feel like you need to.  You don't want to leave the cut ends of small branches anywhere near eye-level on the trail.  Mostly what we are cutting around here is buckthorn and honeysuckle; you're not going to do them any harm by trimming deeply.

If done right, trimming only needs to happen 2 or 3 times a year, and shouldn't take up too much time, especially if we can spread the work around.  So instead of complaining about the weeds, grab a string-trimmer and make them pay for slowing you down on your last ride!

To find out more about lending a hand, email your local trail steward.  Or check out these threads:  Cross Plains, others are liable to pop up.

augs
President
May 18, 2022

The good folks at Capital Brewery are helping out once again, with Trailhead Ale on tap in the beer garden. It tastes good, it's refreshing, and a portion of the sales will be donated back to CORP to keep the trails in shape.  How's that for an easy way to give back?  Grab a pint, or take a growler home!
Gary S
Board Member, co-Trail Steward Blue Mound SP
February 10, 2022

For many years, CORP has had extensive plans to revitalize the mountain bike trail system at Blue Mound State Park. After much work done by tireless volunteers, these plans are ready to go!

The park contains some of the oldest and best-loved mountain bike trails in southern Wisconsin, and sections are showing their age, making what were designed to be challenging trails nearly impossible for many riders. In addition, the topography of the park means that some of these trails remain wet and closed longer than other local trails. The goals of this project are to rebuild the damaged sections in a sustainable fashion, to re-route the perennially wet sections, and to give less-skilled riders a way to enjoy the Blue Mound experience, all while keeping the "legacy" experience intact.

Trails happen through community partnerships. We need your help to make this project a reality. If you would like to make an online contribution to this project, or refer a friend or colleague, we would be grateful.

For more details, please visit:
give.madcitydirt.com/bluemound

78% raised of $163,000 Goal