Thursday, September 29, 2011

Connector Trail Progress

As most of the folks in the area are completely unaware of the new connector trail I figured I'd add some photos to introduce the new section of trail being completed as I write this. The trail will link the Visitors Center at the Seven Points Recreation Area, to Ridge Campground, and continue over to the Dark Hollow Trail on the Allegrippis Trails System.

Trail construction is currently following the same process as the original trails as not to take away from the quality and personality of the entire system. Long sweeping turns combined with cleaning spaced grade reversals will make this a great addition to the current 32 miles of trail.

This is one of the long open corridors where the trail will be constructed. Shannon Cotrell is off in the distance tying a flag to identify the intended path of the trail. Much of the area was recently timber harvested and was quite thick with tops of trees and logging left overs.
This Wednesday was the annual Day of Caring where we had 40 volunteer students come from the Huntingdon High School to assist in removing all of the slash and leaf matter from the surface of the new trail. This is done to eliminate the debris from the soil mix that will comprise the trail tread. If there is any amount of biomass trapped in the trail bed it begins to rot and cause pock marks, ultimately creating more work down the road.
The students followed the flags with their tools approximately 1/4 mile and really did a great job of what they where asked to complete. Sure there was some whining when it start to rain, but that's to be expected!

First pass with the SWECO mini-dozer cut a really nice bench in the soft clean slope. After a second pass with the dozer and a third with a stand behind rig, the trail will be completely roughed in. After the roughing in with machine, the five foot wide corridor will be ready for hand finishing. - Photos to follow

Sunday, September 25, 2011

wading through bicycles

I woke up everyday this week before the 6:00am buzzer sounded and sat there thinking of what bike was I to build, repair, or otherwise nurse back to health, or finish a pre-season (which I absolutely hat the concept of. So, that's my best reason for not keeping folks informed of the happenings on the trails. Below you will find a quick list of things happening at the trails that might actually matter to you.

Catch Up list:

1. Grant money from several sources (one of which is Specialized Bicycles) ] for contracting out a connector trail connecting the visitors center to the south end of the trails (Dark Hollow Tr.) is in the hands of the Alleghenies. The idea of the trail is to increase parking for the system, provide access to restrooms, provide direct campground access, provide direct interaction with the visitors center, and to get trail users off of Seven Points Road when accessing the trailhead.
2. DirtFest 2011 came and is gone. There was a awesome turn-out with 1500-2000 people estimated to have attended. This years festival had visitors from over 28 states and 3 countries. All profits from the event went directly back to the trail system. 20+ kegs were found empty. 8 houseboats where moored on Susquehannock Campground. Dates for next year have been announced May 18-20th of 2012.

3. The Friends of Raystown Lake (FRL,) our partnership is with this non-profit organization, will be taking over the operations of all the Seven Points Recreation Area campgrounds and Susquehannock Campground. This is part of an agreement with the Army Corps of Engineers in an effort to not only improve the campgrounds but also improve the end user experience at the facility. This will not directly affect the partnership that the Raystown Mountain Bicycling Association has with the organization nor will it directly impact the trail system.

4. Barrel Bay is set to be logged by a timbering company shortly (yes I know precise and I'm sure I'll get a few emails asking exacts...I don't know.) The logging will close a portion of the Barrel Bay trail looking like December. In a cooperative effort to mitigate the impacts of the logging on trail users, the ACoE allowed the use of a connector trail between the lower portion of Barrel Bay and up to Shade. This allows users more miles than if the entire trail had been closed.

5. Brock Lowery of Ironwood Outdoors will be coming up to cut the new connector trail to the visitors center (see #1) during the week of September 26-30th. In the following weeks volunteer labor will be used to do the finish work on the trail with the intentions of potentially opening the trail for use next spring (2012.)

And because I haven't tossed and good pictures of my most recent trips and you go. Enjoy.
Shannon Is right in the middle sorta to the left.
Connector Trail getting flagged...Shannon is somewhere down there.
Juniata College Inbound Group helping out with a small climbing berm. That also happens to be a member of the Raystown Mountain Bicycling Association Nicky Deak.

Juniata College BikeShare of the many reasons I haven't posted on this blog in over a month now. I think most of you will appreciate this one.
oh cool.....another picture of a bike in sunlight....yeah its cool because its the Karate Monkey.
The Bob Ibex Trail loaded with the mini STIHL brush chainsaw on the Salsa Fargo...perfect except the occasional downpours this morning.