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Latest Hunters Conditions
Rode out there tonight. Bike came back cleaner than it went out. Trails in good shape that I rode (sticking to the well drying ones). Only Mirkwood seems to have been taking a beating since I last rode here in mid July (I'm sure some of the poor draining stuff looks ugly).
If is doesn't rain tonight or tomorrow, you'll be doing youself a disservice if you don't get out there tomorrow night!
-HC Trails were great on 8/19, murkwood was in its best shape all year. I did see a couple of amateurs flopping down devils backbone a couple times. I think they were going straight to thier chiropractor.
Rode Hunter's Sunday 8/15 and all the trails were in pretty good shape. Puddles here and there but not too much squishy stuff. The swamp was swampy but even Murkwood was in good shape. Watch out for the slimy creek bottom if you come off the goat trail and down to the creek. Crossing is dicey. There is a pretty good washout on the pink trail to the west of the service road. It sneaks up on you and will eat you and your bike if you don't see it.
Rode at HC Sunday 8/8 and is drying, (that's after 4 days of no rain) but still have to stick to the known dry trails. Mirkwood has taken a beating this year and is the only North bound trail that can be used other than the hardened road, but most riders seem to be riding down the center of trails so they aren't getting wider, just deeper.
I dug out a couple of rocks that were acting as a dam and dug a little channel to give the uphill flow of water a place to go downhill. The more I ride there the more I see how in effective and actually detrimental flat rocks are in low seeps or drainage area's. Of course thanks to IMBA's school, we all know that now.
A couple of people there asked me when the next trail work day is there.
Any plans yet John?
Rode HC Thurs night after work- dry trails dry- wet trails wet- some really wet-actually walked a ways on one as it was too wet to ride (near pipeline)
Don't ask me what one- we just wander aimlessly.
Mommy- theres a root on the trail! Make it go away! I want my Binkie
Thanks for the update Kevin. I was at the movies Sunday evening during the storm, so didn't know how much rain came. I guess we got less around here than up in Buffalo. Things were pretty good tonight, although flat stuff still wet in many places. Pray for the T-storms to miss us tonight and tomorrow.
North of the intersection, the rescue "road" would switchback to the east of what you are describing. After that, it would follow the route of the FLT since that is the only route that doesn't follow boundaries.
The Eagle scout trail is actually N, which is a self contained loop, although currently, there is a dowhill trail entering it from the muddy boundary trail shown as a gray dash.
Note, the map isn't quite correct in that J and N start out together, and then split. I'll have to fix that.
Boy was I bamboozled by the rain we received in the Northtowns on Sunday night (7/4), I was planning on riding HC Monday (7/5) but figured record rains would make it impossible. So I thought I would hike the lower / Eastern part instead and check in on the new Tranquility trail (N).
Boy was I wrong , and no bike in the bike rack . It was easily rideable conditions. To bad (N) is for Horses and Hikers only now (even though there are bike tracks there, but no signs so can't blame anyone for not noing) it's a nice lttle loop. The second stone crossing put in place during IMBA's visit heading up the trail on (J) is history and is now a 3 foot deep pile of washout material (limbs, stones, leaves etc.). I hiked the (N) loop and then (J) up to the pipeline and (M) back around to (J) and back down, and did a small section of Corduroy so not all was lost for not having the bike.
Jon, glad to hear your comments about (C) & (H) I tried to ride it last week including what you have as dashed lines and swore never to try it again, which is what I swore to do last year. It reminded me of your description of Golden Hill which you said had great "flow", there ain't no flow to (C) and a great part of (H) thats for sure.
I don't think that the emergency access road will hurt any single track unless I'm misunderstanding and you might mean the dotted line you have above (J) which is an unmarked trail now. Because below that (intersection) to the parking lot is nothing but a wide road mess. It appears that the the Wales Fire dept drove a vehicle up that road for the biker that was airlifted and they have every right todo so. It really shouldn't be used as a trail but I counted 50 bike tire tracks through some of the mud holes. Unfortunately when most come to the lower lot for the first time there is no signage and they all head up that road which is the first visible access they see instead of the North end of the lot for the (J) trail.
No there isn't any signage for the Eagle Scout project trail "J" and IMHO isn't all that well marked on the South side of the loop.
Boy it would be nice to have another FOHC meeting with the county and get back on track.
Thanks Jon. The map was helpful. Hunter's Creek was very dry today (driest I've seen it in the past year)...I recommend everyone who's thinking of going to go before it rains on Sunday evening! From the new parking lot to the access road, I tried the pink trail, upper and lower red trails, srgt marks, and yellow. All were in primo condition.
Also, a quick "Thank You" to Santa Cruz John who took me out on the lower red trail today. I had a blast --- and don't worry about my chin, I'll heal...it was only 10 stitches!!!! D
Getting trails marked and maps out is something I've wanted to see for a long time. This goes back to the Friends of Hunters Creek planning sessions back before the master planning phase. See the old minutes (and my old comments!)
(formating seems to have gotten screwed up in the lounge conversion - I'll have to fix that someday).
Until things get OK'ed by a county-run FOHC meeting, no trail markings and maps etc. can be officially distributed. I am diasppointed that momentum on this has been lost. I am guessing that the city parks take over is taking a lot of their attention. I don't want to get upset with Jasinski since it is thanks to him that this park is now open to the public. But I hope this process can start up again.
In the meantime, I've gone ahead anyway and put up a provisional map here on the web site ( link here ) that shows most of the trails, and meets the requirement of the master plan to show fewer trails on the map. Actually, all trails are shown, but many are shown as very faint grey dashes.
The highlighted trails are just a stab (my stab) at designating trails that make sense to infrequent park users. Most of these are pretty sustainable too (but not all!). The highlighted trails also excludes for the most part boundary trails which are to be closed according to the master plan.
I arbitrarily lableled trails A through N. Since these trails were never officially named, everybody has their own favorite names for the trails, so I would tend to stay away from calling them specific names. The colors don't necessarily correspond to any blazing scheme. And there is currently more than just one, say, "blue" or "green" trail, so those designations don't mean anything.
None of this answers your question - it just explains why it is hard to answer it.
But I'll take a stab at explaining what is the good stuff. First of all, you don't need to park along the road at Centerline and Vermont Hill anymore. There is a new parking lot on Centerline just west of the bridge. Park there.
To stay on dry trails, I do loops - different ones every time (this is what is good about the many trail intersections at Hunters Creek!) that primarily include sections of the trails marked as A, B, D, J (only south of the pipeline, and the portion near wetland HO-3 is also slow drying), L and K (super dry and fun trails that hardly anybody rides!) and G. M is good too, but a little slower drying at its lowest point.
E and the section of F north of the pipeline are also on the greatest hits list. However, E is slower drying east of the creek (here it is known as Mirkwood to many, and is wetter than usual this year), and the east side of the creek is fun now but is so poorly laid out in sections that it will be trashed within a couple of years). F north of the pipeline is one of the nicest sections in the park, but getting to it, including sections marked F south of the pipeline are flat-ground wet spots.
I used to ride C and H more, but these are poorly laid out with lots of fall line sections. It is sad to see how what happens to unsustainably desinged trails. I much prefer the narrow stuff myself. E west of the creek will look like these trails in a few years if something isn't done.
Much of the trail mileage north of the pipeline on the east side is very super wet, at least until you get to where ground gets slopy (not sloppy!) again. Some parts are dry, but there are way too many 20-foot wide braided sections here. The master plan calls for there to be a hardened rescue-ATV accessible trail from the lower parking lot to the pipeline. This will wipe out some single track, which is bad. However, much singletrack has already been wiped out through trail widening. Trail N is the hiking-only trail called for by the Master Plan. An eagle scout did some work on this spring to prep it for this purpose. I don't think any signage has gone up yet, though.
Remember, this map is just my stab at a way to keep people from getting lost in the park, and to keep people on the drier trails. There's nothing official about it. If enough people don't llike I'll take it down. But many people would like to get a map of this place.
can you be more specific regarding which trails are good? I usually enter HC above the parking lot on town line rd (?) at the intersection with vermont hill rd. Have you been on: Srgt Marks, Yellow, Pink, Red?
Also -- a more random question...there's a trail marked with a large wooden blue sign (similar to the srgt marks sign)...do you know if that trail is a loop --- and how long it is? Since I usually go alone, I want to avoid getting lost or ending up at the other side of the park.
Riding on the dry trails was great tonight. Who'd a thunk it after seeing how wet it was in Allegany, and then getting quite a bit of rain in Buffalo Monday and Tuesday during the day. Well, guess what, Hunters just got a short shower or two each of these days. My bike came back cleaner than it went out, which isn't saying too much after the weekend in Allegany.
Not that Hunters is all dried up. Just like US politics these days, the trail conditions are quite polarized. Stuff that is designed and built right, such as stuff on contours, at edges of ravines, and just plain has good drainage off the side of the trail is very dry. Stuff on flat ground where there there is no place for the water to run off to is very wet and muddy. I hope the FOHC meetings start up again soon so that a signage program can get implemented so people know which trails have which conditions.
I looked at the trails north of the pipeline for the first time this year. Didn't really ride them much though. The conditions around the boardwalk area are as bad as I ever have seen them. It would appear that some people are actually riding up from the lower parking lot. I can see of no possible reason why anyone would ride from the lower parking lot. The purple trail there is now hiking only (though not marked as such yet), and the rest of the trails go straight up the hill to the unavoidable swamp. The trails there are 20 feet wide in spots.
Meanwhile, if you ride from the upper parking lot, you can ride on dry trails for hours without retracing your route, and stay the whole time on good, narrow, dry technical stuff. I am probably preaching to the choir here, but help get the word out that the upper parking lot is the way to go.
Rode Hunters for the first time in about ten years this morning. Tried to stay on the orange/j trail as much as possible but got a little lost. It gets a little confusing in spots but I was able to find my way back to it. The trail was in good shape for the most part. The area near the boardwalk was a little swampy but nothing like I remember when there use to be huge mud holes there. Kudos to those that have worked hard to improve the trails at hunters. Just a suggestion, some arrows would be nice feature at some of the trail intersections. This would let riders and hikers that are unfamilar with the trail system know where to go. Just a thought. Happy riding.
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