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Latest Hunters Conditions
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.
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.
If you haven'r ridden there recently, try to get out tonight for a ride there instead of Sprague Brook. If you ride ofrm 6 to 7:30, you can still make it over to Pizza Glen in Glenwood for the 8:15 meeting.
The forecast calls for T-storms for the next couple of days. I hope they miss us.
z06ontrack wrote: I really didn't plan on doing any trail work but you know how that goes, so what I did (Corduroy) was meant as a temporary fix knowing that we had a trail day at H.C. coming up this week. I didn't really want to use the larger stuff that was there which was meant to disquise the old trail.
Don't get me wrong - the work was great. That part was a mess and now it is in great shape. Now that things are drying out (although we had some rain last night), this section should now get back to being dry and narrow like we like it. Thanks for the good work.
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