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Thread: Kepler

  1. #1
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    Kepler

    =dusty and dope

    It's nice going out there and not getting lost anymore.
    "Having lack of self-preservation makes biking more fun."

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    One of these days I'll make it out there.

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    Have they(matsu parks and rec) made it to Victor Loop and cut out the downed trees yet??? There were about 6, most not rideable, about a week ago. When/if they do, hopefully they'll do a bit of brushing as well. It's quite a shame to have trails there that don't seem to be maintained because the powers that be don't think folks ride them...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Breaking Down View Post
    Have they(matsu parks and rec) made it to Victor Loop and cut out the downed trees yet??? There were about 6, most not rideable, about a week ago. When/if they do, hopefully they'll do a bit of brushing as well. It's quite a shame to have trails there that don't seem to be maintained because the powers that be don't think folks ride them...
    Some of those trees have been down on Victor lake loop for a while. It is about the only trail in the system that has escaped the wrath of a good chainsawing in recent memory.

    IMO that trail is sort of tucked into the corner of the park and just doesn't see much use. Both ends of Victor LL are sort of not in good alignment with the other trails that are connected to it so most people ride/ walk right by. The under maintained look at the intersections also doesn't help. There are signposts, but they might as well be pointing the way to Mordor

    During the winter the midsection of the trail drifts completely shut because the trail is on the leeward side of the ridge.

    Parts of the trail flow really well until you hit the fall line sections ...and the downed trees

    Also trail crews are working out there somewhere today. I saw their vehicles parked out there today at the Long Lake trailhead.

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    So from that rational since the alignment is questionable and it is perceived that no one rides it, we ignore it? KB needs more trails not less. Unfortunately, due to the new construction that is soon to begin the crew will likely further ignore what is already there. That or just further sterilize what they do maintain by removing most roots, rocks and the occasional tree, thereby eliminating what limited technicality the area does have which is little to any. VLL was completely clear, of downed trees, at the end of last season. A little overgrown, but its a worthy section. Sorry for the rant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Breaking Down View Post
    So from that rational since the alignment is questionable and it is perceived that no one rides it, we ignore it? KB needs more trails not less. Unfortunately, due to the new construction that is soon to begin the crew will likely further ignore what is already there. That or just further sterilize what they do maintain by removing most roots, rocks and the occasional tree, thereby eliminating what limited technicality the area does have which is little to any. VLL was completely clear, of downed trees, at the end of last season. A little overgrown, but its a worthy section. Sorry for the rant.
    It wasn't my intention that the trail should be ignored at all. Apparently I missed it last year when it was cleared, but IMO 6 trees down on the southern portion of Victor LL is about par for that trail. The wind hits that trail pretty hard in the winter and it is effectively closed off by nature during winter due to drifting. When a trail like that is shut part of the year like that AND it has some pretty poor features such as a poorly aligned entrance point followed by a very steep grade that deter most people from using it even when the trail is opened. Not a lot of people are going to notice stuff like a few trees across the trail and report it to a maintenance crew/ volunteer to cut them out.

    I've cleared a few of the smaller trees off that trail myself last spring using a bow saw and as far as trail sanitation goes ..what do you do? MGTS is becoming more and more popular with every passing year and in that time the trails have changed a lot in places because of increased traffic. Its an evolving trail system.

    Maybe a few downed trees is what a trail needs to keep it a little raw and unused to maintain a challenge to it.

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    not sure where the "delete" post is

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    oops

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    Background and what you can do

    This got a little long, but skip down to the What you can do part. It's not aimed at akpirate since he has been coming to meetings and helping.

    Welcome to the challenges of the Matanuska Greenbelt. With 4 land managers and no trails plan (yet), trail maintenance may appear inconsistent - but we're trying to work things out. People like a diversity of trails - some flat/smooth, others steep or rooty or less brushed. We have a diversity of user types as well as skill and fitness levels. Some trails are heavily maintained, derooted, and deleafed (raked or blown) (aka sanitized). Others are left more primitive for folks who want that type experience.

    There are two trails plans currently being worked on out here. One is a Mat-Su Borough Master Trails Plan where - among other things - there will be many public meetings looking for what trail "experiences" people wan. MSB is doing a "management plan" for the Crevasse-Moraine end, and depending upon how the consultant does that, that may or may not provide a basis for a trails plan for the whole area. Until we see how those two plans play out, we won't know how much we need to do for planning. ("We" = Matanuska Greenbelt Trails Association, a grassroots collaboration of land managers and trail users who have brought you the maps and signs - a major effort of the last 3.5 yr. We're still working on some pieces of that, but emphasis is shifting toward trails plan. Have patience.)

    Victor Lake Loop is partly on Alaska State Parks land and partly on UAF land. To date, UA Lands has stated they don't want new trails, and the metal signs as you enter university properties clearly state that they are not maintained for general public use. (local university administrators support the trails as is evidenced by the signs and other support) The steep segment dropping down from the field is on university property. Originally the trail wasn't going to be signed at all and treat it more like a social trail. But a number of people use it, liking its more primitive maintenance. It ended up being signed.

    Mat-Su Borough's trail crew is working on a new single track trail in Greenbelt Central, which will be entered from state park property on the south. So you may see MSB truck at the Long Lake Trailhead, but they are working on MSB property. They have nothing to do with Victor Lake Loop. You may have seen the map of the proposed trail on the trailheads and Middle Picnic Table asking for public input last fall.


    What can you do: If you really like or dislike something, call ASP about it - telephone number is on the trailhead signs and the gateway double posts (with the metal trail maps). On trails I've been on, I know they get calls about what a great improvement something in while on the trail I hear people saying "what happened here?" when they see a wider, smoother trail. They have a mission and standards to meet.

    June 2 is National Trails Day. ASP is putting on a trails work day at Matanuska Lake Trailhead from 10:30 to 4:30pm. I think they're having some goodies at the end. I believe their statewide person and probably the local superintendent and others will be there. This is your chance to both help with the trails and talk to the powers that be. Remember: those who help get to tweak some details. (I think most of what they're doing is around Matanuska Lake, but are considering other stuff.)

    I just ran around Victor Lake Loop today (planned run since I like the brushiness and leafy tread and couldn't remember what was down or removed), inventoried all the downed trees, and will let ASP know. They're already planning on removing the one downed tree on the race course, but not sure if they have time for VLL.

    June 9 is Mooseberry Stampede Mountain Bike Race starting at Crevasse-Moraine. This is the race that broke the ice among the land managers and figured out how to get permission for races across all the properties. Proceeds (above expenses) from this go back into the trails, mostly as part of sign program so far. Come out and support it. But also consider it an opportunity to discuss the trails with other users.
    https://sites.google.com/site/vmbahr...berry-stampede
    Use it as a warmup for the 24-hr race.

    When Matanuska Greenbelt Trails Association starts meetings again in October or November, come out and contribute. Matanuska Greenbelt


    FWIW, this is the 5th year I've RD'd the Mooseberry Stampede, including making sure the trail is ready. This is by far the easiest time we've had in prepping the course. Partly because we didn't have as much wind this past winter, but also because both the MSB and State Parks trail crews (with help from some trail angels in SP) have been or will be out there removing trees. In past years, we've had to do some major brushing and tree removal. So the managers are aware of the increased use of the trails and improving maintenance as they can afford the labor for it. Neither MSB nor ASP had funds for these trails initially.

    We're making progress. Come help us make more.
    Last edited by trailrun; 05-19-2012 at 12:58 AM.

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    Thanks Trailrun for a very detailed explanation of the situation out there. Honestly, my post was a sort of troll to see if "those in the know" do indeed frequent the forum. It's good to know your voice can be heard on the interweb. That said, you are correct about the increased use. While I'm sure the limited options at this point in the year is contributing, I've seen more folks on the trails in the last two days than I think I've ever seen in total in past years. Hopefully that means more people will contribute to future work parties and funds for expansion of the network.

    As an aside, if your heading that way make sure you have a new parks pass as the host this year(John) is on top of his game, you gotta pay if you wanna play!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Breaking Down View Post
    Honestly, my post was a sort of troll to see if "those in the know" do indeed frequent the forum.
    Trollings not coool mannn


    Quote Originally Posted by Breaking Down View Post
    As an aside, if your heading that way make sure you have a new parks pass as the host this year(John) is on top of his game, you gotta pay if you wanna play!
    Park in town and ride to the Greenbelt. Spend your money in Palmer. Talk up how awesome the trails are as loud as it is appropriate

  12. #12
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    Rode about 8 miles on the Kepler Trail System- mostly on Long Lake trail- yesterday afternoon and it was awesome. Conditions are superb at the moment. Go there!

  13. #13
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    Yeah, trails in the Mat Greenbelt are super!

    Sunday afternoon we did the 3 hr tour, starting at the Crev-Mo end. Rode all (well nearly all ) of the system - single track, double track and farm fields. Dead fall has all been cleared. A little dusty, could use some rain, but other than that conditions are great.

    Oh - and almost NO mosquitoes!
    Last edited by Sourdough; 05-21-2012 at 03:11 PM. Reason: clarity

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