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  1. #1
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    Heil/Picture Rock - what a mess!

    Just FYI - we went up to Heil yesterday, figuring that since the ~10 day old trail conditions report on the BCPOS website was "fair/poor" it would be pretty dry.

    Wrong. The trail was a mess - water, mud, big ruts, and generally a slopfest. We turned around on Wild Turkey (coming from the Heil side) and went home. It will be a while before everything there is ready...

    -Walt
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  2. #2
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    Walt, you should've went to Left Hand OHV instead of going home. It's only 5 minutes from Heil. It was my 1st time out there yesterday but the riding was primo!

  3. #3
    Bad Case of the Mondays
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt
    Just FYI - we went up to Heil yesterday, figuring that since the ~10 day old trail conditions report on the BCPOS website was "fair/poor" it would be pretty dry.
    Check this feed instead. Dave at Redstone Cyclery provides great updates about the Lyons trails with good frequency.
    http://search.twitter.com/search?q=boco_trails

  4. #4
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    I ride there all the time...

    ..but figured all the fun stuff would be total mud/snow/slop right now. It was dry?!?

    Bummer!

    Er, I mean, bummer for me. Great for you!

    -Walt

    Quote Originally Posted by mountaingoatepics
    Walt, you should've went to Left Hand OHV instead of going home. It's only 5 minutes from Heil. It was my 1st time out there yesterday but the riding was primo!
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
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  5. #5
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    Heil is not muddy from the rain and snow so much - here's the scoop. Since Heil is really, really rocky, it soaks up a ton of moisture when we get rain and snow, only to leak it back out in the following weeks. Most of the moisture at Heil is coming back up out of the ground from the snows we had last week.

    I talked to a county employee yesterday that urged folks to stay off of Heil until it settles down. Here are his words in a nutshell,

    "I went up to Heil [last] Thursday and the trail was a raging river on the front side in places up high. I was doing some serious triage to get water diverted into grade dips. Some people have been posting on MTBr that it's the worst they've seen. We need to funnel this info to Al [Hardy, head of trails at BoCo] so we can fix it. If he doesn't hear about it from the public, he may not know about it--if nobody is reporting in to him, then all is well. Let your peeps no we need to get trail feedback to Al if things aren't kosher and then we have a better shot at fixing problems.

    ahardy@bouldercounty.org"

    edit - Walt, LHC is usually one of the first places to dry given its steep rocky terrain and southern exposure. I rode there last Monday after getting 5" of snow the night before and it was primo. Conditions at LHC are pretty dry right now.
    Redstone Cyclery
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  6. #6
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    Good to know, I was thinking yesterday that Heil would be the place to be as the wind was damn brutal (out in the open) out at Marshal Mesa last night.
    Down is the new up.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by EricTheRed
    Good to know, I was thinking yesterday that Heil would be the place to be as the wind was damn brutal (out in the open) out at Marshal Mesa last night.
    I told my wife the same thing, go to Heil. Guess it's good she doesn't listen to me very often.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ignazjr
    .....Since Heil is really, really rocky,
    I know what all of these words mean by themselves, I've just never seem them together in the same sentance.
    Heil? Rocky? You must be Willis 'cause I'm not sure what you talking 'bout.



    I saw the BCOS dude doing a little water diverting at Hall this afternoon ( the trail was primo, btw). He told me the same thing: Heil is gonna take a while before the springs run dry.

    .
    I've got nothing witty to say....

  9. #9
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    Betasso is also in excellent shape which to me is somewhat surprising given the northern exposure. I know it isn't as fun as Heil/PR but for now it is another good option.

  10. #10
    Your bike is incorrigible
    Reputation: Guyechka's Avatar
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    I really have to wonder about the sustainability of Heil. It was poorly planned. In fact, that's the problem with most CO trails. Nobody thinks about the water issue until after the fact. You wouldn't need to be doing serious "triage" if you just planned a little better and built according to the fall line with some rolling grade dips.

    Rant, rant, rant....

  11. #11
    Dude...
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    Hmm, sounds so simple. Nobody should have thought of that.

  12. #12
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    If Heil is in bad shape, does that automagically mean Picture Rock is too? The OP's post has them both in the title, but after reading his post, it sounds like he never got as far as PR.

    Also, to the OP, I wouldn't use BCPOS's site to find out trail conditions, I'd use this site. We didn't go to Heil last night (went to Walker instead, which was great) based on the current info posted here.

  13. #13
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    Picture Rock is part of Heil Ranch. Conditions on Picture Rock itself are great from Lyons up to one or two switchbacks above the quarry.

    Guyechka - Heil in its most recent iteration is anything but poorly planned. In fact, Wild Turkey, Picture Rock and the reroute of Wapiti were all laid out by folks that have had professional training and good expertise at building quality, sustainable trail. The real problem lies beyond that. Rant on.

    It starts with Boulder County Open Spaces management philosophy in that they manage with a bias toward preservation. Recreation is an afterthought. When Boulder County buys a property for Open Space (preservation), the first thing they do is bring in all of their wildlife and eco people to assess the situation. Instead of looking at a property and seeing the most logical place to build a sustainable trail that gives users a quality experience, the eco beurocrats come back with a study that shows every where they do NOT want people to be. Typically, that's 80-90% of the property. What we are often left with is the scraps with which we are forced to build a sustainable trail in the least desirable and often most challenging environment.

    That is exactly the case with Heil Ranch. Heil is Boulder County's biggest property by far. Unfortunately, our use is restricted to a small percentage of that. Before Wild Turkey and Picture Rock were laid out, professional trail crews suggested a few different routes but they were shot down. County staff forced the trail into a very, very tight corridor and did not give many allowances to flow or user experience. I had the opportunity to hike with Boulder County staff along the trail alignment before any tools were dug in. We noted many areas that would or could create a potential problem or difficulty. Every single time we pointed out something, trail crew would respond with, "We know, we'd like to do that, too, but XXXXX says we have to put the trail over here and we can't go over there."

    Frustrating at best. To that end, the Wapiti reroute is better but not perfect. Picture Rock and Wild Turkey continue to identify areas that we can work on. Now that the trail is built, BoCo trail crew is definitely on our side. They want to do anything they can to improve the sustainability of the trail and to help make our experience better.

    Email Al about what trail improvements you'd like to see. Email or call your commissioners and Ron Stewart, self appointed director of Open Space to tell them how you'd like your public lands to be managed. It may take a while, but it WILL make a difference.

    rant off...
    Redstone Cyclery
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  14. #14
    not actually bad :)
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    Quote Originally Posted by ignazjr
    ...Ron Stewart, self appointed director of Open Space...

    ???
    Old Codger

  15. #15
    Your bike is incorrigible
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    Quote Originally Posted by ignazjr

    That is exactly the case with Heil Ranch. Heil is Boulder County's biggest property by far. Unfortunately, our use is restricted to a small percentage of that. Before Wild Turkey and Picture Rock were laid out, professional trail crews suggested a few different routes but they were shot down. County staff forced the trail into a very, very tight corridor and did not give many allowances to flow or user experience. I had the opportunity to hike with Boulder County staff along the trail alignment before any tools were dug in. We noted many areas that would or could create a potential problem or difficulty. Every single time we pointed out something, trail crew would respond with, "We know, we'd like to do that, too, but XXXXX says we have to put the trail over here and we can't go over there."


    rant off...
    Well, I was right, but blaming the wrong people. You would think that, in the interests of "preservation", there would be some consideration of sustainability. Of course, I know the alternative, if this issue were posed to the powers that be, would probably be no trail what-so-ever.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad andy!

    ???
    Ron Stewart was an elected official - County Commissioner. One of his duties as County Commissioner was to head Open Space. When Commissioners became term limited, one of the last things Ron Stewart did was create a new role "Open Space Director" and he appointed himself the job. Once his term was over, he could no longer serve as commissioner but he can keep on protecting, preserving, and hating on bikes as Open Space Director. Awesome, huh?
    Redstone Cyclery
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  17. #17
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    Wow, this makes me sad about how great Heil could be if all groups were represented and listened to equally. Typical Boulder management style. It bit them in the ass regarding sales tax before and look how they've changed their tune regarding big box and corporate businesses. I'm going to have to write my reps or the powers that be over this one.

  18. #18
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    Um, I should probably note that I am not the most unbiased source for this information. heh heh.
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  19. #19
    on your left
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    Any "recent" updates on the trail conditions incl. Picture Rock would be appreciated - thanks .

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ignazjr
    Um, I should probably note that I am not the most unbiased source for this information. heh heh.
    I was just curious if Boulder typically, or at least in this case has or had a city/county Landscape Architect involved in any of the process you're aware of--planning and design of trails?

  21. #21
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    I was just curious if Boulder typically, or at least in this case has or had a city/county Landscape Architect involved in any of the process you're aware of--planning and design of trails?

  22. #22
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    Bma

    Didn't anybody get the email from BMA urging folks to leave the trails alone this weekend?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by nca777
    I was just curious if Boulder typically, or at least in this case has or had a city/county Landscape Architect involved in any of the process you're aware of--planning and design of trails?
    They use their landscape architects for building parking lots and trailheads. For actual trail construction, they contracted with professional trail crews. Most of what you see at Heil now is well built trail with regard to basic sustainability. The problem with the moisture is that the location of the "springs" has changed annually for the last few years. More armoring and erosion control efforts are planned for this summer. It will probably take a couple more seasons to get all of the drainages figured out.

    Last year, we spent alot of time armoring trail where moisture was running across. This year, the moisture is coming from different areas so we'll be armoring other sections of trail. For what it's worth, we're supplanting our normal Tuesday nite ride on 6/15 with Picture Rock trailwork. Anyone interested is welcome. I'll post up more details as the date nears.
    Redstone Cyclery
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  24. #24
    Your bike is incorrigible
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    Quote Originally Posted by ignazjr
    They use their landscape architects for building parking lots and trailheads. For actual trail construction, they contracted with professional trail crews. Most of what you see at Heil now is well built trail with regard to basic sustainability. The problem with the moisture is that the location of the "springs" has changed annually for the last few years. More armoring and erosion control efforts are planned for this summer. It will probably take a couple more seasons to get all of the drainages figured out.

    Last year, we spent alot of time armoring trail where moisture was running across. This year, the moisture is coming from different areas so we'll be armoring other sections of trail. For what it's worth, we're supplanting our normal Tuesday nite ride on 6/15 with Picture Rock trailwork. Anyone interested is welcome. I'll post up more details as the date nears.
    Ok, how far are you allowed to take the construction? For instance, how much armoring can be done, or how large/long can drainage ditches be? It seems really strange that there are so many obstacles to get over when, at least for the first half of PR, there are houses within a stone's throw of the trail. I guess housing growth is desirable while quality trails are discouraged. It comes down to what makes $$$$$$.

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