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  1. #1
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    Heil Ranch work - Ponderosa Loop

    Firstly, I wanna say kudos for those volunteering their time to work on the very loose/rocky section of Ponderosa Loop. I truly appreciate there's something "new" to ride in an area with such stagnant trail development.

    I must ask though, what's up with the trail surface that's being put down? It's a mixture of some dirt, but mostly tiny crushed rocks that act like a million ball bearings. It's worse than Buffalo Creek. This new section would have sooo much flow...if you could go more than 5MPH and lean on turns.

    Is the dirt/rock mix for drainage purposes?
    Is it because this is what's easily available to truck up there?
    Will this pack down over time?

    I'm asking because I honestly don't know. I've done trail work before, but not in Boulder.

    Cheers!

  2. #2
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    I believe it will look something like the northern section of the Wild Turkey Trail after it gets ridden a bit. The ball bearings get pushed off of the line and the soil becomes very compacted. I'm optimistic about the outcome.

  3. #3
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    Funny, I rode it yesterday for the first time in a while and thought the same thing. I think it's either going to act like UNC says and will smooth out, or the small rocks will get pushed into the surface of the dirt and it'll become more grippy. You can see that happening on a couple stretches of the newly built trail already.

    Hopefully the plan is to work on a majority (if not all) of the Ponderosa Loop over the next 12 months, because it's in ROUGH shape. I forgot how much all those baby head rocks suck, it makes the loop virtually un-rideable. The work on the Wapiti trail is excellent, however, and makes that trail a lot more fun than it was at this point last summer. Even with that trail work, you can tell how quickly the trail erodes as rocks are starting to pop up left and right already.

  4. #4
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    rocky terrain is rocky.

  5. #5
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    We've got about 50 hours in on Ponderosa so far this summer, as do many other volunteer groups. The surface you're talking about is road base. As Unc76 says, that's what's on the farthest north section of Wild Turkey. It's loose right now, but after a winter or so and some use, it'll be nice and hardpack and will flow very well.

    The natural terrain at Heil is erosive, rocky, and full of babyheads (ie the reason we've been doing trailwork on Pondo). By putting the roadbase down, the trail will be able to handle more use, more abuse and will require less maintenance long term. It's primarily about managing costs and user experience. AND, as an added bonus, equestrian groups and hikers have been happy with the work as well.

    We'll have a Saturday workday on October 12 if anyone would like to come pitch in.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    small rocks will get pushed into the surface of the dirt and it'll become more grippy. You can see that happening on a couple stretches of the newly built trail already.
    We did build a few sections of road base with larger rocks underneath to take up space. The larger rocks are exposed thru the road base in a couple of areas intentionally.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ignazjr View Post
    We've got about 50 hours in on Ponderosa so far this summer, as do many other volunteer groups. The surface you're talking about is road base. As Unc76 says, that's what's on the farthest north section of Wild Turkey. It's loose right now, but after a winter or so and some use, it'll be nice and hardpack and will flow very well.

    The natural terrain at Heil is erosive, rocky, and full of babyheads (ie the reason we've been doing trailwork on Pondo). By putting the roadbase down, the trail will be able to handle more use, more abuse and will require less maintenance long term. It's primarily about managing costs and user experience. AND, as an added bonus, equestrian groups and hikers have been happy with the work as well.

    We'll have a Saturday workday on October 12 if anyone would like to come pitch in.
    Are you importing that or is there a barrow pit nearby that it working for you. Just curious, importing any soil is a helluvalotta work!

  8. #8
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    Dave- is the plan to do the whole loop like that, or just sections?

  9. #9
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    ZRM, they're bringing the road base in from Longmont area. They lay tarps down and put road base piles on it where we'll use them. Fortunately, there are a few service roads so access is relatively easy.

    SMMOKAN - I believe the plan for this summer is to do the full west side of the loop from Wapiti intersection to the lookout bench. Not much left to go before that is completed. The entire thing isn't road base but it will be similar to what they did with Wapiti. Managing for erosion, use and long term less need for maintenance. I rode it for the first time last tues and loved it. It'll be super fun once it's worn in.
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  10. #10
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    Yep, agreed... that's why I was asking. Once they work on the Ponderosa loop and clean it up, it'll bring some fun back to Heil. The Wapiti trail is 10x more fun than before they worked on it.

    I'm hoping to make it to the next volunteer day. It'd be nice if they had an after-work one up there again too.

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    Funny, I just saw that on FB... are you going? I'm going to try to get up there for a couple hours depending on work.

  13. #13
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    Thanks Dave and all others for the work already done! It is much improved as already stated by others.

    I will plan on the October work day, and also might try to make tomorrow as well. Ride on.
    My brain's living room is my stomach.

  14. #14
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    Careful up there! We had an incident there Sunday.

    Rattlesnake Bite: Heil Valley Ranch

    No warning rattles, well hidden too. Big thanks to the emergency pros who came to the rescue!

    And big thanks for the work being done on the trail!

  15. #15
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    thanks for the hard work. I used to HATE heil ranch...now it's really fun.

    I think the new section is surprisingly grippy and not at all like buff creek, where you can quickly find yourself in 3 inches of sand and wash out. I'd LOVE to see the entire ponderosa loop turn into a fast, flowy trail.

    Any plans to work on the rest of heil ranch? wild turkey and picturerock could use some work.

    It really shows how much potential heil ranch has. it's got great turns and flow, but horrible erosion problems that need to be addressed.

  16. #16
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    I ran into this guy on the Indian Summer trail last Wednesday. About four feet long when he finally decided to move along.

    Heil Ranch work - Ponderosa Loop-1150304_10201245765439703_875341825_n.jpg

  17. #17
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    Am I the only one who liked going really fast ripping through those baby heads (clockwise) on Ponderosa? I will miss that.

    What I really liked about Heil/Picture Rock is it had a nice variety of terrain, from rocky/rooty stuff to fast flowy stuff. I like the fast flowy parts, but don't want the entire trail to be like that. Oh well, I guess you can't please everyone and I understand needing to make a trail sustainable, but Ponderosa always seemed to me like a trail that was never in danger of going anywhere, especially since it's not very steep at the top where it is. Couldn't really see it washing away or eroding since it's fairly flat.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamesm925 View Post
    Any plans to work on the rest of heil ranch? wild turkey and picturerock could use some work.
    I believe the plan as i understand it is to keep Wapiti and Ponderosa more novice/flow oriented and for Wild Turkey and Picture Rock to continue to be more natural terrain.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaeckerX1 View Post
    Am I the only one who liked going really fast ripping through those baby heads (clockwise) on Ponderosa? I will miss that.

    What I really liked about Heil/Picture Rock is it had a nice variety of terrain, from rocky/rooty stuff to fast flowy stuff. I like the fast flowy parts, but don't want the entire trail to be like that. Oh well, I guess you can't please everyone and I understand needing to make a trail sustainable, but Ponderosa always seemed to me like a trail that was never in danger of going anywhere, especially since it's not very steep at the top where it is. Couldn't really see it washing away or eroding since it's fairly flat.
    I thought it was decent as is too, but I know nothing of conservation so I just follow along.

    I enjoyed the descent towards the lookout point that was basically down a stream bed full of baby heads too. Flowy stuff is cool, but I cant wait for the marbles on top feeling to go away.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaeckerX1 View Post
    I guess you can't please everyone and I understand needing to make a trail sustainable, but Ponderosa always seemed to me like a trail that was never in danger of going anywhere, especially since it's not very steep at the top where it is. Couldn't really see it washing away or eroding since it's fairly flat.
    When we originally constructed Ponderosa, it was smooth and flowing and has severly degraded over the years. I used to be able to rail it on my cross bike it was so smooth. Lots of "resource damage" over the years.
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