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  1. #1
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    Pike National Forest Closes Trails To All Users

    http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_...rdb5437777.pdf

    I'm sure The Center For Biological Diversity is jumping for joy right now; they not only achieved their ulterior goal of no humans in the Bear Creek watershed, but they got a bunch of trails that weren't in the watershed on the list as well.

    To sum up the list with more popular names, the following are now closed to all access for one year.
    - All of Captain Jacks
    - All of Crankcase Alley
    - All of Jones Park
    - All of Pipeline
    - The top 9/10ths of 720

    Having ridden most of these trails since the recent rain damage -- many of them last night while searching for a missing friend -- most of these closures are completely ungrounded. I would estimate less than 10% of each trail has rain damage significant enough to warrant repairs. Of the sections that need repair, a group of 6-10 capable people and a day's worth of time on each could have the damaged sections as good as before, if not better. In other words, a closure of 1-2 months seems reasonable, which would be long enough to conclude the necessary trail maintenance. One year is completely unreasonable. A couple sections will need more significant repairs, but nothing that would take a year with volunteers.

    What's really interesting/frustrating to me is the trails that didn't make the list. If Jones, CJs, and 720 need be closed due to water damage, there is no reason Buckhorn and 7 Bridges should remain open. CJs from Buckhorn down received maintenance that brought it up to the same condition as Buckhorn; not great, but certainly rideable with no risks to life or additional trail damage. 7 Bridges is a complete wreck towards the bottom; there are two sections that are completely unrideable and barely hikeable in addition to many more that are heavily damaged. Interestingly enough, Buckhorn and 7 Bridges are the most popular hiking trails of any in this trail system. Because of this, it's hard not to conclude that the move to close these trails was less about water damage and more about getting certain people off of certain trails. In other words, this is a ruse.

    Bikes and motos were the largest users on the list of now closed trails; you don't need a usage survey to know that, just be a local. Motos got banned as a result of the CFBD's suit against the Pike National Forest. Because of this, bikes easily became the heaviest users, if they weren't before, with hikers/runners being a distant second and equestrians an even more distant third. Motos had the most money and vested interest in that trail access, but they are out of the game (for now). The remaining groups are relatively weak (i.e. poor) by comparison, so the plan appears to be this: close the trails for a year and deal with the mildly painful backlash -- but not as painful or successful as it would be with the moto money involved. After a year, when the memory of those trails is not fresh in peoples' minds, reassess and come to the same conclusion as before: the trails are too heavily damaged to reopen. At this point, remove the temporary ban and initiate a permanent ban. Easy. Everyone is out of the woods.

    I would love to be wrong about this. I would love for the FS to work with local advocacy groups to get into these trails, fix them up, and reopen them before the snow buries everything, but with the current history of Pike NF, I sadly fear that will not be the case. Remember when Severy Creek, Hacket/Longwater Gulch, and Rampart Range Road were just temporary closures?

    Happy trails,
    Nickle

    Please note, some of things stated above are facts, some are opinions. Of those that are opinions, they are that of my own creation. My opinions and I do not represent any advocacy group, my employer, or any other groups/organizations/whatevers. That should go without saying, but to be clear...
    A trail that’s too difficult wouldn’t exist because it’d never be used. But, trails can exist that’re too difficult for you.

  2. #2
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    Re: Pike National Forest Closes Trails To All Users

    First they go after moto-users, next in line are bikes, and last to go are hikers.
    Agenda 21 anyone?

  3. #3
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    It took me a while to see the light but I think you've got it all wrong. They're just protecting us from ourselves. You should be happy there's someone looking out for you.

    I hope they close Cheyenne Mountain SP, Falcon and Mt Herman also.
    You just can't be too careful.

    If you're bored and don't have anything to do we'll be playing lacrosse on Sunday at El Pomar. Double header. Come cheer the kids on. We're both undefeated. Lacrosse, it's so much safer than riding a bike.

    Besides, haven't you heard? Riding a bike is banned on page 2047, paragraph B in the ACA. Yeah Really. Didn't you read it?

  4. #4
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    Hmm, a lot of trail closure notices popping up. I thought it had something to with gov't shutdown, with all non-essential gov't services being cut (ex. national parks), but it seems more like a coincidence in some cases. Maybe it's just the sensitive stuff that can't handle free use without monitoring.
    Spec E29c
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    Be part of the solution, not the pollution.

  5. #5
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    I'm glad I rode those a bunch this year! This really grinds my gears! Some of the best trails in Colorado on that list.

  6. #6
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    What a load of total fukin BS!!!! The trails are easily repairable godamit!!!
    We MTBers need to do something about this!! Im not just going to sit back and say ahhh, OK!!!

  7. #7
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    This doesn't impact Indian Creek does it? I'm thinking about IC for Thurs morning...
    Naysayers never apologize. Critics go to their grave thinking everyone else is wrong.
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  8. #8
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    Fyi

    Pike National Forest Closes Trails To All Users-closures.jpg

  9. #9
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    Conspiracy? Not sure I buy it...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhxChem View Post
    Conspiracy? Not sure I buy it...
    Keep telling yourself that and you will have no place to ride.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    Keep telling yourself that and you will have no place to ride.
    In all sincerity, what do you propose the average mtn biker do?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn W. View Post
    In all sincerity, what do you propose the average mtn biker do?
    Get involved in local politics and stop voting for Democrats and especially Progressives.

  13. #13
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    Re: Pike National Forest Closes Trails To All Users

    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    Get involved in local politics and stop voting for Democrats and especially Progressives.
    Establishment republicans are no different from establishment democrats. The same animal with 2 heads.

  14. #14
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    I remember in the 90's the phrase "skateboarding is not a crime". I am beginning to understand how they felt.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzanova View Post
    Establishment republicans are no different from establishment democrats. The same animal with 2 heads.
    In big picture terms and at the Federal level yes, on local issues I would disagree. Case in point the recall of John Morse and Giron.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    Get involved in local politics and stop voting for Democrats and especially Progressives.
    This is ignorant


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk - now Free

  17. #17
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    So a closed trail means there is a sign in front of the trail or do they do something else to rope it off?...
    2 Hands Working Do More Than 1000 Hands Praying

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by provin1327 View Post
    So a closed trail means there is a sign in front of the trail or do they do something else to rope it off?...

  19. #19
    Your retarded
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn W. View Post
    In all sincerity, what do you propose the average mtn biker do?
    That's a good question. I would also like to know, without going down a political path.
    A trail that’s too difficult wouldn’t exist because it’d never be used. But, trails can exist that’re too difficult for you.

  20. #20
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    So with the govt shut down, are there any rangers working to keep people off the trail? Maybe there is a bright side to it after all...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryan12210 View Post
    So with the govt shut down, are there any rangers working to keep people off the trail? Maybe there is a bright side to it after all...
    If they carry a gun then they are not on furlough.

  22. #22
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    Write your Senators and Congressmen. "Public Safety" is not even a credible excuse for closing these trails.

  23. #23
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    I might recommend advocating the transfer of Federal lands to State control, but I'm not sure that would be any better-witness the State Trust sections that have NO TRESPASSING signs plastered all over the place.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by m3rb View Post
    I might recommend advocating the transfer of Federal lands to State control, but I'm not sure that would be any better-witness the State Trust sections that have NO TRESPASSING signs plastered all over the place.
    Thought we sold our federal lands to the Chinese... or was that one of those forwarded emails? I get email forwards and fact confused now since reality is just as ridiculous as of late.

  25. #25
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    Total BS. Where can I sign a petition or do something. I'm ready to act.

    Has anyone ridden Jacks lately? I know about the road damage between tunnel 1 and 2 but not the trail itself.

    I road Palmer Trail/Section 16. There is a sign on the road up that simply says closed. I'm sure it is for cars but doesn't say anything about other users groups. Palmer trail is mint and Section 16 has a couple spots but in good shape.

    Chris

    PS - I hope Medicine Wheel can get some things done to open up Jacks. Also props to them for the little reroute on the start of Palmer Trail, it is just beautiful

  26. #26
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    High drive is closed to veh's by this time of year anyways I believe, so that's probably the reason for the gate.

    Hypothetically speaking, one could still access all the trails in the canon I bet, even with Cheyenne rd blocked and Gold camp closed between the tunnels. I wonder if they have FS rangers at the bottom of CJ's lot?

    Don't freak out, not advocating this just sayin

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by rroeder View Post
    High drive is closed to veh's by this time of year anyways I believe, so that's probably the reason for the gate.

    Hypothetically speaking, one could still access all the trails in the canon I bet, even with Cheyenne rd blocked and Gold camp closed between the tunnels. I wonder if they have FS rangers at the bottom of CJ's lot?

    Don't freak out, not advocating this just sayin
    High Drive was never opened this year. The City was doing some mitigation on the road.

    With the shutdown, the only rangers in around are the LEO's, and we only have one in our area (he covers a vast area).

  28. #28
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    Like one of my buddies said: They're just too overwhelmed with the situation at hand. Instead a couple of trails needing repairs, they have most of the upper system in a really bad state. So it was easiest for them to do a massive closure, to prevent any new issues and to give them more time to access things. Public safety? That was there reason, but just too much for a small group of overworked people to deal with. I am really upset myself, but I can suppose I understand where they are coming from. No conspiracy, political agenda, etc.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastajet View Post
    I am really upset myself, but I can suppose I understand where they are coming from. No conspiracy, political agenda, etc.
    I thought it was interesting Frank Landis didn't issue the closure and an "interim" ranger from Pueblo did. That's what makes me question whether or not it was politically motivated.



    “It’s a cheap way to deal with the situation,” an angry Park Service ranger in Washington says of the harassment. “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.”

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    I thought it was interesting Frank Landis didn't issue the closure and an "interim" ranger from Pueblo did. That's what makes me question whether or not it was politically motivated.
    These are the current power to be that sign alerts:

    Jerri Marr, Forest Supervisor
    John F Peterson, Deputy Forest Supervisor

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastajet View Post
    These are the current power to be that sign alerts:

    Jerri Marr, Forest Supervisor
    John F Peterson, Deputy Forest Supervisor
    Ahh Jerri, that's right.

    John signed it as "acting" Forest Supervisor.
    I just thought it was odd for this type of a decision, especially considering the timing.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris9702l View Post
    Has anyone ridden Jacks lately? I know about the road damage between tunnel 1 and 2 but not the trail itself.
    Since the storms, I have ridden all the popular Cheyenne Canyon and Frosty's Park trails except the Jones descent beyond 720, Crankcase Alley, 666, and CJs above Buckhorn. In all honesty, things are in much better shape than the closure list implies. Yes, there are sections that are in horrible shape, but there are fewer of them than I expected to see. Additionally, the bottom of Seven Bridges (622), which didn't make the list, is wrecked to the point of being tough to hike, if not dangerous. A few good friends tell me that the top of 666 is completely gone in places, yet that trail didn't make the closure list either. I would wager that 666 is the third most popular hiking trail of those in the system. If safety were really the reason for the closures, 622, 666, and Buckhorn -- the three trails built on the steepest slopes of all in the system and with equal or greater damage -- would be on the list as well. They are not. This is why I believe the closures are strategic and targeted. Closing 666, 622, and Buckhorn would upset a lot of people and more than just the cycling user group.

    There is a new path around the Gold Camp washout between tunnels 1 & 2. It's not built to be a long term solution, but serves well as a temporary passage. Also, someone is doing maintenance on CJs. Last night's ride revealed a new, very well made bridge at the bottom of CJs. CJs from the last punchy climb down to the end has been completely fixed. Because of this, upper CJs (from Buckhorn down to High Dr) takes the lead for the portion of trail in the worst shape, but even that has improved greatly since I rode it the day after the rain stopped. The rain rut is becoming filled by users using the trail and is less deep and prominent as a result. If you keep your speed in check and don't mind putting a foot out to compensate if you do end up in the rut, all of CJs is completely rideable. CJs from High Dr down is actually in pretty good shape; no worse than it has been after the monsoon season any prior year. I'm not encouraging folks to go do a critical mass on CJs, but I do want to point out that the closure of CJs is very unjustified.

    From last night:
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...1&l=d36c46ef7f
    A trail that’s too difficult wouldn’t exist because it’d never be used. But, trails can exist that’re too difficult for you.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    Get involved in local politics and stop voting for Democrats and especially Progressives.
    I agree buddy!

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn W. View Post
    In all sincerity, what do you propose the average mtn biker do?
    You mean instead of having stood aside and saying "it's a moto problem"? In the end the mountainbikers and the Medicine Wheel guys stood up only for themselves and left the motos out the hang. The result was blindingly obvious.

    Bear Creek Cutthroat Trout - Trail Changes might be coming

    Jones Park/Bear Creek, trout and the lawsuit - PLEASE READ -

    And the rest is history.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by thump View Post
    You mean instead of having stood aside and saying "it's a moto problem"? In the end the mountainbikers and the Medicine Wheel guys stood up only for themselves and left the motos out the hang. The result was blindingly obvious.

    Bear Creek Cutthroat Trout - Trail Changes might be coming

    Jones Park/Bear Creek, trout and the lawsuit - PLEASE READ -

    And the rest is history.
    Not sure where you are going on this one?

    This current closure is because of the overwhelming trail damage caused by the storm and the FS deciding this was needed for public safety and evaluation purposes. Until I speak with my contacts at the FS for a better understanding of things, it's all speculation (even on my part).

    When things are said and done (trails repaired), I assume we'll still go back to the original plan, though it will be slightly altered. I don't see them opening up the upper Bear Creek drainage again, since it was going to be closed sometime in the future anyway (for everyone not just Moto's), and now they have even more mitigation issues to deal with.

    With the shutdown, I doubt I can get a hold of anyone except my LEO person. What we can do is contact the FS offices and ask for a status of things, offer volunteer time, etc., perhaps ask for a public meeting to go over the closure and what can be done. Tossing out ideas?

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastajet View Post
    Not sure where you are going on this one?
    Ask them if they plan on closing the ski resorts on park land too. I've heard there are steep dropoffs and it might be dangerous.

  37. #37
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    Pasta, let us know what you hear. I'm waiting to hear something from Medicine Wheel. Still can't believe Captain Jacks is that bad.

    chris

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hernando Gutierrez
    The only thing you have to figure out is don't fall down. To keep riding the bike.

  39. #39
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    Moochelle must want her ski vacations in Vail.

    No impact from furloughs on ski season | News - Home

    No impact from furloughs on ski season

    A group representing the nation's ski industry said Monday it expects no major impact on this year's ski season because of federal furloughs, even though about a third of the more than 360 top resorts are located on federal land.


    I'm shocked!

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris9702l View Post
    Still can't believe Captain Jacks is that bad.
    It's not that bad. That's what I have been saying. Captain Jacks is completely rideable from Buckhorn to the bottom. If anyone does not believe me, go risk a ticket and, as the USFS sees it, your life, and check it out for yourself. Aside from some needed rain rut repair, the trail is actually riding quite nicely.
    A trail that’s too difficult wouldn’t exist because it’d never be used. But, trails can exist that’re too difficult for you.

  41. #41
    STRAVA!!!!!!
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    [QUOTE=UncleTrail;10729869]Moochelle must want her ski vacations in Vail.

    MOOCHELLE!!!!! LMAO! That is true comedy! Jacks is Dialed, thanks someone.
    I really like how they barricaded Gold Camp off with boulders to traffic where the road turns to dirt! The car thieves have easy pickings with all the vehicles parked there now, and what the heck are they going to do when some idiot starts a fire back there next summer?

  42. #42
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    Moochelle Bachtard whaahahahaha That is true comedy good call!!!!

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    Moochelle Bachtard whaahahahaha That is true comedy good call!!!!
    Pretty sure you got the wrong Moochelle, do you still find it true comedy?

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by rroeder View Post
    Pretty sure you got the wrong Moochelle, do you still find it true comedy?
    Yeah I got that. I turned the tables - touche'!

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by rroeder View Post
    Pretty sure you got the wrong Moochelle, do you still find it true comedy?
    Careful Mooschelle likes the ski slopes to herself.


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    Thanks Nickle, it just confirms what I thought. I think the whole problem is the access to the area. You can't get there by way of Gold Camp from the north or Cheyenne Drive from the east. So in typical government fashion they just close the whole damn thing down. Why can't they just close the roads and say "hey, if you can get up there go for it - but you are in for a long hike or bike ride"? Talked with local cop yesterday in the Red Rocks parking lot. He thought that there are lots of bikers doing Captain Jacks right now and kinda nobody cares. I'll give them some time, stay out of the way so they can clean some of the big mess up but come next spring is another story. I'll risk the ticket. In 10 years of riding here I've never seen a ranger on the trails.

  47. #47
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    Here is an update from the Gazette:

    [I]The U.S. Forest Service also has closed several trails above North Cheyenne Ca?n because of flood damage: Trails 665, 667 (also known as Cap'n Jacks), 668, 701 and 720. The closure order remains in effect until September 2014 unless rescinded. An agency spokesperson said it is too soon to provide an assessment of damage to the trails.[I]

    Read more at Many trails, parks around Colorado Springs remain closed after fires, floods

    The upside is that I have not heard of any enforcement of the closure (e.g. fines). I wonder if part of the Forest Service "assessment" includes measuring the number of users of closed trails?

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyoman View Post
    . An agency spokesperson said it is too soon to provide an assessment of damage to the trails.[I]
    Too soon my ass.

  49. #49
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    What a bunch of bs. Captain Jacks is in fine shape. The damage was almost nonexistent and has already been fixed. Gold Camp did have some damage but for hikers and bikers it is a non-issue. The road got heavily damage between tunnels 1 and 2, no big deal. There was a little trail made to go around it. Isn't a large portion of the riding we do done on a mountain side that has big drop offs if you go off the trail? We can ride up Buckhorn (perfect shape) but we can't ride Jacks (a trail that has no running water by it and the couple sections that did get water that have already been fixed)? And there is not even any big signs posted that say the trails are closed. At the bottom of Jacks (and one other spot) there was a letter posted about the closing, but who would ever really stop and look at them. I'd just play dumb if I got stopped by a ranger (I've lived here 10 years and haven't seen one here yet).

    The thing that is very eerie is that it is so quiet! I'm afraid I'm gonna get jumped on by a bear or a lion. I mentioned this to a runner I passed and he said "yes, isn't it so enjoyable!". The quietness has caused me to work on my brakes because they were making too much noise.

    Go out and enjoy!

  50. #50
    STRAVA!!!!!!
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    Things up there may be open soon than expected! They are fixing gold camp right now, all kinds of activity going on up there.
    My hope is that once the road is fixed they will open it all back up again....

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