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  1. #1
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    Marlborough/Salmon River Trails

    Just found some nice trails behind the Marlborough transfer station, I believe this is part of the Salmon River trails. Seems like there are miles back there, need to explore more. Question, I never see anyone out there, who takes care of these types of trails?

  2. #2
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    There is a local biker and loosely affiliated group who maintain the trails out there. Between the transfer station and the Lyman Viaduct there are about 12 miles of trails - some fantastic riding in there.
    Big Strings, Big Wheels, The Jisch Blog

  3. #3
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    They are great, too bad they are not marked, it would be easier for me to follow. But I do appreciate the time this local biker and the groups put in there. Folks can be so generous.

  4. #4
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    They are a bit confusing, but if you ride them a few times I'm sure you can figure them out. Personally I think that's better than having a bunch of marks on the trees.
    Big Strings, Big Wheels, The Jisch Blog

  5. #5
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    If you mark it... They (the wrong people) will come. It's sad but true that there are a select few who want exculsive rights to many acres. They'll do anything to get an area "marked"... off limits. While trail marking is good - I totally agree - if you mark, the 1% of financially endowed (bad word deleted) will try to cut off any other user groups, aside from themselves. Pay the $5 and get a GPS app. If you aren't lucky enough to have gotten the $5 phone deal also... a compass and copy of a topo map work great too. DO NOT mark... please. It's ironic that when people have to "earn" thier way around an area, they resepct it's use by "many." Yea... I can neither confirm nor deny I may or may not have or know peopple who have hauled a chainsaw to clear an enormous tree or two in a few ride areas. *wink*

  6. #6
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    Thanks, any concerns with hunters now that we are moving in season. I did see a sign that the trail bordered with a private hunting area from East Hampton.

  7. #7
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    Hunters have yet to be a problem. They tend to know the trails and area and, if anything, use the occational rider/hiker to their advantage. Tha being said... we are fairly quiet so don't be afraid to wear some loud colors. I ride with tunes coming from my Camel Back but ride buddies complain they can't hear it well if I'm more than a few bike lenghts away :-P
    The big concern could be a 4 legged training partner. Might not be a bad idea to bell a collar and/or run brite colors on the beast.
    Humourous side note: I tend to run anything BUT safety orange. Never know when there is some sort of "rivalry." My fashion fav is Red/White/Black. It's distinct but also gives the impression I'm shot already - takes the sport out of it. 8-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky_J View Post
    Hunters have yet to be a problem. They tend to know the trails and area and, if anything, use the occational rider/hiker to their advantage. Tha being said... we are fairly quiet so don't be afraid to wear some loud colors. I ride with tunes coming from my Camel Back but ride buddies complain they can't hear it well if I'm more than a few bike lenghts away :-P
    The big concern could be a 4 legged training partner. Might not be a bad idea to bell a collar and/or run brite colors on the beast.
    Humourous side note: I tend to run anything BUT safety orange. Never know when there is some sort of "rivalry." My fashion fav is Red/White/Black. It's distinct but also gives the impression I'm shot already - takes the sport out of it. 8-)
    LOL and thanks for the feedback. I am always curious about the history of Trails, any idea who originally developed them or do they go way back?

  9. #9
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    In fact... I do know much of the history. Much of the trail systems started as Lumber and Charcoal trails. Cockaponsett state forest has a couple hard to find trail-side "markers" that give a picture and brief description even. Apparently, harvested wood like Hickory and Oak (stuff you see listed on charcoal bags) was used to make... Charcoal. Big stuff went to lumber and the rest was piled and slow burned. If you know where to look you can see evidence.
    After that industry slowed, the state and local government looked at and surveyed areas for WPA projects and possible military purposes. Roads to virtually nowhere and a few Nike Missile sites sprang up. The government shifted it's roles on land use but kept the areas "accessible."

    Back when it was cool, jeep and off-road motorcycle clubs would open up alternate routes between various access roads. They also reopened the old charcoal and lumber tracks. By the way... some lumber tracks are still in use today. They are highly regulated... and most arguably, get a special "status."

    Hikers discovered all the wonderful "access" at some point. Many a ridge-line single track got "blazed" at this time.

    When Mountain Biking got popular, ride groups would find ways to hook the MTB ridable single track trails to other tracks and trails. The systems we have today are almost an un-doing of many things. Signs have vanished. Polka-dotting a tree every 25 yards became very popular. A very exclusive few who want EVERYBODY kicked out have set hiking, horse and MTB groups onto each other.

    Now-a-days, most trails are maintained by secret groups. Yes, in the spirit of ALL groups getting along, projects have been undertaken to build foot bridges and clear access to certain places. Boy scouts get some press. Motorcycle groups used to do a lot but their efforts have been shunned in past years. Now... a few guys will sneak out with chainsaws to clear the heavy stuff. A bunch of friends may go open a section back up that's overgrown and scratching people to hell. However... it is clearly stated that any activity such as "cutting growth" or altering ANY trail on state owned land is strictly prohibited. Makes you wonder how someone gets actual permission to polka-dot trees right? In essence, trails can not be "maintained." People do it anyway because of the benefits.

    Well kept areas have strong user groups that volunteer... to more or less break the law. Laws, which in truth, are sketchy to begin with. It's always a fight and balance. The argument goes if we could stop the 1% from being raging idiots we all could share. I mean bikes, horses, motorcycles, etc. Until that point... trail maintaining is done by people who get no "press."

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the history. You mentioned Cockaponset State Forest, does that include the trails between the Marlborough Transfer station and the airline trail?

  11. #11
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    Cockaponsett state forest... all it's pieces, are just across the CT River.

  12. #12
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    Those trails are in Salmon River SF and is it the Marlborough or East Hampton transfer station?
    I am not repeating myself I am not repeating myself!

  13. #13
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    Its mostly Salmon river state forest with a land trust here & there.
    It does border a hunting club which used to be an old airport and then a tree farm at one point. All the new trails are on state land besides the one going thru a trail gnomes backyard. You best like to pedal as it can be a grinder, especially if you don't know the trails.
    Life in every breath

  14. #14
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    This is an interesting thread - especially the part about individuals taking responsibility for maintenance of trail systems because there's no one at the town or state level in charge.

    I consider myself the co-steward for a system in my town, self-appointed, and therein lies the problem. We really need someone in charge, otherwise you end up with every/no one being in charge and a "trail enhancement" becomes a problem. I have seen so many situations over the years where someone feels they are improving something, when others see those changes as wrecking the trail or worse - endangering access.

    I don't have any answers, but if you're considering doing anything to a trail system, find someone who is involved and find out if those changes are welcomed or not. Even simple things like adding rocks to a rock garden to make it easier to ride are not necessarily welcomed changes, some people like the challenge of that rock garden. There are some places where there's no one in charge, but many places are "managed" by someone.

    For better or worse I'm involved in several email lists and facebook pages with local riders, if you want to know who is in charge of a certain area, drop me a PM and I can see if I can help locate the person.

    Its really unfortunate that this is all happening under the radar, it would be so much more productive (on all sides) if there was an officially recognized steward for every given riding place. I know that NEMBA does that for some areas, but not for very many.

    Have fun out there.
    Big Strings, Big Wheels, The Jisch Blog

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