Best Trail Maintenance ?
I have never done any formal trail maintenance. However, I will generally stop to pick up garbage / fix log piles and remove branches and stuff that has worked its way on to the trails when I am out on a ride. I do volunteer 10 plus hours a week to support schools.
That being said, what parks do you think have improved over the last several years due to effective trail maintenance?
I have seen great improvements at both Allaire and Lewis Morris. I find the new trails and reroutes at both places have made riding there a lot more fun,
On the other hand, the park I rode at today is less fun than in the past. My favorite trail from back in the day is a shell of it's former self. Sure it was muddy a lot, but the new version is only marginally better. I can still recall the grin on my face making the left turn at the bottom of the hill into the parking lot. Today the grin was replaced by a grimace as I tried to flow down the same trail. I've been biting my tongue for a while (since I don't get out myself) but the switchback 3/4's of the way down to the parking lot that takes you back up the hill a bit doesn't fit in with the character of the trail and kills the flow. If you know the trail and park from the description then you probably feel the same way.
Anyway, I should probably focus more on the positive work at Allaire and Lewis Morris. Thanks to all who have been getting out at all the parks. With the exception of my one rant I really appreciate all the effort that is being put in.
So where do you think the trail maintenance has had the best results?
This is a great question and one that I felt should not be allowed to scroll off without a reply. That said, its a hard one for me to answer because I am blatantly biased, but I'll try and give it a stab with a reply of my own.
2006 had a marked increase in Trail Maintenance hours from previous years in all NJ parks that are actively stewarded by JORBA chapter. We had over 3600 hours in NJ in '06, and we are already well on track to have 4000 or 4500 hours in 2007.
As far as who's doing the best? They are all doing fantastic! At all the parks stewarded by JORBA, we're reparing or re-routing crappy, erosed fall line trails according to IMBA's sustainable trailbuilding science. The payoff is more great trails in NJ.
Also, all this hard work, by you all, the riding public, creates trust and good will (with the land managers), and this will in turn translate into more new mountain biking trails (and perhap new trail access in 07 and 08).
Want to see? Just go to any park where JORBA has a chapter and you're going to find hard work being done and trails being improved regularly. Besides improving existing trail we're also working on *brand new* trail networks in Jungle Habitat and Wharton State Forest.
I think I am personally *most* excited about the new JORBA folks that are just recently getting involved at Kittatinny, 2 new parks within Morris County (Mahlon and Tourne), Somerset County Parks (WVP and Sourlands), and Wildcat WMA.
But... I am also *extremely proud* of the old timers (sorry ) that have been working the other parks for years now. And yet every year, they raise the bar and keep the troops coming out in force, and thus keep improving the parks at the local level. In fact, can't think of too many parks that are less fun to ride now than they were 5 years ago. But I can think of a half dozen that WAY more fun now than even 3 years ago.
I'd love to hear from anyone that wishes to share positive experiences at any of the NJ parks. Hopefully the ratings and reviews will be good ones, but constructive criticism on any flaws and how we can do better is more than appropriate and will be taken seriously.
What goes into making a new trail?
I ride in an area that doesn't have any defined singletrack. In the part that I ride most often, a path is starting to form now. I was wondering (other than not going stright down the fall line) how you pick the route of a new trail? I don't want to keep riding it and end up creating a crappy trail. Sorry for straying a bit from the trail maintenance topic.
Originally Posted by crash_in_nj
Besides the link that Kirt suggests which is excellent, order this free video:
I uploaded the intro here: