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  1. #1
    fart knocker
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    harbison trail conditions

    i went out there this morning, and trails are supper sloppy. i thought a trail closure system was in place?? i checked the friends of harb web site before i went, and there was nothing. ran into a guy who drove up from Charleston to ride after checking the net for closures only to be disappointed. not being a facebooker, i tried to get my wife to post to the friends facebook page, but shes afraid of receiving flack about suggesting trail closure. i like to ride as much as the next guy, but 1/3rd of firebreak is still under snow and ice patches, and another 1/3rd is under standing water. is this not enough for at least partial closures to trail traffic?
    i know ill get flamed for suggesting trail closures, but if you regularly attend trail days (which almost no one does, because i never see the same people twice) you'd know that making repairs in the spring after a wet winter is going to be impossible. so few people typically show up for work days, that only small sections of trail can receive minor repairs.
    i also know the forestry dept needs the $$$ from parking fees, and i know no one wants the trails shut down when they want to run, bike, walk, or whatever. i also know that there were sections of trail that were still showing damage from last years wet winter late into this past summer. those sections will probably still be damaged late into this coming summer.
    i dont know what the solution is, but as a frequent user of the harbison trail system, i would like to keep it in as good condition as possible. whats the point of fighting for more trails in that area if no ones willing to keep up the trails we already have.
    Quote Originally Posted by dgaddis1
    Yeah. I'm kind of a big deal. People know me.

  2. #2
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    I can confirm that. I rode about a quarter of a mile in to see what the trails are like... all soup. Please stay off of the trails. Maybe the new IMBA / SORBA chapter we're trying to form can help better inform people of trail conditions...

  3. #3
    Paste eater
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    I'm a recent transplant from the New England. I can unequivocally say that trail damage due to recreation is a non issue in comparison. Harbison just doesn't get the traffic that I would expect the hardpack/clay must be more resilient to water damage. That being said, trail closure certainly isn't a bad idea. Take a look at the Charlotte area. Talk about an aggressive closure policy. I was up in the area following a day of very little precip and couldn't believe the trails were closed.

    But back to the more pressing matter... When will the trails be ready to ride?

  4. #4
    fart knocker
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    jwind...... if youre not familiar with harbisons winter conditions, let me ruin your winter. if i doesnt rain for the next month and temps stay in the 50-60's, then harbison might dry out in the next 3-4 weeks.
    also, because its been so cold lately (for us southerners) traffic is certainly low. if the temps get up into the 50-60's and the sun comes out, harbison will be packed...... if its had a chance to dry out or not. when summer gets here, its so hot and plants are so active that water gets soaked up in a day or so. that being said, every rut and muddy hole made this winter will dry into a concrete like hardness when summer gets here.
    the low attendance of trail work days and general lack of respect for the trail system and its condition make me wonder if columbia area residents realize what we have here. everyone loves fats, pisgah, and tsali and so do i, but i also dont want to have to drive and hour or more for an afterwork or morning ride. the general internet opinion of harbison is that it is somehow lacking because its not a copy of fats or tsali or pisgah and because its a multi-use trail. it may not provide as exciting a ride as those places, but it has more and better and better maintained trails than other nearby trail systems. multiuse makes that happen.

    i understand that i have my panties in a wad on this one, but it seems like someone needs to. somehow we as a community need to take better care of what we have. it may not be the best place, but it is a great place, and i would surely miss it were it to be closed. too bad sesqui cant be expanded to entice more people to go there when conditions are bad at harbison. im sure they could use the additional revenue.
    Quote Originally Posted by dgaddis1
    Yeah. I'm kind of a big deal. People know me.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dominicSC
    jwind...... if youre not familiar with harbisons winter conditions, let me ruin your winter. if i doesnt rain for the next month and temps stay in the 50-60's, then harbison might dry out in the next 3-4 weeks.
    also, because its been so cold lately (for us southerners) traffic is certainly low. if the temps get up into the 50-60's and the sun comes out, harbison will be packed......
    I am not familiar with the winter conditions. no. Only been here since August, though i've yet to see the place packed.

    Quote Originally Posted by dominicSC
    the low attendance of trail work days and general lack of respect for the trail system and its condition make me wonder if columbia area residents realize what we have here.
    Again, haven't been here long, but I get the feeling that's a no. Up until the weather turned, I was there (at least) 2x a week and we really haven't seen much of anyone more than once.

    Quote Originally Posted by dominicSC
    everyone loves fats, pisgah, and tsali and so do i, but i also dont want to have to drive and hour or more for an afterwork or morning ride. the general internet opinion of harbison is that it is somehow lacking because its not a copy of fats or tsali or pisgah and because its a multi-use trail. it may not provide as exciting a ride as those places, but it has more and better and better maintained trails than other nearby trail systems. multiuse makes that happen.
    I completely agree. There is a lot of opportunity there for the mountain bike community. And, no, i'm not talking about making it into a mountain bike park. Quite the contrary... I'm talking about bettering trails, giving back, existing harmoniously with other users and creating a good rep for MT bikers.


    Quote Originally Posted by dominicSC
    i understand that i have my panties in a wad on this one, but it seems like someone needs to. somehow we as a community need to take better care of what we have. it may not be the best place, but it is a great place, and i would surely miss it were it to be closed. too bad sesqui cant be expanded to entice more people to go there when conditions are bad at harbison. im sure they could use the additional revenue.
    I don't think you are are being unreasonable at all. And at the risk of starting some sort of war, I think it's pretty sad that of all the local shops, there is not ONE organized Mt Bike ride... I mean really? Get on it. The shops have the largest influence on cyclist. Especially with the lake of SORBA/IMBA chapter...

  6. #6
    RXB
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    We went out today and rode Manchester instead of Harbison. The trails were dry and in good shape and I didn't have to clean my bike when I got home......
    Jack of all trades, master of none.

  7. #7
    fart knocker
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    jwind.... my angry rant wasnt targeted at you, just venting i guess. after being involved with harbison and its volunteer maintenance, facing another winter of wet conditions and a total disregard for those conditions has me a bit fumed.

    i ride alot, weather permitting, and i see lots of the same people everyday out there..... especially during the spring, summer, and fall. it seems as thought the same cars follow me into the parking lot at 5:45 AM, and the same people and cars seem to be around at 4,5,6, and 7o'clock in the PM during the summer. all these people use the park as frequently as myself, but i dont think ive ever met any of them at a trail work day. obviously the park is important to them also, but why doesnt it cross their mind to put some sweat equity back in??

    i agree local shops should be involved also. bike manufactures bring their trailers full of bikes to sell potential new customers out there, and shops depend on riders to keep their shops alive....... doesnt logic require that harbison therefore helps the shops survive??

    its a crazy conundrum...... the forestry dept doesnt have the funds or man power to do more than the most very basic maintenance, ive heard the trail management doesnt want to suffer lower fee collections to help preserve the trails by closing them, and there seems to be an apathy within the mtb community concerning the harbison trail system. everybody uses it...... almost everyone uses it frequently, most bikers complain about it (even though it wasnt designed as a bike trail system, only spiderwoman and lost creek were designed by bikers), but noone comes out to help maintain it nor does any activism towards new trail development (which i was told will be very difficult in the current management climate)

    we need a way to channel riders to manchester and sesqui and other better draining trail systems when harbison is wet. bike shops could be the key here...... maybe organized rides at other parks to expand riders horizons, or at least having shop sponsored trail work days so riders have more respect for the preservation of the trail system. sorba-csra closes fats frequently and noone complains, at least you dont hear about it if they do. we need that sense of responsibility here. when harbison has degraded to the condition of lynches wood (where almost no maintenance is done by one or two people.... including very little downed tree removal or trail marking making it super easy to get lost) users will start to complain, and unfortunately noone will be listening.

    with that being said, im done ranting.if you care either you already know whats going on behind the scenes and are trying to help or you will contact people in the know and show up to trail days and help out in the future. if you dont give a sh-t and youll just keep on damaging the trail and complaining that noone fixes for you to f-ck up again.


    ps if youre reading this and youre a friends of harbison board member or equivalent and need condition updates to help make closure decisions, let me know, id be more than happy to shoot emails to those in charge when things are bad. all i want is better communication and management of the trails so that everyone can have a good time, and im more than willing to donate my time and money to help.... i just wish more people were willing to do the same
    Quote Originally Posted by dgaddis1
    Yeah. I'm kind of a big deal. People know me.

  8. #8
    paintbucket
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    Quote Originally Posted by dominicSC
    sorba-csra closes fats frequently and noone complains, at least you dont hear about it if they do.
    You're not listening in the right places.

    And in case someone hasn't heard about this effort, there's a meeting tonight:

    When the going gets weird its bedtime.

  9. #9
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    Look at the Friends of Harbison Site:

    NEW WET WEATHER TRAIL PROTECTION PROCESS!!!

    Much like closure measures used in other areas to protect trails from damage due to wet weather, Harbison's great trails now have protection. During heavy rain events and for 24 hours after, trail users will be directed to stay off the trails. You may still run, walk or ride the gravel roads. Soon, Friends will have more information about this process, including directions to the alternate routes, displayed at our new kiosk. The forest map already shows the gravel roads.
    How much is too much rain and how long will the trails be closed? Well, it's sort of complicated. Harbison has a variety of soil types and they react differently to rain. Some get muddy and others, like sand, compact so it's going to take a while to work out the right mix. Your patience and cooperation is appreciated.

  10. #10
    fart knocker
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    alefak, that was posted to the friends site last spring i think. in fact there were trail closures during the spring and summer last year. that being said, there have been closure-worthy events several times this fall/winter but no closures. the friends facebook page used to post closures within hours of a heavy rain event, now not so much.
    Quote Originally Posted by dgaddis1
    Yeah. I'm kind of a big deal. People know me.

  11. #11
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    Settle down, Beavis. Just kidding...
    You have too much heart not to go for chapter prez.

  12. #12
    fart knocker
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    i imagine there are a lot of hats in the ring for that position. i dont know enough important people and am unwilling to deal with the high and mighty politics involved to have any pull in the mtb/trail/ gov't world. i will continue to attend trail days as often as possible and interrupt my rides to move branches and small fallen trees and any other debris i come across on the trail. i know im not the only person who does these things, but everyone needs to do it. if we all did a little while were out there it would help alot.
    Quote Originally Posted by dgaddis1
    Yeah. I'm kind of a big deal. People know me.

  13. #13
    Team Martin
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    Quote Originally Posted by RXB
    We went out today and rode Manchester instead of Harbison. The trails were dry and in good shape and I didn't have to clean my bike when I got home......
    Great choice whenever Harbison is a mudhole or even times when it's not

    The guys who maintain the Manchester (K3, Campbells Pond) trails really do a great job & that place continues to evolve w/ time, & each time it gets better!

  14. #14
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    I am going to be in Columbia Friday afternoon and had planned to ride Harbinson until it rained yesterday and today (at least in Greenville). How are the conditions? I hope to ride Manchester on Saturday.

  15. #15
    fart knocker
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtpisgah
    I am going to be in Columbia Friday afternoon and had planned to ride Harbinson until it rained yesterday and today (at least in Greenville). How are the conditions? I hope to ride Manchester on Saturday.
    i did a loop of the main trail system this afternoon, and surprisingly the trail looked pretty good. its soft, and has some muddy sections, but is ride-able. i would think it would improve even more in the next day or so.
    Quote Originally Posted by dgaddis1
    Yeah. I'm kind of a big deal. People know me.

  16. #16
    RXB
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    B*Man
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    Harbison Closed

    Harbison will be closed Saturday 2-5-11.

    http://www.friendsofhsf.org/
    Last edited by RXB; 02-04-2011 at 05:20 PM.
    Jack of all trades, master of none.

  17. #17
    Paste eater
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    Anyone been out there recently?

  18. #18
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    trail was in good shape earlier today. dry as ive ever seen it in february. lots of work has been done to correct drainage problems.

  19. #19
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    Praise the maker!
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