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  1. #1
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    What the Hell are they doing to the trails at Betzwood / Valley Forge!!!

    Last time I was out there it was the first week of May... I went for a ride early this AM before work and couldn't believe what I had seen. The first part of the trail on the 422 side (not the park side) that runs parallel to the gravel hiking path and river has been completely covered in logs sticks and rocks. It has to have been done on purpose since the items are only in the trail and nowhere else. It is like this for maybe a quarter mile, then stops.

    Has anyone else been back there to see this? Who is doing this?

  2. #2
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    That's unfortunate. There isn't a whole lot if good stuff there to begin with...

    I haven't been over there for awhile myself.
    Maybe it's the perverts that hang around that side of the area...they got tired of being interupted by mountain bikers. I have seen some shady characters who there.

    I would not recommend wearing lycra when riding there.

  3. #3
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    its my backyard and one of the only places i can make it to without sitting in traffic for an hour to get to. I still have no idea what they are trying to accomplish.

  4. #4
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    I hear you. It is the closest spot to my home (Paoli), but now that there is more daylight, I usually go to Wiss, which is close to my work.

    Where exactly is the crap they put? Where is it relative to the intersection of the paved path (right to 422 side, left to I guess, main single track route) ?
    Past the power lines towards 422, or closer to the path?


    I've moved some small stuff, that looked like it had fallen, maybe knocked down, but not to the extenet that you are describing.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by reformed roadie
    Where exactly is the crap they put? Where is it relative to the intersection of the paved path (right to 422 side, left to I guess, main single track route) ?
    Past the power lines towards 422, or closer to the path?.
    it starts at that intersection, and continues on the section of trail on the (left) river side until about the point where you come back out to the power lines.

    The field on the other side of the intersection behind the power lines towards 422 looks as if it has been cleaned up, I came out to maybe 20 trash bags of plasitc and scrap metal waiting to be picked up.

  6. #6
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    I'm not sure what's going on over there but the Park is going to build the American Revolation Center over by Pawlings Rd and some of the trails may be in jeopardy. See link to plans...not good http://www.lowerprovidence.org/planning.htm

    I ride there all the time because I live 5 minutes away, especially when I don't have time to goto Wiss so I would hate to see that place go away...

  7. #7
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    Maybe they're trying to prevent bikers from riding trails that are closed to them.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Burgess
    Maybe they're trying to prevent bikers from riding trails that are closed to them.
    That's an astute observation Brian. It looks like they are cosing it to EVERYONE though, since I dont think you can run/ walk or ride a horse through there.

  9. #9
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    also

    If you look at the map they produce (http://www.nps.gov/vafo/planyourvisi...rails_2007.pdf) you'll see it only has a fraction of the actual off-road trails in the park. I trail run a bit on the main side of the park and there's miles and miles of obvious and hidden trails not on the map. Also, anyone who rides on the Betzwood side know this map shows almost none of the singletrack.

    The clue to the closure may be this tidbit on the map:

    "Some former trails have been closed to public use. They were closed because they are unsafe and cannot be made safe, or because using the trails destroys natural or historic resources. If a trail is not shown on this map, it is closed and public use is not permitted.
    Please be a part of protecting your natural and cultural heritage by staying off closed trails."

    In other words, if it's not on the map, it's closed to everyone.

  10. #10
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    Its pretty funny how they say the trails are unsafe and cannot be made safe since they're plain old trails through the woods and they may destroy natural or historic resouces because as I posted above the Park agreed to destroy a whole bunch of land by allowing the construction of the American Revolution Center which is gonna toast most of these trails and suck up alot of open space...

  11. #11
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    I for one am scared of all these unsafe trails. I think I'll stay home and sit on the couch. Maybe there's a TV channel that shows trails.

    Some of the trails on the main side of the park that are "closed" are:

    1) Not sustainable, e.g. there's an alternate trail that comes off the main trail up the back of Mt. Misery that goes straight up a wash for awhile. It's an erosion nightmare. I think closing a trail like this (the entrance has the same purposeful pile up of logs described above) is a function of apathy (why bother making the trail sustainable) or funding (we don't have the money to make it sustainable).

    2) Dangerous, e.g. there's a crazy switchback trail up the middle of Mt Joy that dumps you out on a stone staircase right at the blind turn across from the covered bridge. I could see them deciding it's not a good idea to have Suzy Q. Tourist use that trail. The trail itself is somewhat dangerous and getting to/from the trail is definitely dangerous).

    That said, there's tons of trails like the trails by Lord Stirling's HQ that are not on the map and seem perfectly fine.

  12. #12
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    That very well may be whats going on Brian... great....

  13. #13
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    Where are the trails by Lord Sterling's HQ?

  14. #14
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    Its a mess over there. There is brush, logs, rocks and trash bags blocking several stretches of trail on teh Betzwood side. Its blatantly put there to close the trails and make them unusable to anyone. The strange thing is, these closures are on flat, non technical easily sustainable sections. The trash is actually blocking a trail through the powerlines. Whatever they're doing there seems rediculous. I'd love to hear confirmation on who is doing it and what their intentions are.

  15. #15
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    Here's my read

    I was involved in trying to get the trails re-opened at Betzwood and Valley Forge for a couple of years. The fact is, almost every trail that we ride in VF and BW is officially off limits. They are closed, they are illegal. The claim of lack of sustainability is pretty much BS, and it boils down to the fact that the park doesn't want the trails open to bikes for two basic reasons:

    1) The preservation of land that is historic in nature.

    2) Not enough manpower to monitor the trails.

    With all this said, the Rangers have pretty much turned a blind eye to people riding mountain bikes there since they closed the trails. The nonsesne you see in terms of brish, rocks, limbs, etc. placed on the trails to prevent usage is what I believe to be the work of people NOT associated with the park itself, but vigilantes who think they are doing someone a favor by blocking acces to cyclists. This also happened on the other side of the river near the railroad tracks. Earlier in the year, someone posted pictures and they look almost exactly as what you've described.

    Hopefully this sheds some light on the situation. Bummer, as while BW and VF aren't the most technical of trails, it's always a nice lesiurely ride through the woods, and close to home.

    Bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  16. #16
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    Trails

    http://www.nps.gov/vafo/planyourvisi...rails_2007.pdf

    If you look at this map and just below "Site of Lord Striling's Quarters" you'll see a horse and foot trail that terminates on the south side of Yellow Springs Road. However, this trail doesn't stop there, it crosses Yellow Springs. This main trail (I call it Turtle Trail b/c, well, I saw a turtle there once) climbs up to near some homes before cutting east and hooking up with the main Mt. Misery trail about 2/3 of the way up.

    From Turtle Trail there's a number of side trails. In the first section of the climb, a faint trail heads east and through a gully before popping out in the fields behind HQ or connecting to another trail. At the top of the first climbing section (where it bends right) a sucker trail goes west and ends at a house. Once you're at the top and heading east, a trail bombs down a travesing slope and ends up near the base of the Mt. Misery trail.

  17. #17
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    Someone ought to document on-line what Michael Caldwell has done to Valley Forge.

    Look at all the trail maintenance that has been done at Wiss, Middle Run, French Creek etc. And all the trails built all over PA with volunteer hours from mountain bikers. Look at the hours of TM that are being logged and all the different folks who have contributed. Then let's look at how many volunteer hours Mr. Caldwell has logged "preserving" Valley Forge.

    And what does HE have to show for shutting mountain biking out of VF?
    Erosion, overgrown and neglected trails and reduced use of the park.
    Oh yea, and a massive development project. Very nice.

    He's not a steward and he's not preserving anything. He's just an angry jerk who is deluded into thinking that he is reserving something historic.

    But maybe there's another side to this story that I'm missing... Mr. Caldwell, if you're out there, I'd love to hear your side of things.

    "Whether it be an abrasion or a mental breakdown, everyone suffers in one way or another." ORAMM Disclaimer

  18. #18
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    Its really a shame what is going on there, I've live within 5 minutes of the Park and I'll ride there forever since no one seems to care if your on a bike there or not. I've ridden right past Rangers and they don't care.

    As for the jacka$$ who put all the logs on the trails its only a matter of time before the hikers, horseman, and bikers take them away...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by adoble
    Its really a shame what is going on there, I've live within 5 minutes of the Park and I'll ride there forever since no one seems to care if your on a bike there or not. I've ridden right past Rangers and they don't care.

    As for the jacka$$ who put all the logs on the trails its only a matter of time before the hikers, horseman, and bikers take them away...

    It appears as if somebody has been. I was out of town a few days but I did a road ride today, I intentionally checked out the trail by the 4 way intersection to the trails along the SRT. It appears the first section of the trail on the river side in now cleared off, and several new log overs have been made out of the crap that was left there!

  20. #20
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    Just went yesterday and all the logs have been cleared or converted to log-overs. What a shame the hard work of some jacka$$ has been turned into some more fun for us!!!

  21. #21
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    I second that, I was back there earlier in the week, All is back to normal... new log overs too!

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