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  1. #1
    Papa T
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    GRAHAM SWAMP - Trail Rebuild Info

    St. John's Water Management District owns the land that this trail is on. They are currently harvesting timber which has destroyed a good percentage of the current trail system. I have been in contact with Lori Hazel, the land manager for this area, and have learned that the land will be reopened shortly after they are done cleaning up the mess. After this point, the trails can be redesigned and rebuilt as needed.

    However, we need to form a local mountain biking organization so we can submit plans for a new trail to Flagler County Parks and Recreation. Once they have approved a plan, it will be passed on to SJWMD for their approval.

    Anyone interested in forming a local org. please contact me here or by phone: 386.338.1240.

    We really need to get organized ASAP, this week preferrably.

    Thanks,

    Terry Peres

  2. #2
    mtbr member
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    I just came back from Graham Swamp about an hour ago. After seeing the distruction, I thought they were going to develope it. Even though I'm happy that this isn't the case, it is going to take a TON of work to get it back into anything thats enjoyable to ride. The folks who 'harvested' it were nowhere near gental and it even appears as if they went out of there way to tear up the trail more then they needed to!

    Do you know of when the land will be open again?

  3. #3
    Papa T
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    Hey Outkast89, glad to see you are conerned about our only local trail.

    The land owners told us we could take down the closed signs this past weekend. However, we are gonna wait until they get the last of the equipment out and are finished burning the rubbish piles they left. We were out there on Saturday looking at the land have some good ideas to avoid as much of the sand pits of death as possible. I agree with you that it looks like the contractor tore the trail up on purpose, but I am guessing they were probably more concerned about doing it as quickly as possible to minimize their expense.

    There is currently about 3 1/2 miles left of the original trail. To access it from the road, go in the North entrance off of the paved bike path. It is directly across from the road that goes to Herschell King Park.

    If anyone wants to email me, send it here: tperes@cfl.rr.com

  4. #4
    gutfiddle
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    Hey Terry, my name is Jamie Jacobson. I went out to graham swamp a few weeks back when it was closed and the heavy machinery was out there. Rode spruce creek instead but saw that graham swamp has some nice ridges and the possibility of being a great place to ride. I live in Cocoa so its a bit of a hike to Flagler but I would love to help coordinating and building trails out there. Let me know of your progress and when u could use a hand. Thanks for the leg work hope it all pans out.
    ~Jamie

  5. #5
    Papa T
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    Trail update.

    Over the last month a few of us have been laying out the front section of trail. We have about 1.5 miles that is almost connected to the north end. The north end has still has 3.5 miles of untouched trail that is currently in great shape from the recent rain.

    By this coming weekend, Easter, we should have the new front sections connected to the northern sections and rideable to the point that you can head south from the main parking lot, down the access road to the very southern end. When you get close to the end of the access road, the new trail begins. Look for pieces of tree lining both sides of the trail that forms a guide. Most of the new trail sections should have guides. Riders and hikers be warned: the new sections are very soft still, and will take many weeks of riding and lots of rain to get it packed down. The timber harvesting really did a number on the undergrowth and forest floor. Basically, there in no ground cover, so a good majority of the sand is exposed and just a nightmare to ride on. We kept the new trail under as much tree cover as possible and off of the tops of the now desert-like hills. We have used old sections of trail where possible and are really excited about the new lines that should prove more fun than the old sections.

    Please remember the new trail sections are a work in progress and will get better with time. Please leave all leaves, pine needles and other ground cover on the trail as it will pack down and help relieve the sugar-sand conditions that are so common in Florida.

    Our goal all along has been to get new sections laid out and connected so that when we are far enough along, we can have a few organized work days. The work days will consist mainly of armoring the trail on the soft sections as well as some of the tops of the hills to help reduce erosion. I will post on the Souteast forum here at MTBR.com to announce workdays.

    Thanks,

    Terry

  6. #6
    mtbr member
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    Any news on the trail. I was thinking about heading out Saterday, but I would like to know if the trail is even ridable.

  7. #7
    Papa T
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    Rode out on wednesday evening. We got some sprinkles but not enough to really do anything spectacular for it. The sugar sand felt like peanut butter with just enough moisture to stick to my tires and make the climbs even tougher. I still had a blast. Actually pulled a superman on a berm that I took a little too high and washed out doing about 15mph.

    The old sections of trail are still the best, but the new front sections are finally getting rippable. It's got a more down hill feel to it, except where you have to climb of course.

    The trail progress is coming along great. We have the new front connected to the old trail now. We have started to work on the final part, getting the rest of the old loop connected. It will run south from the shell climb area and run about 1.5 to 2 miles. It looks like we should have 6.5 to 7 miles again.

    As soon as the rainy season starts, we'll be loving it.

    Go out there and ride. The more people ride it, the better it gets. This weekend should be great for riding with the last cold front of the season I imagine.

    I may ride again Sunday morning, unless the waves are gonna be as big as predicted.

    Crank it!

  8. #8
    Papa T
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    Update

    Well the trail is fully connected and has been for a couple of weeks. Problem is that it is soooo dry, the new sections probably shouldn't even be ridden on. The last few times I went, my front tire was just plowing through the sugar sand ruts. If we ever get some rain, it will be a blessing. The old sections that are still there are riding great, with some soft sections interpersed throughout but nowhere near as bad as the new sections.

    The trail currently is about 5.5 to 5.75 miles long. There is another section we want to add, but it is soft too. I just don't see much sense in adding more sugar sand just to get distance. Once we get some rain and the trail starts to pack we can look at adding that section. It is really some of the old sections that were torn up.

    Anyone who is looking to drive from somewhere far away to ride here, don't bother. Go to Santos or Reddick. It is just not worth the effort until we get lots of rain.

  9. #9
    the #1 Stunna'
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    Ok call me stupid if you wish....i am intrested in the trail. I was wodering were this is. I would be coming from Gainesville. If there is any more work that needs to be done. i am willing to help. Thanks for any info
    I has Bikes

  10. #10
    Papa T
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    Hey Kawsaki...

    If you are coming from Gainseville, it is about 1 1/2 hours to the east. Basically just outside Flagler Beach.

    From G'ville head east on S.R. 20 to Palatka. In Palatka jump on S.R. 100 which is the main drag over the bridge and head east. Just outside of Palatka is a small village named San Mateo. You must turn left onto S.R. 100 at this little intersection. This will take you to Bunnell. S.R. 100 terminates into U.S. 1 in Bunnell. Go south on U.S. 1 in Bunnell for 1/2 mile then take a left onto 100 again. This heads pretty much due east to the beach. Before you get the beach, about 3 miles past I-95 is a stoplight. This is Colbert Lane. Take a left onto Colbert which will point you North. Go about 2-3 miles on Colbert and Graham Swamp is on your left. The trailhead is at a dry, dusty white limestone parking lot.

    You may want to go the the Trail Review section for better directions, or use an atlas.

    Below is a link to mapquest directions. You'll probably have to copy and paste it into your browser.

    http://www.mapquest.com/directions/m...7cUS&2qc=Swamp

  11. #11
    Papa T
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    Update September

    Well, it has been a long, dry summer. Fortunately, with the help of Ernesto (tropical storm), the trail is finally in good shape again. I just rode it yesterday and it was riding great. It has been over a week since the trail had any rain, but it didn't matter, the new sections are finally bedding down.

    We have started doing some impromptu work again. Using the limestone that SJRWMD provided, we have begun to armor some of the steeper, sandier sections of trail. If we can keep getting rain every week or two, the trail will for the most part take care of itself.

    I know I have stated in the past I would post info. about trail workdays. Sorry that hasn't happened. We usually end up doing some work after we ride. With hurricane season here, most of us hesistate to make any plans, because if the waves are up the trail takes a back seat.

    However, at some point Flagler County Parks and Recreation is going to come out and provdide some bobcat assistance with transporting the limestone to key areas. When we get this planned I will try to post here about it. If you are interested in helping with the trail, please leave a number or email where I can contact you.

    Get out there and ride!

  12. #12
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    Awesome Job on the Trail

    Went riding Sunday to Graham Swamp - had heard lots about it and YES the trail lived up to the hype!!

    Whoever is maintaining the trail is doing an awesome job!! Can't give that crew enough props on the job they are doing...

    Graham Swamp is now on my list of top 5 all time favorites!!

  13. #13
    Papa T
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    Right on! I think this may be the best the trail has ever been. With the rainfall coming every week or so and the cooler temps, the trail surfce is staying firm. Every weekend the parking lot is full and I am constantly meeting Graham Swamp trail virgins!

    Work is underway to reclaim about 1/4 mile of the original trail beginning that existed prior to the 2006 tree removal.

    Also, there are Graham Swamp Trail calendars available at local bike shops in Flagler and Volusia counties. I believe The Bike Shop in Ormond and PC Bike in Palm Coast have them, there may be others too.

    Props to Mickey and his crew for their latest grooming efforts!
    Keep your head tube up!
    2012 Marin Mt. Vision XM Pro
    2009 Jamis Dragon ONE

  14. #14
    Shortcutting Hikabiker
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    I rode out there for the first time and had fun, it's sandy but the sand was never really a problem.
    "Listen here you beautiful *****, I'm about to **** you up with some truth"

  15. #15
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    damn I need to find some people to head up there with from Orlando...
    08 Bar 2.1 FS
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    http://theboyaintright.blogspot.com

  16. #16
    Two wheel dirt demon!
    Reputation: Dave571's Avatar
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    This place is Awe some.
    You never will know if you have what it takes until you give it everything you've got!

  17. #17
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    just rode it today. Was WAY better than I expected. Got broken off on a few of the uphills due to soft sand, but I liked it!! So many jumps and fun sections. Props to the crew who work/maintain it!!! I had a blast and will continue to make the 1 hr drive, well worth it!!

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