Trail names and how they came to be
I have been involved with a small group of trail builders who up until this past spring were building all our trails rogue. In the past 8 months the conservation authority has built us a 20 car parking lot and provided us with a concrete bunker to store our tools.
The plan for this winter and spring is signage, we were given a nice chunk of funds from the local cycling club for this. All the trails currently have names, eg Kessel run, Uptown, Funyun, Barfa Lounger, and a few others, these are all well known with the local riders. We just dont have signage. The CA wants to name them names like rattlesnake and wolverine and other nature names. We are not fans of this.
The head builder has had a few chats with them about how trail names come to be and I think they may be starting to see our side of it but we need more examples.
What I need from all of you is some pictures of trail names and a quick explanation of why they are named that.
Any help would be a big help to us
Oh and for anyone who is interested in knowing where the trails are, they are located just outside of Peterborough Ontario Called Harold Town Conservation area. We currently have 12km of trail open with a couple more planned for the next year.
Sticks and Stones - When built had plenty of log overs and large boulders along the trail. Seemed like a nice play on words of the old child hood chant, sticks and stones will break my bones...
Mello Yello - Easy trail along the yellow ski trail in the ganaraska forest and a tasty beverage to boot.
Newtons Theory - Another Ganny trail, downhill, carvy trail that obeys Newtons theory of Gravity. What goes up...Must go down.
The CA will be tough to reason with on trail naming but you may find locals even tougher. My local regional government had signs torn down or vandalized when they tried to change the names of trails. The vandals left notes explaining why. "We built these trails, they're not yours to name." That was the polite version of what they wrote.
I believe the builder is the one who should name a trail, but if you're using a legacy trail that's been there "forever" it's best to stick with whatever the most people call it. Why would you change it unless it's something incredibly rude like "Sofa King" at Hartland Rd. in Victoria B.C. or "Yer Mom" on Hornby Island, BC (as in "I rode Yer Mom last night."). I'm fond of "Cunning Stunts" on the Sunshine Coast. Even if you wanted to rename it, it wouldn't make sense. They are cunning stunts.
Personally I go with themes when I build my trails so it makes the system easy to recognize when people are talking about it.
Over The Hills, Dazed and Confused, Ramble On and Kashmir are in the Zepplin system. Frodo, Gollum, Mordor, The Dead Marshes are in Middle Earth. And so on.
On one system I built there are at least 3 names for each trail because there are no signs. The hikers call them one thing, the equestrians another, the bikers another.
Originally Posted by Trail Ninja's Son
I name trails after bikes !
One of our local trails systems has a theme for the trail names.
After movies that match the characteristics of the trail.
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.
Hunter S. Thompson
Originally Posted by Trail Ninja's Son
We have one called Hollywood. It got the name because the project manager found a pair of sun glasses during the build.
Wildwood ends at Wildwood Road, but first you have to go down the Descent of Death.
I dont know the story behind the Monkey Patch.
Rocks & Roots-pretty much self explanatory
The Main Vein runs through the middle & joins it all together.
Bastard Hill is just that
Last edited by jeffw-13; 12-03-2012 at 05:53 PM.
Trail naming is mostly an organic thing... it just sort of evolves. Movie titles or memorable lines work. Battle names. Land features or man made items found along the trail. Names for someone who had a memorable crash or rode the impossible. Names for someone's dog or favorite uncle.
One of the funniest trail naming stories went something like a small group wanted a tour of a trail system. They explained to their guides (some of the local trail builders) their ability levels and the pace they felt they could manage. So, their guides talked it over for a minute and decided on a route for the ride. When they get to the bottom of a particular descent, which was a newer trail and not too difficult, the visitors came straggling in, huffing and complaining about how their guides had tried to kill them on such a technical trail, how it was virtually unrideable. Taken aback, one of the guides said to the other, "if they think that trail isn't rideable, they can kiss my ass." That trail now has the name of Upper, Middle, and Lower KMA.
Sometimes, you need to go fast enough that the trail is a blur to find clarity. -- Wild Bill
On the middle school trails named by the kids (8 to 13 years old) there are Horsey, Pony and Bear. Named after the poop found on the trail. In the same system, "Shadow" was named after the specific dog who left the poop.
Originally Posted by Trail Ninja's Son
We had to cut a new trail yesterday to move a section of the trail system farther south due to a state mandated scrub Jay restoration project. This trail was a compromise between the bike club and the county. The new trail (1 and a half miles) was named "The Compromise" . I guess it fits.
14' Vassago VerHauen
Here in Oneonta we've got a few:
Bridge Street Traverse: A ~ 1 mile trail that traverses the side of a ridge, mixed singletrack and doubletrack. Originally only the doubletrack was there and included a large ATV bridge, hence "Bridge Street". The "Traverse was added on a few years later.
Blood Sweat & Tears: The first trail that the Oneonta State College Mountain Biking Club truly built (i.e. more than rake'n'ride). It is a shade over 2.5 miles and took us almost 3 years to complete. Named for the amount of effort we put into it, and since its initials are the same as those of Bridge Street Traverse, with which it makes a ~3 mile loop (called simply the BST Loop).
Shake-Brown: A trail I came up I conceived this spring as an alternate way to get from the road up into a ridgeline trail system. Previously the only way to get up to or down from the system was by a couple hundred yards of fire road. My roommate's girlfriend came out to help and suggested calling it the Shake-Brown. My last name is Brown-Shaklee and people often pronounce it as "Shakely". I wouldn't name a trail after myself, but it was proposed and quickly adopted so it stuck. Additionally this trail, while short, typifies how I like to build and ride so people were more than willing to make me the namesake. I was rather flattered by it actually.
Stinger: When working on this new trail last fall we kept digging into nests of ground bees. They were not thrilled; several stinging experiences were had. Also, this trail has all sorts of sculpted dirt features that favor the rider who has the speed and agility of a Stinger Missile.
Huck 'n' Roll: I helped build this with the Trail Design & Construction class a couple years ago. This is an unofficial name (trails in this system are just named with colors) but is named such because of all the natural whoops and rollers that you can either huck or roll.
Trails I have named (and mostly built), but not always...
Bovine (bliss) named with friend Will as well
Grumpy's (Grumpy Old Men)
Pole Dancer (next years project, hopefully!)
Some trail names from 'round these parts:
Ridgeback - Named after the builder's Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs, and the the fact that you can ride up other trails in the valley and then take the ridge... back...
Sulphur Springs - On a bad day, the seeps smell like rotten eggs, likely due to the large reservoir of sour gas under the mountain
Moosepackers - An old pack trail leading up to the top of Moose Mountain
Sugar Momma - The husbands stayed home and built trail while their wives went to work
Toothless - a hard bail led to missing teeth
Family Guy - a local builder pressed his family into digging a very long, nicely benched trail
. Didn't personally name all these.
But here's what I know:
Twisty--this trail is a series of "S" turns and sharp turns but it suprisingly has real good flow. Named for the character of the trail.
1 Mile--one of the 1st bike specific trails at my local spot, I know the guy who laid it out and built most of it himself, it's .98 miles long.
Sophia's---named after one of the builder's daughters, name stuck
Vine St when we were building this theres were thes huge thick vines everywhere, we left some in to add some difficulty to the trail
Creekside the bottom of the trail runs dwon to the creek bed really cook place to stop, you can here the water running by
Cambodia trail that runs thru thick vegetation, not really sure that exact origin but again it just stuck
Endor--I laid this out and built this with 2 others, there's a few tight "tree thrus" that just reminded me of ROTJ and the speederbike chase.
here's the initial rough cut
Last edited by pascale27; 12-02-2012 at 09:19 PM.
Misfit diSSent 1x10
My buddy built a trail at his new house and named it "Right Foot"
Right Foot. It's the first trail in my new backyard. The name comes from us just moving into a sub full of well-to-do people and what better way to get off on the right foot with the neighbors than to build a set of BIG dirt jumps in my backyard!
This is exactly what I was hoping for!
Thanks for every ones help so far.
So far there are no names on these trails, just the ones the builders and riders have given them. We have a facebook page and have used that as a way for users to vote on trail names. Worked out well so far.
Misfit diSSent 1x10
Here is the link the the facebook page. Feel free to join, every member(local or not) makes a difference for us.
Originally Posted by ptbo_mac
It'll be good to get advanced notice of trail build days.
Originally Posted by Trail Ninja's Son
Thanks for joining trail ninja. I have been following some of your posts both here and in the Eastern Canada forum.
last year we had 5 or 6 build days. If we could get to 1 a month I would be happy. Usually 2 weeks notice is given for any event.
If your ever in the area let me know, I will give you a tour on bike or foot.
For sale- Named after old for sale sign that's only visible in fall
Stone hut and upper stone hut- stone hut sets by the trail
Vader trail- there was a Darth Vader mask found while building.
Turtle Head- turtle shell found while being built
Lost Sailor. I named that trail for a number of reasons. First off, the trail leads you to an area called "Land of the Lost". I work on sailboats for a living. Work was slow so I decided to go build a trail. Also, it doesn't hurt that it's a song by the Grateful Dead.
Drago's Dig. Well, that was easy for me to name. My dog Drago was out there while I was building the trail. He was digging like most dogs like to do
I got the wood from a local wood boat building shed. Used a burn tool for the lettering.
"Bound to cover just a little more ground"
Stonehenge - There's about 10 huge 8' tall rocks in the middle of nowhere and Gene wanted the trail to run right through them.
The Wooden Cross - There was a downed tree that I wanted to build a skinny onto. It consists of a 3' drop to a tapered transition that starts @4' and narrows to 18" in 12'. It then goes up a 12" wide, 12' long bridge to an 8" wide tree that's 4' off the ground. Hook a left and ride off a 70* transition. OR, you can go around the drop and ride across the log on a 60' long bridge.
Bones! - Black Friday 2011- I went up Moosic to finish a trail that I started the previous year. My buddy came up later that day, but we couldn't finish it in time. I run into a buddy on Saturday who said he'd come up Sunday morning to help finish it off. It would be the last possible day cause hunting starts on Monday and goes for two weeks. Heart Attack and myself go up and run into some guy driving back into the woods through the yellow gate. We talk to him and we go our own separate ways. Me and Heart Attack go and finish the job in 2hrs. This guy is just coming out of the woods now in his vehicle. We talk again and I see two cases of empty beer in the back. We have no real name for this new trails yet. Monday night I'm flipping through the channel's and on the local news they say a body was found by a hunter on Moosic Mtn. and there's a picture of the YELLOW GATE! The body was within feet of the new trail. Of course, my buddy's joked and said I hid it. The guy was missing for a year and a halfway. RIP.
If my rogue trails got legitimized then I'd be pretty excited. I wouldn't care what the land manager wanted to put up for trail signs.
You and your buddies can keep calling them the old names. I still call the local supermarket Cricenti's even though the Cricenti family sold the store to Haniford (a larger chain who changed the name of the store) a decade ago.
Beer Run - for the tasty beverages we consumed while building it.
Near Beer - an easy climb to the top of Beer Run.
Vitamin Z - the trail pumps back and forth through a small drainage, has several grade reversals and switchbacks to make for fun riding both directions. And I was thinking about a girl whose name starts w/ Z while building it.
Mini K - a tribute to Kessel Run.
Roller Derby - A rowdy trail, roller-coasterish trail.
Private Drive - because it crosses private property
Spine Line - pretty obvious one; it runs along a narrow spine.
I've been at this too long. I can tell where people are from by the trail names.
Originally Posted by hankthespacecowboy
Originally Posted by Trail Ninja's Son
One of our trail systems got most of its traditional, well known names changed by a committee of user groups, most of whom never built any of the trails or even use them. Really stupid names, too.
My advice is this: Make your suggestions, do what you can to to influence the names, but don't go to the mat over it, don't lose too much sleep if the the names are not what you want. It really just does not matter. And don't be one of those annoying curmudgeons who refuse to use the new names.
In other words, don't deal with it the way I did.
15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.
make kickass, handmade signs, and put them up on the trails. That is what people will call them. But only do this if you were/are a principle builder...or you are being dewshy.
Last edited by rideit; 01-04-2013 at 10:06 AM.
We have one at Sals called the Girly Man.
Its named after a local rider ( Doug ) . He didn't show on the trailwork day 'cause it was drizzling slightly and he didn't want to get wet!
At FATS in SC.
Tower: goes close to an old fire tower
Big Rock: goes near some large boulders
Deep Step: runs along Deep Step Rd, which was named for a local fishing spot in the Savanah River
Great Wall: named after a 100ft stretch of concrete chunk armoring. Felt like they were building the "great wall"
Brown Wave: named after a series of dips. One of the builders mentioned it would be like catching a wave. A brown wave for a mt bike
Skinny: never heard the story behind it. However when you look at the mao you are never that far from the other side of the loop. this is my guess on its name.
Flight Of The Fawn- A very young fawn was chased by a dog
Smokin Handlebar- shotgunning through a handlebar
Lost Lake Rim- terrain feature
Berma Trail- closed forest road with dirt berms periodically
Y2K- trail route was discovered on NY Day, 2000
Broken Nose- the trail builder broke his nose in a scrub oak cutting incident
Turkey Nest- a turkey egg rolled out on the trail from a hidden nest, 5 second rule was applied and it hatched successfully.
Purple Haze- thick purple sunset when scouting the route
Quasimodo- hunchback shaped gps track
The Aspen Corridor- old logging rr corridor through an aspen lined drainage
Kahuna Rock Trail- features a large sandstone rock escarpment shaped like a big wave
I ride with the best people.
Not to hijack the thread - Just something to consider-naming a trail, signage and a map all become political by whoever is vested and by who pays for it. I agree with all who say don't get too worked up about it.
However - The best system design I have seen is in Bend Or. The trail intersections have a 6x6 post with a number on it - that corresponds to a location on the trail system map. You can find where you are in the time space continuum by referencing the map and the numbered post.
Who cares what the name of the trail is as long as you know where you are and where you want to go. I am all for local trail names and I have seen them change over the years for no apparent reason...For our rouge trail system adopted by the Forest Service they refused to let us keep the "proper names" : Owen's Trail ( named after a guy's dog) and we had to change them all on the official map - - Until a big land owner donated land - - Now the here is proper name for a trail allowed - "Fred's Trail" in honor of the guy who donated the land.
Political Correctness - not the name of a trail, but maybe it should be.
Our LM has declared
Mongrel's trail, named because 2 mongrel dogs were seen there when it was being made
911, named years before the 911 (this is Australia, not the US)
Wimps (or Whimps), the name has a "negative" connotation
all have to be renamed
At least now we have one alternate name - PC Trail - kinda catching you think?