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  1. #1
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    Lake Sawyer Trails

    This it to the riders that venture over to the west side of Maple Valley Highway and ride. There is still a nice chunk of trails on the county property that is not part of the Yarrow Bay property (basically from the south side of the Blue Berry Bog, north to Ed's Woods and just west of the creek.)

    As you know those are old trails that are like a plate of spaghetti (lots of intersections with really no signage). It can be a bit confusing if you don't ride it on a regular basis. Since our group has a good working relationship with the county I would like to do something to assist in the trail navigation. I am looking for some ideas.

    1. Signs are good but with so many intersections I am not sure how much that will help.

    2. Maybe some color coding of some designate loops thru the maze?

    3. Number the intersections?

    Looking for some suggestions or some ideas that have been implemented on other trail systems.

  2. #2
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    Take a look at how they did it at Paradise Valley, I think they have some of the best signs of most trails around here. Numbered, with arrows pointing to how far it is to other major trails or intersections/features.
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  3. #3
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    Soaring Eagle is the other park that has maps and numbered signs at each intersection with arrows showing the directions.
    The other thing you might consider is this: does the area feel like it has too many trails? If so, decommissioning a few of them could make the system easier to maintain. I do have to admit I've only ridden the west side a couple of times and probably not on the section you are talking about.

  4. #4
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    With that many intersections. A numbering system is a good bare minimum. Even if only a dozen numbers were out there correlating to a good map, it would be helpful. It's true though that decommisioning some of the lesser used and maybe more difficult to maintain trails would help as well. I like it over there and find it kinda sad that the OG side has fallen into disrepair some and out of favor for the newer East side stuff.

  5. #5
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    Colors or #'s, best to do the loop format. That way you know where and how long, some of those loops can be modified. Aren't there a couple dead ends in the rocky clearcut?
    Trails on this side ain't that bad, hadn't been in yrs and it was fine 2 weeks ago!
    More fun than an open casket funeral

  6. #6
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    That's the disadvantage of not having pre-planned trails. Vanderpols design of the XC at Duthie in the cloverleaf is a spot on example of the positives.
    The one thing i know for certain from leading club rides, there are a ton of people that don't bother or are incapable of learning a confusing trail system like Sawyer.

    Most people are looking for an escape, and don't want to concentrate on anything other than riding. Which is why lots of people will get a pal who knows the area and chase their wheel. So routes that are pre-planned are way more inviting to new waves of people.

    Anyways, to the point.

    If some trails were decommissioned in an effort to reduce the "webbing" effect, that might make sense in certain situations. You can always tally up the loss by dropping shortcuts, braids, and unsustainable trails, and add them elsewhere that makes sense down the road. The original trail builders out there never were looking long-term because they never really thought it was going to turn into a bona-fide park. So that does make things challening because there is no real planning involved in the first place (other than making a cool place to ride), but with creativity some good decisions can be made that is also respectful to the original builders vision. That is the goal i set towards myself when i worked on Tribulation.
    And finally the use of way points with a corresponding map. If a good map was built similar to the Galbraith and Beacon Hill map where profit goes back to the trail systems, that would be a nice benefit. But regardless, i think way points at intersections are a good way to go. Colors and numbers.
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  7. #7
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    I'm glad that some are willing to invest their time in trail maintenance, but please don't 'decommission' trails by blocking them off. Just don't do any maintenance on them. If no one ever rides them, mother nature will reclaim them. And, I know this thread is about the west side, but someone has 'adopted' some of the 'gray' trails on the east side even though they are still being actively maintained by the original builders. Kinda annoying to see features have been removed and carefully constructed drainage blocked off (ex: 2 Mile Island.)

  8. #8
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    Hey knotyedead and others that ride the Black Diamond area, we have recently formed a local group to help oversee, maintain and build trails on the King County and Real Life Church property (with the approval of the landowners). And, we still work under the umbrella of EMBA, So, from Henry's Ridge to Summit Ridge the county property in the middle which includes some of the land on the west side of 169 is kind of or gig. We call ourselves the Black Diamond Trail Coalition and you can find us at BigTent.com if you want to get involved.

    Regarding the "gray" trails east of Summit Ridge like 2 Mile Island most of us know who the trail builder is and we all enjoy his work a lot, but since they are "gray" we don't get involved with maintaining those trails. So, not sure if it is the original builder doing the fixes or someone else.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by knotyetdead View Post
    I'm glad that some are willing to invest their time in trail maintenance, but please don't 'decommission' trails by blocking them off. Just don't do any maintenance on them. If no one ever rides them, mother nature will reclaim them. And, I know this thread is about the west side,
    Yah i'm not trying to sell the idea of closing down a ton of trail, only using the thought if it makes route finding easier. Which in reality the idea might not even be a valid one, you would have to sit over a map to see if it makes sense to implement anywhere over there. But the benefit of having a group is the idea will get scrutinized by the people that are all busy doing the work.

    It would never just happen by one persons decision out of the blue.

    Quote Originally Posted by knotyetdead View Post
    but someone has 'adopted' some of the 'gray' trails on the east side even though they are still being actively maintained by the original builders. (ex: 2 Mile Island.)
    i enjoy riding the trails on the Plum Creek property, but i don't know any names of trails. Again bringing up Duthie "Planning" the park was built with a clean slate, so there is a benefit of volunteers/builders working their own vision. And not building a trail on top of other peoples work. (Regardless of what the Backcountry Horsemen say)

    Quote Originally Posted by knotyetdead View Post
    Kinda annoying to see features have been removed and carefully constructed drainage blocked off (ex: 2 Mile Island.)
    i agree, that is pretty annoying.
    i think the Black Diamond group has done a good job at trying to be on the same page. Everybody is getting to know everybody and can now work to help each other when they can, and are not going to goof each other up.
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  10. #10
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    I'm not trying to throw a wet blanket over the work being done by the BDTC; I really appreciate their hard work. Just expressing my wish that they not be overzealous in closing existing trails or doing too much 'clean up' that changes the character or difficulty of the trails.

  11. #11
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    Not aware that we have done any of the above. If you are are aware of any "over zealous" work done by the group please let me know.

    (BTW. The potential idea of closing any trails was only a suggestion provided by someone else on the forum.)

    Thanks for the input.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by knotyetdead View Post
    I'm not trying to throw a wet blanket over the work being done by the BDTC; I really appreciate their hard work. Just expressing my wish that they not be overzealous in closing existing trails or doing too much 'clean up' that changes the character or difficulty of the trails.
    i never thought you were trying to throw a wet blanket, nor was i trying to say you were. Not trying to single you out, you just raised some valid concerns, and i'm more interested in talking about ideas.

    i think forums get dialogue started, and ideas raised, and it's an easy way to highlight issues. But it's just so much conversation, like talking in a room where thousands of people can eavesdrop. It's great for creating a room where people can give and take to the conversation, but at the end of the day the people who participate are the movers and shakers.

    Anyways sounds like you have a vested interest in the area, i'd recommend hooking up with the group. i'm sure it will be quite painless.
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  13. #13
    Just roll it......
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    My two peso's on decommissioning old trails is that if there's enough reason to put in a re-route, then there should be enough reason to close the old trail.

    Personally, I hate braiding unless it's necessary (i.e. for a ridearound on a feature). Galby is full of them and we're trying to tackle them as we bring new trails on board or are rebuilding them post logging.

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