Barbed wire fence on dirt road right before Golden Eagle neighborhood- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    NardoSS
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    Barbed wire fence on dirt road right before Golden Eagle neighborhood

    So Rich and I pulled a Double Bypass this morning and I almost rode into a three wire barbed wire fence right before the Golden Eagle neighborhood entrance in Fountain Hills. It's about 4 feet in height and only spans the width of the dirt road. One can easily walk around it, however, there is also sign with an ARS code stuck to it facing the mountain.

    It looked pretty damn new. Was this up on the quad ride? Mountain biker issues to blame? Half the freakin' neighborhood isn't even built for crying out loud.

  2. #2
    parenting for gnarness
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    not sure quite where you are talking about, but it was not there for the Quad. glad you weren't hurt!
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  3. #3
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    Check this thread out. That is where you will find the answer.

    My guess is the airlifted the 4 foot barbed wire fence in to prevent everyone from doing too many double/quad bypass. Seems like the park service is sending you all a message.... start riding other trails, like some down here in Tucson and southern Arizona

  4. #4
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    There was a tan coffin sized metal container on the top of Sunrise and at the top of Bell pass.

    Thanks Cholla. The barbed wire is a stones throw from where three of us fell off of the end of the fire road on the double a few months ago.

    Weekday hikers are so much friendlier than weekend warrior hikers. I loved it.

  5. #5
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    Nardo--

    I was wondering when that neighborhood would get the NIMBY complex. I guess we have our answer. After our fall there in December, that place is low on my karma-meter.

    BTW, cast is off, rehab going well, and therapist says get back on the bike! I'll do a shakedown ride with the road bike, and if that goes well, start training for a March quad.

    DR

  6. #6
    meow
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    That's not McDowell Sonoran Preserve territory, nor is it the county park. Most likely it's the Sonoran Conservancy of Fountain Hills (http://www.scfh.org/) or the developer. The little man in the guardhouse almost tackled us as we came through a couple of weeks ago, was not happy to see us!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cato
    That's not McDowell Sonoran Preserve territory, nor is it the county park. Most likely it's the Sonoran Conservancy of Fountain Hills (http://www.scfh.org/) or the developer. The little man in the guardhouse almost tackled us as we came through a couple of weeks ago, was not happy to see us!
    Thanks for the scfh link--I checked it out and had a chat with their president. Here's some of the stuff I found out:

    The area involves private property and that is the rub. There is a legit easement to the start of the Dixie Mine trail, but it comes from the end of Golden Eagle Dr (Eagle Nest guarded entrance) and goes along the sidewalk to the TH. I know this is not typically how guys do the double/quad (lots more pavement time to go this way), but it is possible.

    The typical bike route on the fire road is where the barbed wire has been placed. Going around the barrier and through the neighborhood may result in a call to the Sheriff. You'll probably be long gone on DM before he shows up, but just know that people are watching for you. I'm not sure what set all of this off, but residents are kind of hot about it right now, and the HOA is starting to exercise its rights.

    Good news--there is a solution for us on the near-term horizon. The county (with SCFH coordination) has approved a bypass trail that I as I understand it, will cut NW from the fire road, avoid the neighborhood, go around the water tank, and hook up with the DM trail. The timeframe for this is supposed to be by summer.

    I put myself on their e-mail list and hope to help out with the trailbuilding when the time comes. I'll post up when the time comes--anyone who rides and loves the MSP Double/Quad should be happy to pitch in and help solve this little problem.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrHog
    Thanks for the scfh link--I checked it out and had a chat with their president. Here's some of the stuff I found out:

    The area involves private property and that is the rub. There is a legit easement to the start of the Dixie Mine trail, but it comes from the end of Golden Eagle Dr (Eagle Nest guarded entrance) and goes along the sidewalk to the TH. I know this is not typically how guys do the double/quad (lots more pavement time to go this way), but it is possible.

    The typical bike route on the fire road is where the barbed wire has been placed. Going around the barrier and through the neighborhood may result in a call to the Sheriff. You'll probably be long gone on DM before he shows up, but just know that people are watching for you. I'm not sure what set all of this off, but residents are kind of hot about it right now, and the HOA is starting to exercise its rights.

    Good news--there is a solution for us on the near-term horizon. The county (with SCFH coordination) has approved a bypass trail that I as I understand it, will cut NW from the fire road, avoid the neighborhood, go around the water tank, and hook up with the DM trail. The timeframe for this is supposed to be by summer.

    I put myself on their e-mail list and hope to help out with the trailbuilding when the time comes. I'll post up when the time comes--anyone who rides and loves the MSP Double/Quad should be happy to pitch in and help solve this little problem.

    great info. thanks for doing the leg work and posting about it.
    b

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrHog
    Thanks for the scfh link--I checked it out and had a chat with their president. Here's some of the stuff I found out:

    The area involves private property and that is the rub. There is a legit easement to the start of the Dixie Mine trail, but it comes from the end of Golden Eagle Dr (Eagle Nest guarded entrance) and goes along the sidewalk to the TH. I know this is not typically how guys do the double/quad (lots more pavement time to go this way), but it is possible.

    The typical bike route on the fire road is where the barbed wire has been placed. Going around the barrier and through the neighborhood may result in a call to the Sheriff. You'll probably be long gone on DM before he shows up, but just know that people are watching for you. I'm not sure what set all of this off, but residents are kind of hot about it right now, and the HOA is starting to exercise its rights.

    Good news--there is a solution for us on the near-term horizon. The county (with SCFH coordination) has approved a bypass trail that I as I understand it, will cut NW from the fire road, avoid the neighborhood, go around the water tank, and hook up with the DM trail. The timeframe for this is supposed to be by summer.

    I put myself on their e-mail list and hope to help out with the trailbuilding when the time comes. I'll post up when the time comes--anyone who rides and loves the MSP Double/Quad should be happy to pitch in and help solve this little problem.

    glad your wrist has healed up!

    NIMBY is right! man I have mixed feelings when stuff like this happens - I know its private and we should be respectful for the long-term benefits and not to create an issue...but (maybe this is self-justification) when you ride something for a long time you feel like its the neighborhood that is intruding. They address other existing resident issues when new construction takes place.

    There is a stretch in Las Sendas where the LS trail hooks up to Hawes that was open for a long time, then barbed wired, then the wires were cut and restrung over and over, cactus was placed\moved\placed on the trail many times -- now the trail goes 15 feet to the left and has been unchanged for 2 yrs. I dunno if the HOA got tired of fighting it or what, but seems like everyone is happy now and getting along, and personally I'm glad the bikers pushed back (I brought out a broom to brush away cactus...). Not that we were right, but...I sure didn't feel wrong about it.
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  10. #10
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    Yeah, Chollaball....occasionally you get a development that is so far into what SHOULD be preserve that you just scratch your head and wonder who the heck approved it. I think the Eagle Nest qualifies. Tapestry Canyon down in The Foothills (below the helicopter pad) is another example. Then, after building their 10,000 sf house on the mountain, it's only a matter of time until they start to view the entire preserve as theirs and want to kill access.

    I'm just glad there seems to be a decent solution here that will include, YES, more singletrack!

    DR

  11. #11
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    Good info from DrHog, thanks for posting. I've totally understand we need to respect property rights, but does the traditional path actually go thru any backyards or anything? i'm always very surprised that people freak out about a few cyclists cutting thru their neighborhood. Heck, I like to see bikes in my neighborhood, would consider it a sign of a nice, friendly place. Sorry, had to rant just a little. Just glad that this probably wont' turn into a big deal like the hatred between roadies and hidden hills......
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdudecycling
    Good info from DrHog, thanks for posting. I've totally understand we need to respect property rights, but does the traditional path actually go thru any backyards or anything? i'm always very surprised that people freak out about a few cyclists cutting thru their neighborhood. Heck, I like to see bikes in my neighborhood, would consider it a sign of a nice, friendly place. Sorry, had to rant just a little. Just glad that this probably wont' turn into a big deal like the hatred between roadies and hidden hills......
    that really is the joke - the wire is at the end of a crappy dirt construction road that ends in a culvert next to a neighborhood street. The dirt road in question connects to another dirt road that ~3 miles prior connects to *i think* the Golden Eagle neighborhood with the Sunrise trailhead. I've never seen vehicles on it. All riders do is come down the dirt road, carry their bikes over the dirt mound, and then about 5 minutes on neighborhood streets until you hit the DM trail. I'm not sure if you even pass any houses getting to Dixie Mine.

    I can see the residents not wanting riders to use the bathrooms and water fountain at the sales center, and its kinda not needed since you can get water at Sunrise and take care of business just about anywhere. Probably best to stay away from that.
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  13. #13
    NardoSS
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    DrHog!!! I'm glad to hear that you'll be on the bike here shortly and that you've healed up.

    Fantastic information you've acquired and from the horses mouth no less. A connector trail would be fantastic for everyone. I'm sure many would rather stay on a trail rather than have to ride around someone's subdivision. I suppose if I had invested in a multi million dollar home at the wrong time I would be angry as well.

    I agree Chollaball, their facilities are not really needed since there is a refresher at the bottom of Sunrise east. Going forward I'll just bring some tp with me.

  14. #14
    meow
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    Good info DrH, we're heading there again this weekend and will try to figure a different route around it. There is a trail at the end of that flat jeep road at very top of the big green hill. It heads west along the sides of the mountain, twisty, tight fun singletrack and that may be part of the trail they'll use to get to DM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cato
    Good info DrH, we're heading there again this weekend and will try to figure a different route around it. There is a trail at the end of that flat jeep road at very top of the big green hill. It heads west along the sides of the mountain, twisty, tight fun singletrack and that may be part of the trail they'll use to get to DM.
    Yep, I think you're keying on the right area--right before the long/fast/straight section of fire road into the neighborhood. On our Double in December, someone pointed it out, but according to him, it emptied out into the neighborhood as well, just not in the same spot. The new trail must start with that section, and then get a new section around the water tank and north into DM trail.

    The preserve guy said in a week or two they would have some good quality GPS maps on the website. That cheesy map they have now doesn't do much good.

  16. #16
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    NIMBY is right! man I have mixed feelings when stuff like this happens - I know its private and we should be respectful for the long-term benefits and not to create an issue...but (maybe this is self-justification) when you ride something for a long time you feel like its the neighborhood that is intruding.
    No doubt.. watched the whole area around Pinnacle Peak, Lower East Wall, Troon, Little Granite Mtn... and now the McDowells get encroached on, surrounded and developed. Used to be the only ones out there, just those crazies 'climbing rocks'. Definitely the houses intruding IMHO. Hell Pinnacle Peak just about didnt become a city of Scottsdale Park if the Estancia Gold Course Developers had of gotten their way.

    Sad stuff for sure!
    Could be worse.. we could be in So Cal where they have access battles extrodinare.

    GO check out the SoCal thread on LPQ near San Diego. Sad, those tunnels are a primo riding spot

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball
    I can see the residents not wanting riders to use the bathrooms and water fountain at the sales center, and its kinda not needed since you can get water at Sunrise and take care of business just about anywhere. Probably best to stay away from that.
    I don't know for sure, but I think that the restrooms/water fountain are actually part of the official Golden Eagle trailhead, and are available for public use along with the parking lot. Getting there from the fire road thru the neighborhood, however, seems to be more of a problem.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by honemastert
    No doubt.. watched the whole area around Pinnacle Peak, Lower East Wall, Troon, Little Granite Mtn... and now the McDowells get encroached on, surrounded and developed. Used to be the only ones out there, just those crazies 'climbing rocks'. Definitely the houses intruding IMHO. Hell Pinnacle Peak just about didnt become a city of Scottsdale Park if the Estancia Gold Course Developers had of gotten their way.

    (
    Well, in the category of "better late than never," it seems that they have woken up. I attended training for stewardship in the MSP these past 2 weeks, and it is amazing how much land has been purchased and put into the preserve. There are still some big chunks to go, but I don't think you're going to see another developer land-grab anywhere around the McDowells going forward. It's too bad that the Eagle's Nest was allowed to gobble so much land up on the mountainside, and I'll say the same for Silverleaf. Still, when the grand plan is finished, this preserve will have excellent access and trails. I think McDowell Mtn Ranch is a model for integrating homes, paved trails, dirt trails, and preserve access--really well done.

  19. #19
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    I am not as familiar with the area as some of you, but have been exploring out there lately and attempted the Quad Bypass last Thursday. I think I ended up on this trail you guys are referring to that will soon bypass the neighborhood and go around the water tank. I took it to the end, but it simply stops with zero flagging or additional marking. There is a line of steel fence posts, probably the park or private property boundary.

    I bushwacked from there to some trail near Dixie Mine. That was a nightmare and I knew better as trekking through the desert washes for about an hour with my bike on my back was not a good call at that stage of the Quad.

    Oh well, my pain... others gain. I took some pics because while I was on the trail, I was pretty excited as I could tell it was "brand new" and most likely not ridden yet... at least parts of it. I saw trail tools and fresh dirt on many places. About halfway to the end, there is a old road this trail crosses. When looking through the eyes of Google Earth, this road dead ends to the left, but seems to go down to the neighborhood to the right as well.

    It seems one could ride this new trail to this road and then head down. Maybe bypass some of the trouble spots? I am guessing here because like I said... this trip was my first time around the mountain.

    If you Google Earth the following coordinates, you can actually see a good portion of this "new" trail, at least to just past where the old road crosses. GE doesn't show the trail to the very end, but I guarantee it gets there. The switchbacks throughout are very tight. 130 degrees at places... basically a total V and by all purposes not rideable. Well, if you trials hop the corner, but no arc of a curve to the trail whatsoever.

    Trail start:
    33°37'46.85"N, 111°46'42.24"W

    Old road crossing:
    33°38'4.61"N, 111°47'5.62"W

    Trail Dead End:
    33°38'24.69"N, 111°47'10.67"W

    I did track my entire loop on my GPS and would be happy to send it via E-Mail to anyone of interest. Just PM me your address.

    I did take some pics along the way. Enjoy them, it's a primo section of trail :







    How fresh sections of the trail were:



    The weirdest thing about this route is a chain affixed to two posts like a handrail that goes down a tech waterfall almost right off the start. I only glanced at them (and didn't take a pic) as I was two busy enjoying the challenge... but it's strange to think of the work it took to put such an aid in for hikers when the trail goes nowhere at this point.
    Just keep pedaling...

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  20. #20
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    Elvota,

    Thanks for the pics. I'm a Google Earth junkie, and I had that same impression from looking at the switchbacks on the imagery--it's interesting to see them in photos. Other bikers that ride this section take the right on the road you spotted, which dumps out into the neighborhood in a different spot (not sure if there's any barbed wire there yet).

    I didn't get the sense from talking to the guy at SCFH that they had any MTBers in their organization. I think the section of trail that you were on is an old layout, but newly refurbished. Obvioiusly not planned or cut by any 2-wheelers!

    Maybe if we can get involved before the flags are placed and the layout is surveyed, we can help make the next section (around the tank and north to DM trail) more bike friendly.

  21. #21
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    Anyone go through Eagle's Nest this past weekend? Is the barbed wire still up? Any pissed off homeowners wielding shotguns?

  22. #22
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    Uggggggg

    Quote Originally Posted by az_cholla
    I don't know for sure, but I think that the restrooms/water fountain are actually part of the official Golden Eagle trailhead, and are available for public use along with the parking lot. Getting there from the fire road thru the neighborhood, however, seems to be more of a problem.
    Once you ride through the Hidden Hills development and take a right onto the dirt jeep road, it's just a matter of staying on that road until it ends, then take the dirt road DOWN. However, there are two dirt roads doing down, you need to make a left at the first one and continue to the end of the jeep road and then down. You might see a private property sign on the way down, but it's so steep and rocky one might not have to actually read the sign.

    I suspect the barb wire fence is at the bottom of this road where it feeds onto the newly cut residential street.

    When we did the Quad on the 24th of January there was no barb wire, but the bottom was cut up from infrastructure installation and we had to pick our way through it. I lead some bikes through residential lots (no houses) to the sales center, which I should not have. So, in the future I will stay on the streets and loop around to Dixie Mine.

    I have been told, but not have validated, that the sales center is actually part of the recreation easement agreement and trailhead parking is open to the public, including bikes. A guard may tell you differently, unless you go to the sales office and are interested in property there.

    Here's a link to the Motion Based ride report.

    http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/activity/7508446

    Just click on Google Earth link beneath the map and enjoy the ride.

    Cato will have updated information if she and the gang have been there in the past week or so.

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrHog
    Anyone go through Eagle's Nest this past weekend? Is the barbed wire still up? Any pissed off homeowners wielding shotguns?
    I have been doing versions of the McDowell's over the last few weeks. In fact, just did this loop last Friday. Usually starting at the Bell Road parking lot at the bottom of Windgate/ Bell passes and working my way over Sunrise... then around.

    I now stay up on the access road past where West Ridge (I think that's the name) trail starts on your right. This is just before you can see the neighborhood. There is a road downhill to the right soon after, but I stay flat to the left. At the end of this road you have three choices.

    Very steep road up left, which is where I believe West Ridge re-connects.
    Downhill road right to the neighborhood.
    Secret Trail straight (pics in my post above).

    I now take this "Secret Trail" until a Jeep road cuts across it. At that point, I head down right and into the neighborhood. There is a newer wire fence there, but not much wider than the road. You do have to get off, but easy enough to walk around.

    Soon after that you are back on asphalt and then a few downhill blocks and back on to the trail. I have seen no shotguns, but I am literally in the neighborhood for maybe 2 minutes.
    Just keep pedaling...

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  24. #24
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    Here's an article in today's Founatin Hills paper:

    http://www.fhtimes.com/times/2009/022509/trails.html

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    A friend of mine and I nearly ran into the fence on Saturday. Hopefully the person or organization that installed the fence did not know how dangerous it could be to a MTBer. I believe one could argue that this is an easement by prescription/use. There are a few preserve and gov’t folks looking into it now. I will post more info when I get it. My son and I went up there again yesterday and marked it with marking tape, so at least you can see it now.

    How long is the new section of trail?

  26. #26
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    The new trail is actually just the extension of the "NORTH TRAIL" and will eventually connect to the dixie mind trail. Problem currently/ where trail ends, is that it also is encroaching on private property. Fountain Hills Conservatives are mapping the new area for clearing and as stated before hopes to have the connection done by mid summer. Looks like a lot of work though......HOPE THAT HELPS

  27. #27
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    There does not seem to be a solution other than to avoid the area. I think if I ride it again I will take the new trail to the old road, go around the "wire trap" and ride to the Dixie Mine trail head. If someone confronts me I will smile,appologize and ride off.

    It sounds like it may be as late as Fall before the trail is completed to Dixie Mine. The trail is only 3/10 of a mile from connecting now. Bushwack and jump the fence? :-)

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