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  1. #1
    everyone must breathe
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    I'll miss you Dixie Mine Trail.

    So it's finally happened. They killed the old Dixie Mine Trail.

    They took a mechanical grader to one of my favorite little pieces of single track.

    I'm completely baffled, why would the Town of Fountain Hills do somthing like that? The old trail was perfectly navigable, sustainable, 'natural' and beautiful. It will NEVER be the same.

    To all of you guys that are on the planning committee: Why did you let them do that? I know I can't be too upset, because I am not a member, but I never thought you would let that happen.

    I'm not sure when this happened, as I have not ridden the trail in a few months, but it surely was a sad day.

  2. #2
    Old-newbie
    Reputation: g3rG's Avatar
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    Uh oh...
    I just noticed a line on the park website:
    "NOTE: The Dixie Mine Trail is closed until further notice due to construction in Fountain Hills; updates will be posted on this website as they become available."

    Where is it closed? This could really mess up my ride plans.

    gerG
    ...uphill uphill uphill DOWNHILL! uphill uphill uphill uphill DOWNHILL! uphill ...

  3. #3
    everyone must breathe
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    It's all open... really open. In fact, you could drive your jeep down it if you tried.

    There are a few new connectors out there, which is great. And using mechanical graders to cut new trails is acceptable...... but there is no need to grade existing trail...


    Quote Originally Posted by g3rG
    Uh oh...
    I just noticed a line on the park website:
    "NOTE: The Dixie Mine Trail is closed until further notice due to construction in Fountain Hills; updates will be posted on this website as they become available."

    Where is it closed? This could really mess up my ride plans.

    gerG

  4. #4
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    RIP. That was one sweet trail. I predict you will be seeing more of this. Trails are going to be dummed down to acomodate the needs of the homeowners who hike in the area.

  5. #5
    everyone must breathe
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    I don't think this was done to accomodate hiking homeonwers. The trail was tame enough already. In fact, I bet the grading will make this trail less passable to hikers, as they did not take necessary steps to prevent erosion on some of the seeper sections.

    I suspect that the work crew wanted to rack up some OT, and the grader still had gas in it. Thier mentality was that they had to "tame the desert" and "destroy and conquer".

  6. #6
    Old-newbie
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    Ah, I get it. Thanks. A lot of the trails have gotten wide and loose this summer due to the construction activities. At least we got some new trails in the process.

    gerG
    ...uphill uphill uphill DOWNHILL! uphill uphill uphill uphill DOWNHILL! uphill ...

  7. #7
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by JrockFeltaz
    RIP. That was one sweet trail. I predict you will be seeing more of this. Trails are going to be dummed down to acomodate the needs of the homeowners who hike in the area.
    I agree, I'd chock it up to general concerns about safety, number of people accessing the trails, etc. This is what happens when you multiply and populate. Oh well, move to another area or build more trails. No one person contributes, it's everyone moving into the area, population increasing, etc.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  8. #8
    Flight Junkie
    Reputation: IBIKEAZ's Avatar
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    What a bummer! I loved that trail. One of the best short rides in the valley area. I don't know why they do this stuff. Hikers don't want there trails to look like roads either. Bummer dude!
    ROTOR HEAD

  9. #9
    oooh, shiny...
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  10. #10
    Kathleen in AZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by IBIKEAZ
    What a bummer! I loved that trail. One of the best short rides in the valley area. I don't know why they do this stuff. Hikers don't want there trails to look like roads either. Bummer dude!
    Nice thing is that these bulldozed trails do eventually weather in and become singletrack once more. Take Pemberton as an example. How many years ago did they motor that trailbuilding bulldozer around, rerouting some areas and just gouging others (to the horror of all us mtn bikers)? 5+ years later and it's once again a nice singletrack. Nature will take over!

  11. #11
    Fragile - must be Italian
    Reputation: dgangi's Avatar
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    This does suck.

    Anybod have a picture of the "damage"?

    My friend lives in Fountain Hills and we access the McDowell's from that trailhead all the time.

    Thx...Doug

  12. #12
    mtbr member
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    That blows!

    My guess is that they did it just for the sake of destroying the trail to reduce/eliminate the ammount of foot/bike traffic through that fancy schmancy 'hood.

  13. #13
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    The section that was "bulldozed is actually in McDowell Mountain Park and the work was completed by the County trail crew. I rode part of this yesterday and it is a shame. I have contacted Rand and will be working with him to see if we can replace some of the rocks and natural obsticle once the trail work is complete.

    The new connector from Dixie Mine trail to the Fountain Hills Preserve (Sonoran Trail) was constructed the same way, 6'-8' wide in some areas. When you get to the Fountain Hills border the rest of the trail that will eventually connect to Sunrise was constructed by hand. Far less impact and more fun to ride.

    We now have dates for the Competative loop maintenance 9/26 and 10/17. Once that is complete hopefully we can organize a volunteer day on Dixie Mine.

  14. #14
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    thats funny. We paid somebody to remove the rocks and now we will pay someone to put them back. If rocks will cause us this much trouble in the desert we are screwed.......
    and the lurker returns to the dark corner

  15. #15
    Ahhh the pain....
    Reputation: Raybum's Avatar
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    Anyone have a link to a map that shows the new trails that would be options for going from the base of the sunrise trail over to prospector ?

  16. #16
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ttocs
    thats funny. We paid somebody to remove the rocks and now we will pay someone to put them back. If rocks will cause us this much trouble in the desert we are screwed.......
    The grading of the trail is a result of creating access to get the equipment in to build the new trail. Not sure why they went past the junction for the new trail though. This is a small price to pay for more trails. Much of the vegitation will grow back with time creating tighter lines.

    As far as paying someone to put the rocks back, any work to re embed rocks will be from volunteer crews like the ones that we are organizing for the comp loops. Mountain bikers doing the trail maintenance typically results in better riding conditions. Unfortunatelly, it has been my experience that 10% or less of the active mountain bikers volunteer for trail building and/or trail maintenance. A few volunteer hours from a larger percentage of trail users would go along way towards more trails and better trail conditions.

  17. #17
    I am Walt
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    What section got plowed? Any of it between Golden Eagle and the dirt road? Or just to the north of the dirt road?
    Ride more; post less...

  18. #18
    Too many Sedonuts...
    Reputation: CactusJoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DurtGurl
    Nice thing is that these bulldozed trails do eventually weather in and become singletrack once more. Take Pemberton as an example. How many years ago did they motor that trailbuilding bulldozer around, rerouting some areas and just gouging others (to the horror of all us mtn bikers)? 5+ years later and it's once again a nice singletrack. Nature will take over!
    +1. Yup.

    I've seen the many faces of Pemberton over the years and you're right.
    When the world slips you a Jeffrey, stroke the furry wall.

  19. #19
    Fragile - must be Italian
    Reputation: dgangi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CactusJoe
    +1. Yup.

    I've seen the many faces of Pemberton over the years and you're right.
    Huh? The current face of Pemberton sucks balls. If that's the shining example of how a trail "grows back in" once it has been turned into a freeway, then Dixie Mine is hosed.

    Thx...Doug

  20. #20
    EXORCIZE
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgangi
    Huh? The current face of Pemberton sucks balls. If that's the shining example of how a trail "grows back in" once it has been turned into a freeway, then Dixie Mine is hosed.

    Thx...Doug
    Agreed. There's a couple miles in the middle that are cool, but Pemberton is mainly flat doubletrack.

    That sucks about Dixie Mine - that trail always had kinda of a "remote" feel about, IMO, compared to most local trails. I was looking forward to getting back out there next month once the weather cooled...
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  21. #21
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by waltaz
    What section got plowed? Any of it between Golden Eagle and the dirt road? Or just to the north of the dirt road?
    About half of the trail between the Golden Eagle TH and the service road. The two sections that were the most impacted are where there used to be embeded boulders in the trail that you had to pick through and lung over and the step up at the rock crossin is totally gone.

  22. #22
    Flight Junkie
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    That is hideous. I can't believe they made it look like a forest service road. It may recover, but it was sure a nice trail before they plowed it! I am glad I moved to Flagstaff.
    ROTOR HEAD

  23. #23
    pedaller
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    Intersting story:

    Hikers trying to reach Fountain Hills' McDowell Preserve were limited to guided hikes - until now.

    A recently blazed footpath offers passage into the 940-acre, boulder-rich landscape by way of Maricopa County's McDowell Mountain Regional Park . Dubbed the Sonoran Trail, it transcends years of failed efforts to provide unfettered access to the landlocked preserve.

    "We want to make sure that the people who paid for it can see it," said Bill Myers, chairman of the Fountain Hills McDowell Mountain Preservation Commission.

    Known for its breathtaking mountain views, the Fountain Hills' preserve is sandwiched between the county park to the north and private land to the south owned by developer MCO Properties.


    MCO and Fountain Hills have an agreement that allows hikers to traverse the private property only during guided hikes. The hikes are led by volunteers at the Sonoran Conservancy of Fountain Hills, a non-profit organization that supports and maintains the preserve.

    Unlike the guided hikes, the new trail enters the preserve from the north end.

    Hikers must park in a designated lot near Fountain Hills' Eagles Nest community. Signs lead to the Dixie Mine trailhead in the southwest portion of McDowell Mountain Park.

    .

    The Dixie Mine Trail runs north and intersects with the Sonoran Trail, which veers west into the preserve. The total distance from the parking lot and preserve is two miles.

    Volunteers from the Sonoran Conservancy and a county supervisor blazed the trail this summer. They used tools and a mini excavator to carve out a 48-inch path in the rock-ribbed foothills east of Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

    "We tried to save as much large vegetation as we could," said Allen Ockenfels, trails development supervisor for Maricopa County Parks and Recreation. "We transplant as much as we can."

    Rand Hubbell, park supervisor, said the county Board of Supervisors approved an amended master plan for the new trail in 2008. There are more than 50 miles of trails in the park and six miles in the Fountain Hills' preserve.

    Eventually, MCO will build a high-end neighborhood on the private property called Adero Canyon. A road will be built during development, at the end of which the town can build a trailhead.

    Until then, hikers have roundabout access through the park, which charges a $1 entrance fee at the trailhead. Myers stressed that hikers entering the preserve from the north cannot trek south and exit through MCO's property.

    The Sonoran Trail is the only legal way in and out of the preserve, which is open from sunrise to sunset every day, he said.

    "I'm thrilled we can finally have some legal access," said Myers. "Finally, the people who live in Fountain Hills can access the preserve."
    http://www.azcentral.com/news/articl...trail0916.html
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  24. #24
    AZ Ghost Shifter
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    Conspiracy Theory

    I love a good conspiracy theory - too bad the ones above aren't true. If you want the real story, you should attend one of the McDowell Mountain Preservation Commission meetings held the last Tuesday of every month at 5:30 PM in Fountain Hills. Or you could contact scfh.org and volunteer your time. If more people volunteered to help cut the trails by hand, maybe they wouldn't have to bring in the heavy equipment.

  25. #25
    mtbr member
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    [quote=Netpotent]
    I love a good conspiracy theory - too bad the ones above aren't true. If you want the real story, you should attend one of the McDowell Mountain Preservation Commission meetings held the last Tuesday of every month at 5:30 PM in Fountain Hills.
    Dixie Mine Trail as well as the northern section of the new Sonoran Trail is in McDowell Mtn Park, not the FH Preserve.

    Or you could contact scfh.org and volunteer your time. If more people volunteered to help cut the trails by hand, maybe they wouldn't have to bring in the heavy equipment.
    This trail would still have been cut with motorized equipment. That is the way the Maricopa County Parks trail crew does it. We can, however, volunteer a day of our time to go out there and replace some of the natural obsticles that were removed. Anyone interested in performing some volunteer trail maintenance can show up at the competative loops parking area at McDowell Mtn Park this Saturday at 7 am.

    Everyoneone that I have worked with at McDowell Mtn Park and Maricopa county have been very receptive to ideas for the trails. Their intnet is not to sanitize the trails nor to create easier access for Fountain Hills elitest. I have lived in Fountain Hills for 20+ years and while there are some NIMBY's here, that is not the attitude of the group leading the trail construction. They are a great group that is trying to provide access to the preserve for everyone.

  26. #26
    NardoSS
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    Since when does a trail have to accommodate people hiking two abreast? Trail markers would have worked just fine. Fuk, it was already a hiking trail. Is there a requirement for a hiking trail to be 48" wide?

    Noelg, thanks for adding the linky.

  27. #27
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by NardoSS
    Since when does a trail have to accommodate people hiking two abreast? Trail markers would have worked just fine. Fuk, it was already a hiking trail. Is there a requirement for a hiking trail to be 48" wide?

    Noelg, thanks for adding the linky.
    If there is enough interest and actual volunteers, I will work on a date to help restore the sections that were bladed. The 48" requirement is from the Maricopa County Trail specifications. That is the initial width and allows an accessible path for rescue. To keep it in perspective, the competative loops were constructed in the same way. Not that they are technical, but most areas are now single track.

    I am as upset as anyone that this area was bladed, but the result is more open trails in that area. The part of Dixie mine that was bladed was only done to gain access to construct the new Sonoran Trail. Rather than complain about the loss of some nice sections of an existing trail, I vote to organize a volunteer group trail maintenace day(s) to put some of the fun back in now that the machines are gone. I am confident that I can get the Parks blessing for this project.

  28. #28
    everyone must breathe
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    Ill help restore.

    Quote Originally Posted by AZ_AlanS
    If there is enough interest and actual volunteers, I will work on a date to help restore the sections that were bladed. The 48" requirement is from the Maricopa County Trail specifications. That is the initial width and allows an accessible path for rescue. To keep it in perspective, the competative loops were constructed in the same way. Not that they are technical, but most areas are now single track.
    .
    Hi Alan. Thanks for all the trail work you organize out here. You and your crews always do a really good job....... I'd love to help restore this section. Count me in on the next MMP and MSP work days too. I've also got a few other guys that will help. Please let me know what I can do to get started.

  29. #29
    AZ Ghost Shifter
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    Sonoran To Sunrise

    I rode the "new" Dixie Mine trail this morning. It reminded me of an old girlfriend after she got her hair cut short. I was shocked at first but then I reaized it was still a great ride!

    Seriously though, we should all keep in mind what the Dixie Mine Trail is. It is a connector. A connector to an incredible trail system that offers hours of seat time over some great terrain with incredible views. Now we need a connector from the South end of the Fountain Hills Preserves to Sunrise trail. You can help. Check out the link below:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...31#post6137031

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