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  1. #1
    kAZ
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    Upper Hawes and the new connector trail

    I checked out the new connector trail that goes from where Hawes Rd. used to dead end over to the upper part of the Hawes trail. This morning I met Scotty McBride, who is the Forest Service Ranger in charge of trails for this part of the Tonto Forest. I had inquired about volunteering, so he met me at the parking area by the canal off of the Bush Hwy. During the few minutes that we chatted he mentioned that he'd staked the new trail and that they'd hired someone who has a "trail-building machine" to build the trail. Scotty said that the 1 mile trail was done in one day.

    The trail is mostly wide and smooth, but loose. It needs to be ridden. There weren't any tire tracks on it. It was 5.85 miles from the lower Hawes parking area to where the new trail broke out onto Hawes Rd. There's some pretty stiff climbing on Hawes above where you turn north to go on Saddleback over to the Mine Trail, plus the new trail climbs quite a bit above where it crosses Hawes trail. Hawes actually goes on up and up, but not too far above where the connector splits off it becomes largely unrideable. I went up it until I got sick of pushing my bike.

    From Hawes Rd. (going back over to the main Hawes area) the connector starts steep and loose. There are 4-5 hike-a-bike spots, but they're not too bad. A good addition to the standard Hawes loop would be to ride up Hawes and around the connector until it starts to drop down to Hawes Rd, then turn around there. Of course, there's the Power and McDowell to Hawes Rd to Hawes trails, back to Power and McDowell loop option.

    Going up Hawes all the way to Hawes Rd. with a tiny slog up the uppermost part of Hawes trail, then going down to Saddleback and down Ridge to the parking area had me logging 12.7 miles in about 2.5 hours.

    Here are some cruddy phone photos.
    1. Above Las Sendas. Hawes trails are in the bowl straight ahead.
    2. Upper Hawes and the new connector skirts this bowl.
    3. Trail built by "trail-building machine".
    4. Uppermost Hawes STIL.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Glad to Be Alive
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    "trail-building machine".
    got to love that
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  3. #3
    I am Doctor Remulak
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    Wow, the stuff built by the "trail building machine" looks really wide. Hopefully this isn't the way all new trails will be built. With that said, I'd like to check it out next time I'm out there.

  4. #4
    I am Walt
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ Mikey
    Wow, the stuff built by the "trail building machine" looks really wide. Hopefully this isn't the way all new trails will be built. With that said, I'd like to check it out next time I'm out there.
    I assume this is what was used to build the new Sunrise Trail in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. It initially creates a sidewalk-like trail that is loose, put evolves over time into decent singletrack as hikers and riders and nature work it in.
    Ride more; post less...

  5. #5
    kAZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by kAZ
    Scotty said that the 1 mile trail was done in one day.
    Er. Make that one week...

    Quote Originally Posted by waltaz
    I assume this is what was used to build the new Sunrise Trail in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. It initially creates a sidewalk-like trail that is loose, put evolves over time into decent singletrack as hikers and riders and nature work it in.
    Sounds like the same thing. A lot of the connector is like that pic; smooth and flat, but loose. With some wheeled traffic and some rain it looks like it'll come around.

    I checked on line for "trail-building machine". Must be some kind of small tracked back hoe with a blade. A few companies make similar products. I couldn't see any track or wheel marks on the trail though, and it didn't really look like it had been cleaned up with shovels. Whoever did it did a nice job.

  6. #6
    my knees hurt
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    Just got done riding the new connector...loose switchback climbs...real loose. A good bit is unridable. Once this trail gets packed down it will be great...somewhat challenging climbs and tight switchbacks. Once you start heading down at the end it is real nice, quick and rolling, still just a bit too loose though.

  7. #7
    Saucy Size
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    Look up "Sweco." That's your trail-building machine.

    p.
    Don't be that guy! Read the forum guidelines.

  8. #8
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    Still not quite sure..

    Can anyone describe the trailhead/how to get to the trailhead...? I've ridden Hawes quite a bit, but I'm still not sure where to find this connector ( though it could be that I'm a little slow on the uptake)

    Any helpful advise would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance

    --G
    -- He who laughs last didn't get the joke...

  9. #9
    kAZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grendel
    Can anyone describe the trailhead/how to get to the trailhead...? I've ridden Hawes quite a bit, but I'm still not sure where to find this connector ( though it could be that I'm a little slow on the uptake)

    Any helpful advise would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance

    --G
    Kind of depends on which way you're going.

    If you start at the bottom of Hawes, i.e., where the parking spot is by the canal, and head up veering right, you go up Pig and Hawes. When you get to the intersection where you'd typically make a left turn and head north onto Saddleback, instead of turning left, keep going straight (east). This is still Hawes. Just follow Hawes on up. Eventually, you'll see the new trail peel off to the right where old Hawes keeps going up. It's obvious, as the new trail looks new; wide and smooth. It passes through a fence. (Actually, come to think of it, there's one place before the new trail that looks inviting to turn right and go up a small hill. That's not it, although it is a way to get to Hawes proper from Las Sendas without the climb up the new connector; looks like this little shortcut will be lost to houses in the not distant future.)

    If you happen to be riding north on Hawes Rd, say from McDowell Rd, pretty near where Hawes Rd. crests, the road now has a roundabout (used to dead end there). The new trail is just a little way past the roundabout; turn right and head up the trail. It isn't signed, but the trail is pretty obvious. Going up the first part of the trail this way involves some hike-a-bike because it's steep and loose (hopefully some rain will make a difference), but this is only a few short bits.

  10. #10
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    Thanks kAZ...

    Thanks kAZ.. I "get" it now... I normally ride from the walgreens parking lot to McDowell, then up Hawes Rd. to the trail entrance that starts at what looks to be the base of the microwave towers?? and ride downhill from there. I will be looking for the "new" connector though, sounds like it could be fun.


    Thanks again.


    --Grendel
    -- He who laughs last didn't get the joke...

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