How much room is there for expansion is there at places like Dupont, Pisgah, etc?- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    79

    How much room is there for expansion is there at places like Dupont, Pisgah, etc?

    As I was riding Pisgah last week for the first time (which was just mind-blowing btw), I was just kind of taking it all in and enjoying myself. I was fascinated by the landscaping and was thinking about how lucky we are to have places like that to enjoy the outdoors.

    But as I was riding, I was just thinking about the logistics of trail planning/building and all of that and the question popped into my head - how much room for expansion is there at places like Dupont and Pisgah? Not just out-and-back offshoots, but expansion for trails of any significant distance?

    I know a ton more goes into trail planning than I realize. Available land, drainage, erosion, natural features, etc. Are these places pretty maxed out when it comes to available land to build good trails with long climbs/descents? Are their current trail systems pretty much what we are going to get save for minor changes and reroutes like in the recent Pisgah Trails Plan outline?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    1,085
    I think the issue is more political than it is with logistics. There is plenty of space for more trails and there are 100-some (150ish?) miles of hiking only trails that are closed off to riding right now. In a perfect world, we could all share the trails together and have access to roughly double what we do now without having to do much work.

    My unfortunate observation is that convincing other user groups to like us and let us on the trails and, more importantly, the forest service, is the real limiting factor. We're having trouble keeping what we have and figuring out the long game for Pisgah, forgetting adding to it. The non-social related (other user groups) aspects of doing that alone would, based on my understanding, be a non-starter (funding, studies required, etc). I think the only reason they are looking at the new trails in the project plan now is to mitigate erosion/sediment and take traffic off the road. I don't have high hopes for the proposed trails they are talking about, either, unfortunately.

    I've often wondered how many miles of closed off or unused "trails" (formerly logging roads, mountaineering paths, railroads for lumber, etc from 100 years ago) are still somewhat usable for trailbuilding, often times I feel like I see these in the forest and wonder if they are natural or just old remnants of something cut into the forest. I feel like the landscape is there, the space is there, but the ability to convince people to let us do it isn't.

    DuPont may be an easier battle, but I am not sure I want any more flow trails and that seems to be the majority of what we get back there. I'd love to see DuPont get some more natural, Pisgah-esque trails that aren't really far back in the forest (e.g. Cedar/Big Rock area) or a pain to get to (Stone Mountain). I'm not sure if the focus on flowy trails is part of the terrain, demands from the land managers, or just because a lot of it is newer built stuff, but I'd like to get more variety back there.

    My understanding is that the land managers don't see bikes as an erosion issue, which is good, but the biggest issue is user conflicts. If we can address that, then I think we'd be in a better position to argue for more access and new trails.

    Just my observations, I'm not super involved or aware of what's going on around here, but I read a lot of the comments submitted and that's my general takeaway.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Timothy G. Parrish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    1,302
    Politics and other use groups aside, what gets built, must be maintained. With the current resources available, not much more will be built.

    Sent from my MotoG3 using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Banjopickin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    616
    Id rather see existing MTB trails kept up better and have more funds given toward maintenance than making new trail.

    New trails require maintaining and there are miles upon miles of bike-legal trails in Pisgah now that get little or no love. I dont mean that as a complaint cause there is not enough money or people or time to care for everything... its just a bummer.
    On your left!

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Timothy G. Parrish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    1,302
    Quote Originally Posted by Banjopickin View Post
    Id rather see existing MTB trails kept up better and have more funds given toward maintenance than making new trail.

    New trails require maintaining and there are miles upon miles of bike-legal trails in Pisgah now that get little or no love. I dont mean that as a complaint cause there is not enough money or people or time to care for everything... its just a bummer.


    Sent from my MotoG3 using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    26,567
    Yeah, if you look at forest maps, you'll see areas with more or less trail development (of any sort). There are certainly areas with very low trail density, and low connectivity of the trails that are already there. So from a pure space perspective, sure, there's room.

    But I agree with the other folks that that's the least of the issues. Politics (land manager permissions and cooperation between user groups being sub-issues) and continued maintenance being much bigger concerns.

    IMO, if new trails are going to be built, I'd prefer that they be done with a view towards the "big picture" of overall connectivity of the system. Spreading users out over more area, so the most intensely used trails see a bit of reduction in intensity of use, and the least used stuff sees a little more traffic. The current plan has a few proposed trails that would work towards that goal. It's not much mileage of new trail, but the extra connectivity those short trails will offer would be nice if they actually wind up getting built.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Banjopickin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    616
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Yeah, if you look at forest maps, you'll see areas with more or less trail development (of any sort). There are certainly areas with very low trail density, and low connectivity of the trails that are already there. So from a pure space perspective, sure, there's room.

    But I agree with the other folks that that's the least of the issues. Politics (land manager permissions and cooperation between user groups being sub-issues) and continued maintenance being much bigger concerns.

    IMO, if new trails are going to be built, I'd prefer that they be done with a view towards the "big picture" of overall connectivity of the system. Spreading users out over more area, so the most intensely used trails see a bit of reduction in intensity of use, and the least used stuff sees a little more traffic. The current plan has a few proposed trails that would work towards that goal. It's not much mileage of new trail, but the extra connectivity those short trails will offer would be nice if they actually wind up getting built.
    Yeah totally agree on connectivity and spreading the use... If some of the lesser used trails had better access, and if they were kept up better it might attract more folks to ride them. You would hard pressed to convince me that Horse Cove or Pilot Cove/Slate are less fun than other trails in the forest. Those trails freaking rip! but no one hardly uses them... at least compared to Black, Bennet, Daniels, etc...
    On your left!

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    1,277
    I had a blast working on Black during the big dig last weekend. Let's do that some more. Also have been working on Trace a bit with the Dirt Church crew. Hell, PMBAR is this Saturday so I won't want to look at my bike again for at least, what, a week? Let's dig!
    Last edited by Lithified; 05-01-2018 at 05:38 PM.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Mike Brown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    3,282
    There's a process. It's called NEPA. The National Enviromental Protection Act. Look it up if you want more details, but basically every square inch of new trail on USFS land has to be surveyed for archaeological and environmental impacts. This includes things like threatened/endangered species and old firepits.

    This is not a bad thing, but it really really adds to the cost of surveying new trail. That's why- see Pisgah Trail Plan thread- folks like mtbwnc wonder about how the construction of new trail is going to be funded. It's not just the construction cost but the time (which we all know costs money) to do the up front work. And, you need like scientists and stuff. They don't grow on trees.

    This only applies to federal lands. Dupont is a different story. Honestly, it's pretty jam packed IMO. New trails there? Meh for filling in gaps, although something rad is always cool

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Timothy G. Parrish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    1,302
    ....and IIRC, it was around $12,000 for the NEPA process/forms/surveys for two projects I am familiar with. Not to mention that it takes 3 to 5 years to complete it to be ready to build on government land, in most cases. On private, it can be condensed to around 2.

    Sent from my MotoG3 using Tapatalk

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    239
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    There's a process. It's called NEPA. The National Enviromental Protection Act. Look it up if you want more details, but basically every square inch of new trail on USFS land has to be surveyed for archaeological and environmental impacts. This includes things like threatened/endangered species and old firepits.
    Yup. I'd be surprised if, for the projects in the trails plan to actually take place, they don't try to bypass NEPA by claiming a categorical exclusion for a lot of them, which (ironically) may actually be more feasible under the current political climate (but we'll see). The new district ranger seems to be an "Its Infrastructure Week" sort of guy, which may be good for trails. I'm so sick of seeing "On Hold" and "Canceled" in the SOPA status pages, but I also get what the processes in the background are there for, too.

    But given that the current trail network just sort of "crystallized" out of the ancient, much larger existing fabric of logging roads and historical paths (which were built with no regards to environmental concerns *at all*) into the super-fun sedimentation, naming, and bizarro routing disasters we have today, I think the last thing we want is more bulk mileage on more old logging roads or ridge tops. Better logical connectivity to existing trails and notable landmarks, better connections back to civilization, modern trail design with features people actually want, and more thoughtful designation of trail uses is the way to go - and this plan, despite its flaws, is the best effort yet I've seen to *actually* do something towards that in a long time.

    I guess we'll see.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 24
    Last Post: 06-11-2018, 08:22 AM
  2. Pisgah/DuPont too much for the Czar?
    By Coach417 in forum Turner
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 12-12-2014, 08:49 PM
  3. Strava vs Endomondo vs Etc, etc, etc...
    By MoTec in forum GPS, HRM and Bike Computer
    Replies: 42
    Last Post: 08-04-2013, 10:53 AM
  4. Replies: 9
    Last Post: 09-23-2011, 01:53 PM
  5. Replies: 8
    Last Post: 07-12-2011, 09:59 AM

Members who have read this thread: 1

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.