Trails That Should Be Closed- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    drunken pirate
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    Trails That Should Be Closed

    I'll start.

    Golden Ridge in the Appalachian District near Hot Springs. This is the only trail that has ever defeated me. I can't tell you what all of it is like because I had to turn around. Seriously, it was that bad.

    Normally such poor conditions would not be enough of a reason for me to consider a trail for closure. If so I would also suggest a few others in our area that are almost as difficult. However the Friends of Hot Springs have proposed a brilliant plan to the USFS for closing Golden Ridge. Their plan is to:

    - close Golden Ridge
    - open two currently designated trails to mountain bikes (Jacks Branch and Round Top), open a trail from the Rich Mountain Fire Tower to the Round Top Ridge Trail (an abandoned trail exists, and only 300 yards would have to be built)
    - build the Shad Line Trail using existing forest roads tying the fire tower to the start of the Jack’s Branch Trail (this trail was approved as the recreation component of the Shad Line timber sale, but hasn't happened yet. Baldwin Gap anyone?)
    - extend the River Ridge Trail crossing Murray Branch with a small footbridge. (This trail would be hike only. It would greatly enhance River Ridge and reduce user conflict on lower Jack’s Branch. There is a system of very old skid roads that leads to a very suitable crossing location. The Hot Springs Mountain Club has funds that could be used for this bridge project.).

    Close one trail that is impassable, open two more existing trails to bikes, build a 300 yard section of trail so mtbs don't go on the AT (mtbs poach that AT stretch now when they poach Round Top), build a bridge and extend a trail so user conflict doesn't exist near town where day users wander... Sounds good to me, but is more trails, not less.

    NEPA is already done on all this. They are ready to build the little bit of trail and have the money. It is ready to go. All that has to happen is have the FS stamp off on it. For those that are not familiar with the area and trails, this proposed loop would be most excellent. Very much worth driving a half hour for. You can find and read all the documents about this at: Trail Projects | Bluff Mountain Outfitters

    Okay, that's my closure proposal. What do you got?
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  2. #2
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    Trails That Should Be Closed?

    NONE - AT ALL

  3. #3
    endorphin junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    I'll start.

    Golden Ridge in the Appalachian District near Hot Springs. This is the only trail that has ever defeated me. I can't tell you what all of it is like because I had to turn around. Seriously, it was that bad.

    Normally such poor conditions would not be enough of a reason for me to consider a trail for closure. If so I would also suggest a few others in our area that are almost as difficult. However the Friends of Hot Springs have proposed a brilliant plan to the USFS for closing Golden Ridge. Their plan is to:

    - close Golden Ridge
    - open two currently designated trails to mountain bikes (Jacks Branch and Round Top), open a trail from the Rich Mountain Fire Tower to the Round Top Ridge Trail (an abandoned trail exists, and only 300 yards would have to be built)
    - build the Shad Line Trail using existing forest roads tying the fire tower to the start of the Jack’s Branch Trail (this trail was approved as the recreation component of the Shad Line timber sale, but hasn't happened yet. Baldwin Gap anyone?)
    - extend the River Ridge Trail crossing Murray Branch with a small footbridge. (This trail would be hike only. It would greatly enhance River Ridge and reduce user conflict on lower Jack’s Branch. There is a system of very old skid roads that leads to a very suitable crossing location. The Hot Springs Mountain Club has funds that could be used for this bridge project.).

    Close one trail that is impassable, open two more existing trails to bikes, build a 300 yard section of trail so mtbs don't go on the AT (mtbs poach that AT stretch now when they poach Round Top), build a bridge and extend a trail so user conflict doesn't exist near town where day users wander... Sounds good to me, but is more trails, not less.

    NEPA is already done on all this. They are ready to build the little bit of trail and have the money. It is ready to go. All that has to happen is have the FS stamp off on it. For those that are not familiar with the area and trails, this proposed loop would be most excellent. Very much worth driving a half hour for. You can find and read all the documents about this at: Trail Projects | Bluff Mountain Outfitters

    Okay, that's my closure proposal. What do you got?
    I've never ridden any of these trails, so I'm not really qualified to comment on this particular plan, but on paper, it sounds reasonable.

    That said, I have one general comment. In situations where there is supposed to be a trade-off of some kind, even where there is a net breakeven or gain in trail, I would never propose/agree to the closing of a trail before the others are built/opened. Unless there was some obvious reason to do so as part of the construction process. So in the above example, the last thing that should happen on that list is closing Golden Ridge. Get everything else done first.

    Playing devil's advocate... what if Golden Ridge is someone's most favoritist awesomeist idea of an 'excellent' MTB trail ever?
    "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go."
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  4. #4
    drunken pirate
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    Quote Originally Posted by dobovedo View Post
    So in the above example, the last thing that should happen on that list is closing Golden Ridge. Get everything else done first.

    Playing devil's advocate... what if Golden Ridge is someone's most favoritist awesomeist idea of an 'excellent' MTB trail ever?
    I agree that Golden Ridge should be closed last. The thing is in essence it is already closed. You cannot get a bicycle through it. I'm not sure a person without a bicycle can even stay on the corridor. All that has to happen to close it is take down the signs and remove it from the map. That in and of itself is not enough of a reason to close it, but since the people that use and maintain the trails in that area have come up with this really good plan, and already done all the work on it, I would not be upset if Golden Ridge disappeared from the map.
    Last edited by driftwood; 09-27-2012 at 04:55 AM.
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  5. #5
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    I think trails that need to be closed take care of themselves (unless there's some exceptional condition, like nucular waste dumped trail side).

  6. #6
    Rogue Exterminator
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    I say close all the trails with bees on them.

    (Except Pilot Rock, it has good bees )

  7. #7
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    I don't understand why there is any negotiation at all. People should be advocating opening more trails and not at the expense of others.. I have seen the Wilderness Society at work where it has a stronger network, and it did not negotiate one bit. Now maybe this current issue is a land manager issue alone. But by and large the land managers I have run across only act to shut trails down after political pressure from anti-bike groups.

    It seems to me that NC, especially the Western NC mountain bike community, has a lot going for it: Great Mountains, Great Trails, and tangible, positive economic impacts. Don't give one inch.

    Just a thought. Not trying to provoke anyone.

  8. #8
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    Anything that is too technical for me to ride.

    Oops - that would shut down about half of Pisgah.

    Never mind.
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  9. #9
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    There are trails, like the upper part of Black Mountain, that are eroding so badly that they will be unrideable in a few years if not reworked/rerouted. If I could trade a trail that is eroding and practically unrideable for a new, better designed, and more sustainable, I would. And before people say that I'd prefer sanitized trails, there's a difference between sanitizing trails and making them sustainable. I'd rather have a solid, sustainable trail for the long haul rather than a trail that's little more than a ditch down a fault line that wouldn't be fun if it is rideable. That said, I wouldn't want to just give up a trail for nothing.

  10. #10
    drunken pirate
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    Black Mtn. is in very rough shape. I would love to be able to get up there an work on it. It doesn't need to be closed though, no matter what some people might claim.

    Nobody else has any closure suggestions? I mean with all the trails in our area there have to be some that we want closed, right?
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    Nobody else has any closure suggestions?
    I would like to get this forum closed.
    BS'ing less, riding more.

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    There are trails, like the upper part of Black Mountain, that are eroding so badly that they will be unrideable in a few years if not reworked/rerouted.
    I think lower Trace Ridge would fall into that category. It's not so much a trail as it is an eroded gully.
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  13. #13
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    Open some already on the map to bikes and then I'll think about closures to bikes.Hikers already go where ever they want.That's one reason shining rock is so f'd up

  14. #14
    drunken pirate
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smells Like Fish View Post
    Open some already on the map to bikes and then I'll think about closures to bikes.Hikers already go where ever they want.That's one reason shining rock is so f'd up
    I agree. I'm all for gaining access.

    Shining Rock has many issues. A main one is the number of users it sees. Interestingly enough, the only trail suggested for closure at the Trail Strategy in the PRD was Green Mtn. in the Middle Prong. Ben Prater of Wildsouth who did the survey on it felt it should be closed. Closing that trail would reduce the number of users in the Middle Prong and as a result increase the already high use in Shining Rock which would lead to even more problems there. I know those trails are not mtb trails and are of little interest to mtb riders, but the same results could be seen in the rest of the district if we start seeing closures. We are already going to lose trails as part of the Brushy Ridge logging project.
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  15. #15
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by dobovedo View Post
    Playing devil's advocate... what if Golden Ridge is someone's most favoritist awesomeist idea of an 'excellent' MTB trail ever?
    Impossible. Go take a look and you'll know what we mean (if you can even find the"trail").

  17. #17
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    I'd like to see Clay wearing a closed-top hat. Get off the internet.

  18. #18
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    Advocating for the closing of trails is a very slippery slope...and not one we should go down. It sets a very dangerous precedent.

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