What is going on in Bent Creek at the Ledford branch trail?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    What is going on in Bent Creek at the Ledford branch trail?

    What is going on in Bent Creek at the Ledford branch trail? I hope that is the right name. They have completely blocked it off and I don't like it.

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    I'm pretty sure they're prepping it for the Burn that they're doing in the next week or so. I think they're doing 40 acres total. I haven't heard an exact date, they just said, "sometime in June or July".

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    That sure is a popular area they're going to burn. I wonder how much of an impact it will have on the trails. Do those types of burns usually burn the trees, or just the understory?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rain164845 View Post
    What is going on in Bent Creek at the Ledford branch trail? I hope that is the right name. They have completely blocked it off and I don't like it.
    Are you referring to the social trails sandwiched between Rice Pinn Rd. and Wolf Branch?

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    I have no idea, I was pretty sure it was a legit trail, but it has trees down every 10 feet to make it unrideable. I walked it today and it was a pain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rain164845 View Post
    That sure is a popular area they're going to burn. I wonder how much of an impact it will have on the trails. Do those types of burns usually burn the trees, or just the understory?
    Usually just the understory to reduce the available fuel load or improve the habitat for a specific use.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rain164845 View Post
    I have no idea, I was pretty sure it was a legit trail, but it has trees down every 10 feet to make it unrideable. I walked it today and it was a pain.
    I was on all the legal trails in the that area on Friday and they were all open. I do know the trails between Wolf, Ledford, and Rice Pinnacle that are not on any official maps were "closed off" by the USFS. I guess they had their reasons. I don't think dropping trees across trails had anything to do with the up coming burn though.

  8. #8
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    History: Before MTB got big in BC

    I have a map we locals supplied BC with "nicknames" to trails listed so the Skyland Fire Department would have a clue where injured/lost people were. I even had a spread sheet of names folks from others areas would re-name a trail for their personal ride references. It got too silly and confusing. (A fella died on Tony Michale's Parkway and it took them a long time to figure out where the heck that was.)

    BC printed real maps with the legitimate trail names and use designations. The social names were lost to legend. Who recalls when Wolf Branch was referred to as Fern and Lower Sidehill (137A) was called Billy Goat at the upper end and Light to Darkness after you cross Laurel? Heck, I still call it by those names.

    I think the trail you are talking about is not shown on area maps. It borders Wolf Creek and the nickname was Broccoli (I believed this was due to a resident "homesteader", and his food cache got spread on the trail - which included some manner of broccoli. I'd ride by and say "Hi, Broccoli Man". Any historians have a better story?)

    This was never a designated trail, even though it saw a lot of use. They posted on the web/put in the local paper that they were going to close it to access many times over the years The upper section was done first. Signs and tape were put up by BC Forest folks and taken down by unknown people.

    It is gone. RIP. I have many great memories of me and my dog playing in the creek. Not sure when or if I'll go look at it.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-U-M View Post
    History: Before MTB got big in BC

    I have a map we locals supplied BC with "nicknames" to trails listed so the Skyland Fire Department would have a clue where injured/lost people were....
    Thanks for the history lesson!

    If you're talking about the trail I'm thinking of, I use it quite a bit for running, but not for mountain biking, because it's not a designated trail. My understanding is that hiking and running are OK on unmarked trails. Is that incorrect?

    For what it's worth, I run a little 5k route from my place in BC neighborhood. I take the path from behind my place to RP Road, go down that little bit of gravel road (don't know name) from the Liberty house down to Wolf Branch. Then up Wolf Branch and right turn on Ledford. Then in just a short distance, 1/10th of a mile or so on the right, is the unmarked trail I think we're talking about. It takes you back to that same gravel road, as well as a couple of other little unmarked trails that branch off and go up to RP road. I take a left on one of those to get back to my place.

    I call my little loop "Wolf Branch Blitzer" since it's short and I usually do it as quick as possible (which for me isn't all that fast).

    I have not been running much lately so have not tried this loop in weeks. Will be interesting to see what's going on. I do see MTB tracks on it, but not many, and there are quite often treefalls and branches down across it that don't get cleared.
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  10. #10
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    I miss the old names too. Although I have to admit, in the 90s our group out of Greenville had its own names for so many things, I still am not sure sometimes what people are talking about here. I sure hope the closed trail isn't "The Slalom Course" ;-)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dobovedo View Post
    My understanding is that hiking and running are OK on unmarked trails. Is that incorrect?
    I believe unless signed otherwise you can travel on foot anywhere you want in the Pisgah District.
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  12. #12
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    If you are talking about the short tight & twisty off Ledford access road that joins up with Wolf - it is an open trail, called Ledford. (Formally know as Jedi Trail at the start and Bucket trail where it crosses the creek.) There was a thread a long time ago about these names. I still have people ask where Comatose is. Too funny.
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    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    I believe unless signed otherwise you can travel on foot anywhere you want in the Pisgah District.
    I don't think this is true in Bent Creek Experimental Forest. It is part of Pisgah but has its own set of rules and regulations. I think you are suppose to stay on 'designated' roads and trails.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtdrew View Post
    I don't think this is true in Bent Creek Experimental Forest. It is part of Pisgah but has its own set of rules and regulations. I think you are suppose to stay on 'designated' roads and trails.
    The BCEF website has conflicting information. On the home page it states:
    "There are over 44 miles of trails within the Bent Creek Experimental Forest. Mountain bikes and horses are permitted only on designated trails. Please visit the Recreation link for more details."

    That would imply that hiking/running is allowed on undesignated trails, which I'm pretty sure I've read somewhere else as well.

    But if you click on the Recreation link, (which doesn't really have any more details than the home page), it states:
    "Hiking, biking, and horse back riding on designated trails are permitted within the boundaries of the experimental forest. A trail map is available to download (Here) Signs are located at trailheads stating designated trail usage. Please follow the rules and remember that the Bent Creek Experimental Forest is designated for research on forest ecology and management, and research study sites must not be disturbed."

    That implies that hiking (running) is supposed to also be only on marked trails.

    Ah well, since this is a mountain biking forum, it's probably a moot point for most of you, but I'd kinda like to know whether I'm breaking the rules or not when I go running.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by dobovedo View Post
    The BCEF website has conflicting information. On the home page it states:
    "There are over 44 miles of trails within the Bent Creek Experimental Forest. Mountain bikes and horses are permitted only on designated trails. Please visit the Recreation link for more details."

    That would imply that hiking/running is allowed on undesignated trails, which I'm pretty sure I've read somewhere else as well.

    But if you click on the Recreation link, (which doesn't really have any more details than the home page), it states:
    "Hiking, biking, and horse back riding on designated trails are permitted within the boundaries of the experimental forest. A trail map is available to download (Here) Signs are located at trailheads stating designated trail usage. Please follow the rules and remember that the Bent Creek Experimental Forest is designated for research on forest ecology and management, and research study sites must not be disturbed."

    That implies that hiking (running) is supposed to also be only on marked trails.

    Ah well, since this is a mountain biking forum, it's probably a moot point for most of you, but I'd kinda like to know whether I'm breaking the rules or not when I go running.
    I read the same things on the site and am still under the impression that you are free to travel anywhere on foot you choose as long as you are not disturbing a research site or another area that is signed as closed, do not disturb, or something similar. I don't get to BC much but can't recall ever seeing anything on any of the kiosks or elsewhere telling all users to only use signed trails and roads. The USFS is not going to explicitly state that you can walk or run where ever you want for a variety of reasons but they have explicitly stated that bikes and horses must stay on signed trails and roads. Also, hunting is allowed in Bent Creek. Most hunters are smarter than to hunt on a trail (though I have seen it done plenty) and as such would be walking off trail. If you can't leave the trails I really doubt they would allow hunting.

    So, I still contend that you are not breaking any rules by running on those social trails. Only way to know for sure would be to call and ask.
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  16. #16
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    Running behind my house!?!



    Wolf Branch Blitzer - that's actually a really cool loop name. Check your PM.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ebbsnflows View Post
    I'm pretty sure they're prepping it for the Burn that they're doing in the next week or so. I think they're doing 40 acres total. I haven't heard an exact date, they just said, "sometime in June or July".
    Been a while since anybody commented on this thread, but here's a link to a citizen-times article about the planed burn, scheduled for this Thursday:

    CITIZEN-TIMES.com: Girls Gone Outdoors Forest Service to hold prescribed burn in Bent Creek Thursday

    Guess when they said "sometime in June or July", they meant August.

    Hope they don't let things get out of hand and burn down my house... that's less than a mile away.
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