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  1. #1
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    restroring an old moto gulley...

    restoring an old moto-gulley.... Ideas? We plan to do it this fall as soon as we've got moisture as our window for wet enough soil to work before it freezes is very small ( same thing in reverse, in the spring) We've got a tiller and picks to break up the soil; native seed; and the trail was rerouted several seasons ago so it's not seeing any use. What other points to consider? Thanks for any input.
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  2. #2
    featherweight clydesdale
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    From the pic, it looks like the trail runs up and down the hill not across or diagonally across, violating the "1/2 rule". The damage looks to be caused by water as well.

    Close it and reroute.

  3. #3
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    Just looking at the photo, the big problem I see is the road going more or less down the fall line of the slope with a gulley in the center. Heavy rainfall or snow melt will scour right down that path and wash away loose soil, mulch, and new seedlings. If you can move the water sideays off that track before it gains volume and speed, you should get better results. Some big rocks or big logs placed at intervals down slope, combined with some drains dug on the downslope edge of the road above the logs should help.

    You might also look at straw bales or straw wattles and silt fencing, which are used for erosion control on construction sites.

    One other tactic I have seen used with pretty good results is to break up the soil, seed and mulch, then cover the area with jute netting. The net helps hold the soil and mulch in place, then breaks down over time.

  4. #4
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    Fattire, the trail WAS rerouted several seasons ago. This is no longer used at all. We just want to help restore it.
    the first image is the new trail going off to the right, the second is where the new trail meets back up at the bottom of the gulley.

    I am thinking maybe Parks can provide us with some jute stuff, keep it coming...
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by formica
    Fattire, the trail WAS rerouted several seasons ago. This is no longer used at all. We just want to help restore it.
    the first image is the new trail going off to the right, the second is where the new trail meets back up at the bottom of the gulley.

    I am thinking maybe Parks can provide us with some jute stuff, keep it coming...
    Install "check steps" every 5 feet or so. Getting water off the trail might not be possible, so slow it down. Check steps are basically little mini dams made of logs (8" to10" diameter) at intervals all the way down the hill. Use treated lumber (6x6 or 8x8) if cost/getting it in is reasonable. Bury the step approximately 1/2 the depth of its diameter (drill and nail/reinforce with rebar if trail is used frequently). Use a level so that you can make sure water flows evenly over the top.

    The goal is to make run off pond up behind the step. It will deposit top soil, and slow the water flow. Eventually these little terraces you create will be large level areas where plants can take root.

    BTW, from the pic, it still looks like its getting use. Large rocks and trees across the trail may take care of it.

  6. #6
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    LOL, those are old pics, we took them the day we re-routed it!!! When we go back and look at its, trust me, the single track reroute is much nicer, plus it's got a nice vertical slab of granite that they can hip check off of.

    Great ideas guys. Keep it coming. If I could, I'd bake you a pie....

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fattirewilly
    Install "check steps" every 5 feet or so. Getting water off the trail might not be possible, so slow it down. Check steps are basically little mini dams made of logs (8" to10" diameter) at intervals all the way down the hill. Use treated lumber (6x6 or 8x8) if cost/getting it in is reasonable. Bury the step approximately 1/2 the depth of its diameter (drill and nail/reinforce with rebar if trail is used frequently). Use a level so that you can make sure water flows evenly over the top.

    The goal is to make run off pond up behind the step. It will deposit top soil, and slow the water flow. Eventually these little terraces you create will be large level areas where plants can take root.
    I think we are talking about more or less the same concept, but with different materials.

    Since the goal is to totally restore/re-vegate the old route, I'd avoid the pressure treated lumber and rebar. No toxics or potential impalement hazards. If you can restore the pre-trail contours and vegetation, you've got the problem solved.

    I love pie. I accept the virtual offer and defer it to you and your trail crew. I like boysenberry (more acidic and less dead sweet than blackberry) or tart apple pie with thin sliced apples cooked "al dente" and a little vanilla ice cream on top. Post photos of project, crew and pie.

  8. #8
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    i wish we had dirt like that to deal with. all we got is sand. when we have issues like that, we build a new trail and place all the clipping and branches on the old trail. plus we add water bars to keep the water off of the old trail. it sounds like you've got it figured out already though. you've got to make sure the seeds get enough water would be my other suggestion. i'm not sure where you're located but you may need to haul water in to get the seeds to take hold. you might even want to plug some native grass just to help get it started. we had spread some rye grass seeds on our trails and it all washed to the grade breaks. next time we'll try wildflowers. good luck.
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  9. #9
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    The cool thing about moto trails is you can manipulate the contours to squeeze out the most "flow" in the trail. Here's a basic example of how i would attack that section.



    Using the dam method, you would probably have an easier time harvesting rocks since they're pretty abundant there. Dig out a trench into the side. Widen out the trench (flare it out) and fill it with small gravel, put some cobble over the top of that, then fill the top with topsoil, and you've effectively made a drain field which will water the plants you plant near/below the field. Do as many as make sense per what you're doing with the trail...

    If you want the trail to be slower you'll want to criss cross more often, but looking at the contour, i'd want to keep as much slope as possible. Best possible way to know this is to run/ride it. But yah break the rules a bit and keep the turns with inslope, so you can ride the corners like berms. i mean you already have the trenches there to catch the excess water on the trail anyways.

    Flow flow and more flow!!!!
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryCallahan

    Since the goal is to totally restore/re-vegate the old route, I'd avoid the pressure treated lumber and rebar. No toxics or potential impalement hazards. If you can restore the pre-trail contours and vegetation, you've got the problem solved.
    I only suggested the rebar for folks looking to take this idea and apply it to a trail that is in use. You're right though about the rebar. I've heard of using hardwood dowel rods instead. That way everything rots/deteriorates at an even pace.

  11. #11
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    he's talking about total reclamation, I do believe.
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    And then we eat them."

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit
    he's talking about total reclamation, I do believe.
    Ahh after re-reading i see you're right, she is talking about reclamation...

    i'd still do the same thing, creating dams in a few steps and diverting the water into small drain fields, introduce new top soil by caching a mulch pile nearby(possibly gathering top soil from a new trail build nearby if there is one), and then introduce fauna.

    If you can displace the water and then make it drain into a wide area you're going to have better luck avoiding erosion on a fragile new hillside.
    .~...|\
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  13. #13
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    chop up the old tread

    Go start by placing debris on the old trail, but you still have a very packed down surface. You need to go back to the old trail and basically chop up the old trail tread and check dams are also a good idea. It is very hard for plants to reestablish themselves if the tread is still packed down like in the picture.

    Also looks more like water than moto.
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  14. #14
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilycook
    Also looks more like water than moto.
    Starts with a fall line trail, then spinning moto knobbies (or skiding MTB tires), then water following the ruts, talk about a vicious cycle.

    You need to go nuts with slash/rocks/tank traps to really close down a trail. I'd ues check dams made of natural material, Softening the dirt and mixing in organic material will help get the plant life going again. Re-seed with native species or even transplant small trees if possible. Keep an eye on it to mitigate any drainage problems or re-slash (some guys don't like having their steep trails closed down in favor of a more gentle grade) if needed.

  15. #15
    HIKE!
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    Consider placing "closed for rehabilitation" educational signage at the top and bottom, so users know to stay off. Invariably, some user out there treasures this section as his/her favorite.

  16. #16
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    before and after, view from above:
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  17. #17
    Never enough time to ride
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    Hey, where'd that moto-gully go?! Good work!
    Get out and ride!

  18. #18
    Who turned out the lights
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    That looks great.

    We did a similar project here in KC. Basically, we put logs across the back side of the gully and try to anchor them in a bit for reinforcement. Then, we put a good amount of rock in the bottom of the gully. Start with large rocks that will not get washed away (to hold it in place. Then, we put layers of successively smaller rock in to fill the void spaces and act as a filter. This will let the water through, but will slow it down, forcing it to drop the suspended soil particles. Sometimes we cover the check dams with soil, depending on the location/situation. This is a very similar design to what I specify for erosion control on construction sites.

    The rest of the trail gets trees transplanted, native grass seed, and misc timber pieces scattered on it. Then we blow some of the adjacent leaves on it to blend it with the surroundings.

    Our end product looks very similar to yours, except with Midwest vegetation.

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