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  1. #1
    JmZ
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    Sand?

    Are there any special trailbuilding techniques or tips that apply for sandy soils?

    Also are there any special guidelines or standards that work for sandy soil?

    I've searched the IMBA site, done a google search, and read through the IMBA trail solutions book. Everything in all of these is pretty vague and doesn't give too many specific ideas.

    The reason for the questions is that the parks dept is looking for convincing/reasurrance that trails can be build even though the soil survey lists it as questionable, or worse for motorcycles or (hiking) trails to be built. (I'd rather there was for mountain biking, but the local soil surveys don't rate mountain biking as an activity).

    I've hiked the area in question and it (the soil type) isn't that much different than other local trails.

    Any advice or guidance is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

    JmZ
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  2. #2
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    I don't have any scientific studies for you, But I have built trail on Sandy areas that were beach like.
    I used a recycled concrete product and also used crushed limestone (road base material).
    This worked very well for me, and at the time I was a Park Trail Manager so it can be done.

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    Jim:

    We basically reduce our maximum slopes and use plenty of grade reversals in sandy conditions. Some MMBA chapters have added clay or kitty litter to do some minor trail armoring. Another option would be full blown stone/concrete armoring in the sandy spots -- or elevated platforms.

    Todd Scott
    MMBA

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trailfreak
    I don't have any scientific studies for you, But I have built trail on Sandy areas that were beach like.
    I used a recycled concrete product and also used crushed limestone (road base material).
    This worked very well for me, and at the time I was a Park Trail Manager so it can be done.
    I too am looking to build trail in sandy soils. How thick do you lay the limestone? Do you have to compact it? Once installed are these limestone trails low-maintenance? Thanks.

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    We have lots of sand here on Long Island...basically you will need to use an inclinometer to lay out a sustainable trail as per IMBA's and MMBA's suggestions.

    If your on loose sand with no vegetation, (such as a beach) you'll need to armor the trail with a wood board walk or stone if availible. We used to use old pallets buried into the trail but are looking into more long term solutions. Broken concrete is something that we have started to use to armor and harden problem sections. It's a free source of materials though heavy to lug around.

    We have trails within a pine barrens environment. 4-6 percent grades are our time proven reccommended averages but you have to look at the whole trail environment and take each trails' watershed (water collection and drain off areas above and adjacent to the trail) into consideration. I have seen 2-4 percent trails that are "fall line" trails and prone to erosion problems...but have also seen some 8-10 percent sections holding up well.

    It's all in the design, use lot's of grade reversals...one about every 75 yards is reccommended. Short bursts to 8 percent or more is OK as long as it's at the top of a hill or mogul with a minimal chance of water flowing down the trail. Look at what they have done in Florida.

    The soil survey info is probably outdated...you'll need to provide info to bust the myth that mountain biking causes erosion in certain soil types...it's true on old trails created by animals, hunters or teens on motor bikes that were not planned to be sustainable.

    If your using old non-sustainable trails, then you'll have to re-route the "fall line" sections and restore the abandonded trail segments. (we do alot of re-routing)

    If the soil survey reccommends hiking as a valid use and not mountain biking...you'll have to provide info stating that hiking and mountain biking have similar impacts...if after this comparision is presented and they still don't allow mountain biking then, they should'nt allow hiking either.

    Keep us updated

    Michael Vitti
    CLIMB
    http://www.climbonline.org

  6. #6
    JmZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by sick4surf
    We have lots of sand here on Long Island...basically you will need to use an inclinometer to lay out a sustainable trail as per IMBA's and MMBA's suggestions.

    If your on loose sand with no vegetation, (such as a beach) you'll need to armor the trail with a wood board walk or stone if availible. We used to use old pallets buried into the trail but are looking into more long term solutions. Broken concrete is something that we have started to use to armor and harden problem sections. It's a free source of materials though heavy to lug around.

    We have trails within a pine barrens environment. 4-6 percent grades are our time proven reccommended averages but you have to look at the whole trail environment and take each trails' watershed (water collection and drain off areas above and adjacent to the trail) into consideration. I have seen 2-4 percent trails that are "fall line" trails and prone to erosion problems...but have also seen some 8-10 percent sections holding up well.

    It's all in the design, use lot's of grade reversals...one about every 75 yards is reccommended. Short bursts to 8 percent or more is OK as long as it's at the top of a hill or mogul with a minimal chance of water flowing down the trail. Look at what they have done in Florida.

    The soil survey info is probably outdated...you'll need to provide info to bust the myth that mountain biking causes erosion in certain soil types...it's true on old trails created by animals, hunters or teens on motor bikes that were not planned to be sustainable.

    If your using old non-sustainable trails, then you'll have to re-route the "fall line" sections and restore the abandonded trail segments. (we do alot of re-routing)

    If the soil survey reccommends hiking as a valid use and not mountain biking...you'll have to provide info stating that hiking and mountain biking have similar impacts...if after this comparision is presented and they still don't allow mountain biking then, they should'nt allow hiking either.

    Keep us updated

    Michael Vitti
    CLIMB
    http://www.climbonline.org
    Mike,

    Thanks for the info. I'm interested particullary in the part

    "The soil survey info is probably outdated...you'll need to provide info to bust the myth that mountain biking causes erosion in certain soil types...it's true on old trails created by animals, hunters or teens on motor bikes that were not planned to be sustainable."

    Beyond IMBA's trail solutions publication and the other papers available on IMBA's site any suggesions on where to look to help forward the case.

    Most of the local trails are built on similar soil types and I KNOW that we can build sustainable trail at this location too, as long as we are careful about our design.

    Do you mind if I can drop ya a PM about a few details?

    Thanks for the help, everyone. I'm hoping that by summer we'll have a big announcement to make, but I'm holding off my celebrations until the shovels hit dirt...

    JmZ
    JmZ

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    Advocate as if your ride depends on it...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JmZ
    Mike,

    Do you mind if I can drop ya a PM about a few details?

    JmZ
    No problemo...I'll be happy to share any info I have.

    Later,

    Mike

  8. #8
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    sure wish you guys would post here, we can all learn from it.

  9. #9
    JmZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by formica
    sure wish you guys would post here, we can all learn from it.
    I'll be happy to spill all the beans after things go through. Until then I'm a bit wary, the park folks have already shown a good knowledge of what is up on the web.

    If there's anything I can help with, I'm willing to share what I know, just drop me a PM.

    JmZ
    JmZ

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    Advocate as if your ride depends on it...

  10. #10
    Don't worry, be happy!
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    I meant, post what you know about working with sand, I guess either I wasn't clear or I missed something! I totally understand about not wanting to spill the beans about talks in progress or whatever.

    ~f

  11. #11
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    Limestone on the trail?
    In the past I have added this to sandy trail tread areas and it works great.
    The big problem, it's very labor intensive. Normally I would have put down anywhere from a 1" thick layer up to a 4" thick layer and only make the path 2' to 3' wide. This would be for a singletrack situation. Sand is a very tough cookie to crack.

  12. #12
    JmZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by formica
    sure wish you guys would post here, we can all learn from it.
    Sorry took so long to get back to this.

    Went to one of the IMBA TCC schools up in northern Michigan.

    Learned quite a bit about building in sand, since that was the basic soil type where we were building new trail.

    Most of what we learned can be summed up from other parts of this thread.

    1) Watch the grade. Depending on what is there to help keep soil in place you may be able to go up to 8%.
    2) Armor is nice. Takes some work, but extremely durable.
    3) Kitty litter, etc works in a pinch. Not the best solution because it'll have to be lugged in.
    4) There are differences between 1 way and 2 way trails. Different wear patterns due to user wear on the trail.

    The crew we worked with were from Florida, and had <i>some</i> experience working with sand.

    JmZ
    JmZ

    From one flat land to another.

    Advocate as if your ride depends on it...

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