Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sat July 25 Trail Report - Horses!

I'm sorry to say the club had NO idea there was going to be a horse competition on the trails today -- so my apologies to those who "tried" to ride today. We aren't talking a horse or two -- we are talking 50 or so horses doing "loops" on the trails. Last year, Rick helped the organizer layout a course using a 12 mile, mostly-snowmobile (and some fire road) course and the horses did two loops on this course. So when I started riding, I said to my riding partner, "don't worry, when we jump on the single track, we'll be fine." WRONG! Much to my surprise and disappointment, the course was laid out this year to include the far west end of Rock's Ridge (behind Wolf Pond where its the softest and yes, the trails were soft today), the first half of Wolf Pond Trail before the big rock gardens, all of shale run and Preserve line (ARGH! and it was soft too), and I'm fairly certain Matter single track which may have been fairly solid. The horses were NOT on Rattling creek, Fawn Kill, or Rugged (watershed territory). We were not contacted this year to help with the course and we had no idea it was going on. You can't imagine the frustration when I saw the hooves digging in the soft single track and they were the first 3 of 50 doing two loops on that section. I was truly afraid to go back and check what it looked like when they were done. Not sure what we'll do if anything. It IS public land afterall. But -- its possible the horse folks have a trail work session scheduled to fix what may be rutted (maybe?). In the meantime, watch for horse ruts on Rock's Ridge West (far end), Wolf Pond, Shale Run, Preserve Line, and Matter Single track (unless they fixed it today when they were done).


Anonymous said...

suck it up, you don't own the trail.

Chili said...

The trail wouldn't exist if it wasn't for the bike club. If you put in time money and sweat to build trails and then someone came in and abused them to the point that they are so degraded tha they no longer provide an enjoyable experience you'd voice your oppossion too.
Hopefully DCNR will see the results of this event as unacceptable and not allow singletrack trail to be used. If not yhou may get your wish. The bikers will suck it up. move on and not maintain the trails on DCNR property. We'll let DCNR deal with the results of continued horse traffic.

Anonymous said...

Suck it up !! We don't own the trail. !!

I find both those comments funny in a very sad sort of way.

The RCST bike club does not own the land the trails are on, that's true. But as far as any other claim to the trails... the RCST bike club would certainly have first dibs on them.

The bike club has put in 7 or 8 years developing the 20+ miles of singletrack. And a conservative estimate of 3000 to 4000 man hours of time in cutting these trails out of nothing !! The bike club made the trail and the bike club has maintained them for the past 10+ years.

If damage from horses continues the bike club will most likely give them back to mother nature since it will never be the beautiful, pristine singletrack it once was with continued use by horses. It will turn into just another muddy, eroding rain gutter that will no longer be good to bike or hike.