Saturday, December 20, 2014

Naugatuck State Forest

Date: Dec. 14, 2014
Report Type: TA Report
Trail Name: Naugatuck State Forest
Town: Oxford
Trail Conditions: Trail or Streambed?

Observations/Information: I did a loop hike around the reservoirs. The track from a previous year is here.

With the recent heavy rains, many trails were more like running streambeds. The trail down to the waterfall north of Reservoir 4 sustained heavy erosion, making an already bad situation even worse. That trail is definitely not rideable.

Along the way, I nipped some overhanging branches here and there. A friend had brought his electric chainsaw and cleared the birch tree that was blocking the woods road north of Reservoir 2.
We noticed the pile of culverts by the entrance off Rt. 42, and noticed they were replaced by rocky stream crossings. We did not like having to wade through the water.

This was the reply I received from Jerry Milne, state forester, "The culverts were originally installed by the water company. They were severely undersized for the size of the watershed they served. They used water main pipes that were way too small, so they would easily clog. They washed out, and the water would be diverted down the road, or over the road, washing out the road also. The fords are designed to need less maintenance. The water runs over the riprap at the stream crossing. I've walked over them when water is running with no problem."

A fellow hiker who happens to be a professional engineer said the state could have left the culverts in place and added the rocks as a backup when the water flow was too great. I like that idea. I also suggested to Jerry Milne that it would have been good if the state had dug some trenches in the riprap to channel the water when it flows less and then hikers could step on dry ground in between.
We did notice that some of the woods roads had fresh gravel on them, which we appreciated. Others continue to be heavily eroded with very uneven footing.

I sent a photo with a locator map to Nate Hale, the state park supervisor, regarding the Camaro near Reservoir 4, and asked if the state could get it out of there when the ground freezes. The pickup truck by Reservoir 2 was taken out a year or 2 ago, but we did see the plastic bed remaining. I picked up a bucket's worth of litter along the trails and near the parking area. I need to get back there and cut the bittersweet vines by the parking lot which are 2 to 3 inches in diameter.

Trail Ambassador Name: Tom Ebersold
Trail Ambassador E-mail: bikehikekayak[at]sbcglobal[dot]net
How did you use the trail? Hiking/Walking
Trails Ridden: Various woods roads and trails
Time of day: Morning
Time/Duration (hours): 3.5
Approximate Distance (Miles): 7
Image 1: Naug. Forest, water across road.jpg
Image 2: Naug. Forest, tree, 12-14.jpg

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

TM Report: Naugatuck State Forest

Date: 12/17/2014
Report Type: TM Report
Trail Name: Naugatuck State Forest
Town: Oxford
Trail Conditions: Wet - unrideable

Observations/Information: Continued work on my brush project at the logging site at the bend in the fire road.

Rode the orange beast down the fire road from the Hunters Mountain lot. (Did NOT, of course, ride on the trail itself since it's a soggy mess. Walked and/or carried it.)

Most of the brush is cleared from just in from the fire road, to the little stream crossing (.3-ish miles in).

There are still a few bigger logs out closer to the fire road that (a) are too big for my hand tools and (b) are in substantial wet patches. These are, for the most part, ride-overable when it eventually dries/freezes. Shouldn't be a problem for the FD's gators, either.

I saw yet another smiley - this time painted on a rock - so I added to my collection of "Stinky + Smiley" photos. 8^)

There were a few branches down on the fire road - kicked 'em off as I saw them.

Not sure when's the next time I'll get in there, but methinks I'm roughly halfway done at this point.

Trail Ambassador Name: John Joy
Trail Ambassador E-mail: jmj [at] savagejoy [dot] com
How did you use the trail? Trail Maintenance
Trails Ridden:
Time of day: Afternoon
Time/Duration (hours): 2-ish (including getting in and out)
Approximate Distance (Miles): 1.1 to get there, .25 worked on, and 1.1 back

Friday, November 28, 2014

TM Report: Naugatuck State Forest

Date: 11/28/2014
Report Type: TM Report
Trail Name: Naugatuck State Forest (West Block)
Town: Oxford
Trail Conditions: Snowy (my kingdom for a fatbike!)

Observations/Information: Per Jerry Milne, the logging at the bend in the fire road up top is done, and we can feel free to work on the leftover brush, so I started today. Spent only an hour, so didn't accomplish all that much (besides, with the wind, it was kinda chilly).  Not sure what was up with the smiley painted on the tree.

Parked at the Hunter's Mountain lot and rode down (and back up). Removed a few nuisance branches. Many are presently covered by snow (did I mention how much I want a fatbike?) - with the warmup coming it should be gone by next week. I also have a 32" loppers coming from Amazon (one of their Black Friday deals) on Tuesday, so next trip in will be after their arrival.

Spoke with a hunter on his (and my) way out - his lucky spot was right where they logged, so he's been looking for another. (No luck today for him.)

Trail Ambassador Name: John Joy
Trail Ambassador E-mail: jmj [at] savagejoy [dot] com
How did you use the trail? MT Biking
Trails Ridden:
Time of day: Late Afternoon
Time/Duration (hours): 1

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Naugatuck State Forest

Date: 11/23/2014
Report Type: TA Report
Trail Name: Naugatuck State Forest (West Block)
Town: Oxford/Beacon Falls
Trail Conditions: Leafy and mostly dry

Observations/Information: I finally got the ride I intended to have last week (but which ended early due to mechanical: rear brake).

At first I was afraid the freeze and thaw would mean mushy trails, but happily that wasn't the case. (The usual squishy spots were squishy, though.) Not sure if everything will remain as rideable given the warmth and rain forecast, so proceed with caution.

In at Res 4, did my little warmup loop, then down the Camaro trail, right onto the singletrack bypass to the power lines, then down to Res 2. Almost at the Res 2 loop, there's a widowmaker hung up across the trail. Ride-underable, but it needs to go.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Millers Pond State Park

Date: November 15, 2014
Report Type: TA Report
Trail Name: Millers Pond State Park
Town: Durham
Trail Conditions: Good, clear, leafy

Observations/Information: I tagged along with a group ride at Millers Pond Saturday morning. We had 10 riders and did a figure-eight on the practice and XC loop (the trails north of the pond). The whole trip took about 2 1/2 hours with a few short breaks and one stop to repair a flat tire.

This ride was part of an effort to take some pressure off Rockland, where the trails are fine but the parking lots are starting to overflow on weekends. The trails at "Millaz" are still there, still fun, and in great shape. There are leaves down of course, but the trails are not blocked and the surface is in good shape. The trails were dry on Saturday morning. New log rides are popping up as well.

we rode down to the stream from the parking lot, back up the bailout to the gate, then we went in by the dam and rode the XC loop clockwise back to the stream. Finally we rode out on the bailout to the gate again. The trails are a little more challenging and less flowy than Rockland, and the skinnies tend to be higher and narrower, with more abrupt transitions up on to them. Having some suspension makes the ride more comfortable and fun.

Trail Ambassador Name: Glenn Vernes
Trail Ambassador E-mail: glenn
How did you use the trail? MT Biking
Trails Ridden: Practice and XC loops
Time of day: Morning
Time/Duration (hours): 2.25
Approximate Distance (Miles): 6 miles
Image 1: Millaz 11-15-14 007.JPG
Image 2: Millaz 11-15-14 008.JPG
Image 3: Millaz 11-15-14 012.JPG

Friday, November 14, 2014

Tyler Mill

Date: 11/13/14
Report Type: TA Report
Trail Name: Tyler Mill
Town: Wallyworld
Trail Conditions: Good, leafy

Observations/Information: I took a ride at Tyler Mill today. I was joined by one other guy, Marc, who had never ridden The Mill before. I showed him the good stuff. We started at the Vet's Park lot and rode yellow, blue, red, red/black, and purple, as well as some of the unmarked side trails. The trails were clear of blow downs and grow-ins, and were dry in all but one or two places. There was a fluffy layer of dry leaves that concealed the roots and small rocks that are everywhere on these trails, and made the tight corners harder to negotiate. This is something New England riders have to learn to deal with. There's a new stair step bridge on red and a new elevated corduroy bridge under construction on green

We had a good time on the fast twisty trails at The Mill. We rode the teeter and some of the skinnies. The trails are pretty devoid of big hits but there's enough chatter that some suspension will make the ride more comfortable.

Trail Ambassador Name: Glenn Vernes
Trail Ambassador E-mail: glennvernesatgmaildotcom
How did you use the trail? MT Biking
Trails Ridden: Blue, yellow, red, red/black, purple, green unmarked.
Time of day: Afternoon
Time/Duration (hours): 1 3/4
Approximate Distance (Miles): 9.5

Sunday, November 9, 2014

George C Waldo State Park

Date: 11/9/2014
Report Type: TA Report
Trail Name: George C Waldo State Park
Town: Southbury
Trail Conditions: Leafy/twiggy but otherwise fine

Observations/Information: Did a quick AM loop (WW -> Daffy -> Hunters -> Fire Road).

Someone must've knocked loose one of the rocks in the first rockover on WW off the parking lot. (Moved it after I finished the ride.)

Stopped several and many times to kick(mostly small) branches off trail. Over by a big blowdown on WW (shortly after the eastern junction with Daffy) a smaller tree came down atop it and across (over) the trail. I could probably duck and ride under it, but someone bigger and/or on a 29er might not, so to avoid a braid forming to the right, I got rid of it.