Idea for new trail at Frick

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Idea for new trail at Frick

Postby Unreal Machine » Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:00 pm

Does anyone else think it would be a good idea to design a new trail that runs on top of the Nature Trail starting where Biddle meets the South Clayton loop and running between South Clayton and the Nature Trail all the way to the Nature Trail entrance? The idea would be to ride the Nature Trail, climb Biddle, then do the new trail to get back to the Nature Trail entrance. It seems like it would eliminate a lot of unnecessary fire lane travel and make the trails better connected. Haven't walked the route yet, but from observation it definitely seems possible. Thoughts?
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Re: Idea for new trail at Frick

Postby cburch » Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:39 pm

sounds like a great idea. but i think you should go through the park stewards to make sure its designed and built for the long term and not closed down before you even finish it. we are still on slightly shakey ground with the city over frick after the whole 276 ordeal and we probably shouldnt push our luck.
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Re: Idea for new trail at Frick

Postby Unreal Machine » Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:37 pm

cburch wrote:sounds like a great idea. but i think you should go through the park stewards to make sure its designed and built for the long term and not closed down before you even finish it. we are still on slightly shakey ground with the city over frick after the whole 276 ordeal and we probably shouldnt push our luck.


Oh yeah, I wouldn't dream of making a renegade trail. I want to do it the right way and make a super awesome trail. I'm going to walk the area sometime with my friend and put a design together and submit it to PTAG. Based on my bike GPS:

1. There is a 100' climb followed by a 35' descent on South Clayton from the intersection of Biddle & South Clayton to the entrance of the Nature Trail.
2. A direct trail could theoretically save 35' of climbing right there.
3. The terrain is too nice to simply ignore. It might even work to have a trail that intersects and rides on the other side for the Nature Trail at some points.
4. You will still have to climb some, but anything is better than riding on the fire lanes (both for riders & walkers).
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Re: Idea for new trail at Frick

Postby geeter » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:46 pm

[we are still on slightly shakey ground with the city over frick after the whole 276 ordeal and we probably shouldnt push our luck.
]
What is this ordeal of which you speak? I recently discovered the 276 trail and really enjoyed it. I wondered if it was legal. Then, last week, I went to ride it and the bottom looked decidedly closed. What is happening there?
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Re: Idea for new trail at Frick

Postby cburch » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:46 pm

It was most definitely not a sanctioned trail. As far as I know, it's been kind of a cat and mouse game with keeping it open and the folks in charge of the city parks haven't been at all happy about it. Other people more directly involved can give you more info than that, but anything else I say would be at best conjecture.
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Re: Idea for new trail at Frick

Postby robertt » Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:37 pm

The person to talk to is DD (park stewart) or show up at work day Sunday.
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Re: Idea for new trail at Frick

Postby cyclfamily » Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:51 am

Does anybody know why the 276 trail has been closed in Frick park? WTF It was the best we had to offer
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Re: Idea for new trail at Frick

Postby laxap » Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:40 pm

According to a bona fide source, 276 is not closed. At the request of NMRWA, several of the creek crossings have been closed in order to preserve the bank. They're apparently putting up signs soon asking that we not cross in sensitive areas. Please follow the signs.

Ordeal? I think any ordeal that went down was imagined by some, rumored by others, and ignored by anybody who has any influence. In the meantime we love to ride 276.
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Re: Idea for new trail at Frick

Postby jwill » Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:52 pm

Did the workday happen? There are a couple of areas in need of repair or continued build out. The Nature trail - one of the ramps built over the big log is really not stable and slopes badly to one side going up and slopes the other way coming down. Some newer trails have been cut in once you drop off the nature trail cross the Clayton Loop and head down towards Hot Dog damn. Old trail was pretty much a straight drop to the Tranquil Trail. The newer trails are on the side of the hill and will get washed out with the next big rain. Some reinforcement/drainage needs to be planned. The obstacles on this trail are new and need some reinforcement to be more stable/permanent. 276 Trail - there is still a pretty good sized tree down close to the end towards Braddock trail headed up to Regent Square. Can we build a ramp or cut a hole through the log? Other trails across Commercial Avenue - there appears to be a newer trail after you pass the "trick park?". The trail winds up and down the side of the hill ending up down towards the new 9 mile run extension headed down to the river. There are some obstacles partially built. Is this a planned trail, or just another project that needs some more work. Is there a master plan for the trails? A list of trails that get priority for work?
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Re: Idea for new trail at Frick

Postby Unreal Machine » Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:37 am

Update: we are still in the pre-planning stage, but there is definitely a lot of potential for this area. It would probably end up looking like a cross between the Nature Trail and Dinky Bridge Trail, but it would be built to strict IMBA standards. Hopefully by the end of the month we will have the route finalized and a map with the proposed trail drawn out with elevation points. At that point other people can walk the route, give their thoughts, and we can submit the plans to PTAG. If all goes well this could end up being one of the best trails in that park.
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Re: Idea for new trail at Frick

Postby dfiler » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:52 am

Unreal Machine wrote:Update: we are still in the pre-planning stage, but there is definitely a lot of potential for this area. It would probably end up looking like a cross between the Nature Trail and Dinky Bridge Trail, but it would be built to strict IMBA standards. Hopefully by the end of the month we will have the route finalized and a map with the proposed trail drawn out with elevation points. At that point other people can walk the route, give their thoughts, and we can submit the plans to PTAG. If all goes well this could end up being one of the best trails in that park.

PTAG and almost all bikers would love more singletrack in Frick. Here are a couple things to keep in mind.

There are numerous other issues being negotiated with the park. In order to keep a good working relationship, it helps to take everything into consideration prior to approaching the park with new trail proposals. Normally we try meet other park users half-way in regard to conflicting desires for trail management.

For instance, the extension to dinky bridge was contingent on closing the steep, eroding original exit. This was mostly successful. Unfortunately, a new fall-line trail developed where that extension ends and merges onto the Braddock trail. We have been asked to close that descent. It is debatable whether attempts at closure will be successful but it has been requested.

Similarly, the extension to bradema (nature center trail) was contingent on closing the final fall-line, high speed exit. Walkers get scared and mad when bikers exit at high speed. Whether there is a real danger of collision or not, the current exit results in tension among park users. Another concern is that because erosion has caused roots to become exposed. Novice riders avoid the roots and go to the side, widening the trail. Each year the trail gets wider and new go-arounds develop to avoid roots. While it will certainly be controversial, the plan is to close that exit once the bradema extension is fully cut in. Hopefully, in the long run bikers will appreciate the additional mileage. Steep fall-line trails are fun but it would be better if they weren't highly visible and didn't exit as a jump over the highest pedestrian traffic trail in the park.

276 also caused some tension but it looks like everything can be resolved if we successfully close all but the two stream crossing entrances closest to the uphill climb. The ones further down stream were described as unsustainable due to devegetation and the resulting erosion during torrential flow. Again, whether we agree with that assessment or not, the wise choice is to concede to that request and maintain good relations.

There is other maintenance on the to-do list as well. The entrance to iron gate is getting wider each year as people avoid riding over roots and go to the side of the trail. It is around 15 feet wide now. At some point it should be narrowed back into singletrack. Also, the long bridge at the end of iron gate is in danger of collapse and needs to be reinforced. The center masonry pier washed away a couple years ago and 4x4 stringers aren't sufficient for a 16 foot span.

What this all means is that we should probably concentrate on finishing the on-going projects and get the current trails back into shape prior to going to the parks conservancy with a new trail proposal. They need to see that PTAG can plan, construct and maintain the trails that were previously requested and approved. This tactic seems to be working. It is awesome that new singletrack is getting officially approved and constructed in Frick!

If you're in Frick much, you'll likely run across me doing trail maintenance. Feel free to stop and discuss or lend a hand. I'll be working on the bradema extension after work a couple nights a week until it is finished.
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Re: Idea for new trail at Frick

Postby Unreal Machine » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:56 pm

dfiler wrote:
Unreal Machine wrote:Update: we are still in the pre-planning stage, but there is definitely a lot of potential for this area. It would probably end up looking like a cross between the Nature Trail and Dinky Bridge Trail, but it would be built to strict IMBA standards. Hopefully by the end of the month we will have the route finalized and a map with the proposed trail drawn out with elevation points. At that point other people can walk the route, give their thoughts, and we can submit the plans to PTAG. If all goes well this could end up being one of the best trails in that park.

PTAG and almost all bikers would love more singletrack in Frick. Here are a couple things to keep in mind.

There are numerous other issues being negotiated with the park. In order to keep a good working relationship, it helps to take everything into consideration prior to approaching the park with new trail proposals. Normally we try meet other park users half-way in regard to conflicting desires for trail management.

For instance, the extension to dinky bridge was contingent on closing the steep, eroding original exit. This was mostly successful. Unfortunately, a new fall-line trail developed where that extension ends and merges onto the Braddock trail. We have been asked to close that descent. It is debatable whether attempts at closure will be successful but it has been requested.

Similarly, the extension to bradema (nature center trail) was contingent on closing the final fall-line, high speed exit. Walkers get scared and mad when bikers exit at high speed. Whether there is a real danger of collision or not, the current exit results in tension among park users. Another concern is that because erosion has caused roots to become exposed. Novice riders avoid the roots and go to the side, widening the trail. Each year the trail gets wider and new go-arounds develop to avoid roots. While it will certainly be controversial, the plan is to close that exit once the bradema extension is fully cut in. Hopefully, in the long run bikers will appreciate the additional mileage. Steep fall-line trails are fun but it would be better if they weren't highly visible and didn't exit as a jump over the highest pedestrian traffic trail in the park.

276 also caused some tension but it looks like everything can be resolved if we successfully close all but the two stream crossing entrances closest to the uphill climb. The ones further down stream were described as unsustainable due to devegetation and the resulting erosion during torrential flow. Again, whether we agree with that assessment or not, the wise choice is to concede to that request and maintain good relations.

There is other maintenance on the to-do list as well. The entrance to iron gate is getting wider each year as people avoid riding over roots and go to the side of the trail. It is around 15 feet wide now. At some point it should be narrowed back into singletrack. Also, the long bridge at the end of iron gate is in danger of collapse and needs to be reinforced. The center masonry pier washed away a couple years ago and 4x4 stringers aren't sufficient for a 16 foot span.

What this all means is that we should probably concentrate on finishing the on-going projects and get the current trails back into shape prior to going to the parks conservancy with a new trail proposal. They need to see that PTAG can plan, construct and maintain the trails that were previously requested and approved. This tactic seems to be working. It is awesome that new singletrack is getting officially approved and constructed in Frick!

If you're in Frick much, you'll likely run across me doing trail maintenance. Feel free to stop and discuss or lend a hand. I'll be working on the bradema extension after work a couple nights a week until it is finished.


Thanks for the overview. Could you explain the Bradema extension a little bit? I only know of it ending on the Biddle trail and crossing over into those steep fall-lines. My idea would end Bradema at Biddle, climb Biddle, then get on a new trail where Biddle meets the South Clayton Loop. This way you would avoid the pedestrian traffic trails at the bottom of the hill, on Falls Ravine, AND on the South Clayton Loop (that's a lot of pedestrian trail travel being avoided). The new trail would end around the social spot on Falls Ravine. Something to consider I hope.
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Re: Idea for new trail at Frick

Postby dfiler » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:35 pm

Bradema has been extended with a lot of new trail between Biddle and Braddock. Instead of crossing Biddle and dropping straight down, it crosses Biddle, continuing along the contour line until nearly going under the forbes avenue bridge. Then it switches back, comes all the way back past the current exit, goes backward on the existing trail for a bit, splits to the left for one last switchback loop, and then exits on level ground through some dense trees.

The intention was to improve relations between bikers and pedestrians by eliminating the high speed fall line exit onto the braddock trail. The new exit is much slower speed. It also eliminates the erosion problem on the current exit.

The new section was designed to continue the mostly level or downward character of the trail. If we did a good job, it will soon seem like it has always been part of the trail, continuing with the same personality all the way to the bottom of the park. While some riders will hate losing the fast technical exit, hopefully most will view the additional length as an acceptable tradeoff.

Next time you're in Frick, check it out. While still soft and in need of much more work, everything is already rideable.
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Re: Idea for new trail at Frick

Postby Unreal Machine » Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:03 pm

dfiler wrote:Bradema has been extended with a lot of new trail between Biddle and Braddock. Instead of crossing Biddle and dropping straight down, it crosses Biddle, continuing along the contour line until nearly going under the forbes avenue bridge. Then it switches back, comes all the way back past the current exit, goes backward on the existing trail for a bit, splits to the left for one last switchback loop, and then exits on level ground through some dense trees.

The intention was to improve relations between bikers and pedestrians by eliminating the high speed fall line exit onto the braddock trail. The new exit is much slower speed. It also eliminates the erosion problem on the current exit.

The new section was designed to continue the mostly level or downward character of the trail. If we did a good job, it will soon seem like it has always been part of the trail, continuing with the same personality all the way to the bottom of the park. While some riders will hate losing the fast technical exit, hopefully most will view the additional length as an acceptable tradeoff.

Next time you're in Frick, check it out. While still soft and in need of much more work, everything is already rideable.


Wow, that sounds like a good extension. Not sure how I never noticed it - tunnel vision? I'll check it out next time I am there. I too prefer the flat(ter) sections of trail that make maximum use of the terrain. You can still go quite fast on the slightest of downgrades. That's why I really like the Dinky Bridge Trail. Trail designs like that can theoretically wrap around a hillside several times instead of a 5-second rush straight down the hill.
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