Palisades MTB (PMTB)

jmanic

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Team MTBNJ Halter's
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Hey all-
Finally getting around to posting the January PMTB newsletter

Lots going on here.

http://www.palisadesmtb.org

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What’s new in trails and rides


Palisades MTB Newsletter

January, 2018



New rock bridge on the Munsee Eagle trail, Sterling Forest State Park.


A big thank you!

Thanks to everyone who contributed time and money to promote mountain biking in New Jersey and New York, and to build and maintain trails in the area. Compared to three years ago, we have miles more to ride, and the steady work with officials has paid off in good will and a willingness to help develop mountain biking in state, county, and local parks. Here are some highlights as of January.

Trail updates

Alpine Scout Camp area in Bergen County

The new Bergen County master parks plan will be presented in February to the Board of Chosen Freeholders (aka County Legislature). We expect that the plan will recommend that trail riding (aka mountain biking) be permitted on County-managed land near Alpine Scout Camp.

The February presentation will be followed by a 30-day public comment period. Bergen residents: We will need your help mustering support during the public comment period. We’ll provide a link to the online forum. After the public comment period ends, there will be another presentation to the Freeholders, probably on March 14. We plan to show up with members of the Palisades Cyclone team, to make the case that the kids need a place to practice. The Cyclones team, part of the National Intercollegiate Cycling Association (NICA) has grown from 16 members in 2017 to 40 in 2018.

We will propose to build a two miles of NICA-friendly smooth and rolling trails on land managed by Bergen County and the Palisades Interstate Park (PIP). To keep up good relationships with land managers in the meantime, we actively discourage illegal trail building on the property, especially in the area south of Ruckman Road.



Blauvelt State Park / Tackamack Town Park

Blauvelt bike trails held up well over the winter except for an icy end to the bridge over Swamp Thing, which Brian Lanius is working on.

These trails can get muddy during freeze/thaw season. Please do not ride here when it’s wet. Instead, try Jungle Habitat, Sprain, or Blue Mountain, which drain quicker.

Soňa Mason from the Trail Conference had a good idea to post a trail map and suggested routes in the Tackamack parking lot on Clausland Mountain Road. We’ll do that in the Spring.

Due to sabotage, we will need to replace almost all the bike trail markers in Blauvelt State Park. We will mark the bike route with painted and/or metal diamond blazes.

A ranger for Blauvelt Park discovered a hidden unauthorized technical trail. At the Park Manager’s request, we removed the features and covered up the trail.

During the 2018 construction season, we’d like to expand the authorized trails in Blauvelt. We can only do this if we have the approval of the land manager.

Building private technical trails causes headaches and makes it harder for us to get approvals in other areas, such as at Tallman Park. Please don’t do it.





Sterling Forest

The AmeriCorps crews, along with volunteers from PMTB and JORBA, completed about 12,000 feet of the Munsee Eagle trail during the 2017 season. According to Erik Mickelson, the loop should be completed during the 2018 construction season, making for great flowy loop. The more volunteers help with construction, the sooner we can get this beauty finished. Please help out if you can!

In the meantime, the 3.5-mile Red Back / Hutchinson Trail makes a good out-and-back ride from either the northern or southern trailhead. (The full Red Back loop is a hike-a-bike at best, and probably impassable now due to high water at the stream crossing south of McKeagues Meadow.)

Looking ahead, the Sterling Forest trails plan includes rebuilding the remainder of the Redback Trail loop, adding an additional 5 miles to the existing Redback/Hutchinson trail. Possible routes to link up with Ringwood State Park are being explored, along with an upgrade of the Lake-to-Lake trail that would extend the trail network to Greenwood Lake.



Tallman State Park

Rangers at Tallman Park have posted a “No Mountain Biking” signs on the kiosk leading out of the parking lot. We plan to meet with the Park Manager to open discussions around these trails again very soon. The unauthorized trail at Blauvelt has been holding up the conversation. If you see unauthorized (Illegal) trails being constructed, please contact PMTB at palisadesmtb@gmail.com. While we are not here to police activities, these activities have negative consequences to all of us who want to have legal access to trails in our back yards. Please spread the word.

Nike Park / Clausland Mountain County Park

The trail is clear, though still not legal to ride. We plan to meet with Rockland County park officials to resolve the liability insurance issue. Stay tuned for updates.

Cheesecote Mountain Park, Town of Haverstraw

Cheesecote Mountain is an isolated and underdeveloped park in the Town of Haverstraw where mountain biking is currently legal. We have flagged and proposed a set of “stacked loop” trails there. The Town of Haverstraw would provide labor, materials, and equipment during normal working hours; PMTB and JORBA would provide volunteer labor to finish the work.

The Cheesecote trails plan is going through legal review now, and we hope break ground in the Spring.

Elm Ridge Wild Forest

We now have more than 25 miles of multi-use trails to explore in the Elm Ridge Wild Forest. This is the most comprehensive multi-use trail system for mountain biking in the Catskills, making the Windham area a mountain-biking destination.