Mahlon Trail Maintenance

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anrothar

entirely thrilled
Trail maintenance at mahlon will be shaping up big time in the near future. a group of us are really pressing hard to get a serious, legitimate tm effort going there. unfortunately, people are still cutting illegal and poorly thought out trails on the park property, which is jeapordizing mtbers image and future access there. in recent meetings with parks commission officials, the word (trail)closures came up several times. it's a dirty, dirty word. if anyone is interested in helping out(serious work wont start up till spring), get in touch with me. enginebad at hotmail dot com, or pm me here.

try to respect current reroutes and stay on trail. the more stuff that mysteriously appears, the harder it becomes for us to get down to work. it's a trust issue with the parks people, and understandable.

if you see anyone building anything there, please pass this info on to them, and let them know how to get in touch. noone other than the park maintenance crew currently has any authority to be cutting any new trails or building anything there at this time. cleaning up a trail and trimming branches, light stuff on pre-existing, open trails is constantly going on through adopt-a-trail, but that is it right now.

people have been working very hard for many, many years to ensure our access to the trails in the morris county park system(and elsewhere). when parks officials find these new trails, especially if they weren't built using current sustainable trail info, and the trails are obviously cut by mtbers, it is a HUGE black eye for mtbing and any legitimate efforts we are trying to persue get that much harder to make happen.

so, please, come out and enjoy the trails, but have some patience and i guarantee you will be seeing some exciting things happen in the future.
 
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ArmyOfNone

Well-Known Member
as if it wasnt fun enough

ooo...more trails sounds exciting! im sure we didnt even hit all the trails the other day, but more is always better.

id like to come help you out when i can. we are kinda far apart, but let me kno when your doing some tm and hopfully we can work sumtin out!

till then dont ruin all the goodness for the rest of us!
 

Allamuchy Joe

Not White House Approved
JORBA.ORG
"people have been working very hard for many, many years to ensure our access to the trails in the morris county park system"

Maybe people have been working hard at Lewis Morris, but Mahlon has been the red-haired bastard stepchild that had fallen into neglect for the past decade. I didn't see any trail improvement projects until this past year. Now you are saying these are not well constructed? Well, they sure as hell rejuvenated the park and made the place a lot more fun. Before this year -- yeah, more gravel on the double track trail. Yippieeeee... Oh look, another washout -- boy, that is a great fun. //sarc

Yeah, you can definitely tell the park or "official TM" people didn't do those trails because they weren't double tracked and there was no gravel put down on the trails.

Funny how Mahlon sat dormant for over 10+ years with nothing done to it by the official TM people (except huge amounts of gravel, of course) until this past year. Now when Mahlon is fun again, people complain about those new trails and about the image of mountain bikers. Whatever. What is Morris going to do now? Close these new fun trails down now and wait another decade for the county bureaucracy to get off its ass while it completely neglects the existing trails? Typical government.

Even the overblown government of the State of NJ is easier to work with then Morris.
 
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anrothar

entirely thrilled
you quoted me, and then responded to another issue entirely. how does access = trail maintenance? do you know how close mcpc came to banning bikes entirely in all their parks several years ago? do you know how close ny/njtc came to taking over most of the trails at mahlon?

what you said about the park being neglected is entirely true. and yes the new trails are enjoyable. but the official tm people, or official volunteers didn't exist till earlier this year, and are still only in the works. what i said about illegal and poorly designed trails for the most part did not apply to stone gate, three stone and cascade, even though all of those still have problems. if you want to go for a ride there i could show you a couple of spots.

the mcpc's stance right now is that they want to stop the new construction temporarily while they map out the trails and fix them where they need to be fixed. they litterally are just finding these trails and weren't informed at all about their creation. what if someone crashed and hurt themselves on one of those trails? at evening when noone else would be on them? wouldn't it be nice for search and rescue to have them mapped out so that they could find the person?

the trails that were gravelled over are ALL close to the parking lots. they're meant to be more obstacle free and accessible to people of all mobilities. the maintenance crew who did it are just general maintenance guys, not trained trail maintenance people(that is changing). the gravel may be a pain for you to ride on, but it's not there just for you. it will eventually pack in though, and become a much more stable surface.

basically what im saying is this:


we are trying to get a trail maintenance program going at mahlon dickerson. we are running into some roadblocks because of illegal trail building. it's not just the one person doing it either. those new trails are fun, i enjoy riding them, but if the off the books stuff stops, within a year or so, we could go back in with an entire crew and resources to put in even better trails based on all available sustainability info. if the illegal stuff continues, that might not happen.

so what exactly are you doing, complaining about the past of the park while others are looking to create a better future for it? that's productive.....
 
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Shaggz

A strong 7
additionally, we reached out to those involved in past activities to participate with us in implementing this effort.
 

Allamuchy Joe

Not White House Approved
JORBA.ORG
"so what exactly are you doing, complaining about the past of the park while others are looking to create a better future for it? that's productive....."

That's productive? I just find it rather amusing that it took the creation of new trails to finally get the MCPC off their collective butts. I see you have great faith in that particular government organization to learn from its past mistakes, but I don't hold that faith. They have neglected the park for 10 plus years, why did it change all of a sudden? Because of these new trails?

As to the gravel discussions -- There are many trails with gravel on them in the interior the park. That was done after Hurricane Floyd in 2000, I believe. Look at the climb to High Point -- that is as Interior as you can get in Mahlon and it is loaded with thick deep gravel that gives way under load. To someone who is riding there that is not used to the park, it is quite dangerous. And, not only that, it hasn't stopped erosion of the layer of dirt under the gravel.

I hope you are right and the MCPC starts to do some real TM in there and not just stop-gap gravel dumping measures. BTW, what is their plan for that huge gravel pile they have created on the trail behind Saffin Pond?
 

Shaggz

A strong 7
"so what exactly are you doing, complaining about the past of the park while others are looking to create a better future for it? that's productive....."

That's productive? I just find it rather amusing that it took the creation of new trails to finally get the MCPC off their collective butts. I see you have great faith in that particular government organization to learn from its past mistakes, but I don't hold that faith. They have neglected the park for 10 plus years, why did it change all of a sudden? Because of these new trails?


No, it took 3 mtb'ers to come forward and approach the situation in a mature way and responsible manner, and offer to give the trail sysytem some much needed tlc in the form of organized maintenance.
 

anrothar

entirely thrilled
mcpc wont really be doing any of the trail maintenance, it will be a group of us volunteering through mtp(morris trails partnership). i have no idea of their intentions for the pile of gravel. i feel it would be better leave some questions till we have something going there.

the reason for the sudden interest in tm, is that i was away for quite some time, and only recently started riding the park again. i, like everyone else, thought something needed to be done about the washed out fireroads(even with the new singletrack), so i stepped up along with several others to start a tm effort.

so it wasn't the creation of new trails that got mcpc off their butts, it was essentially me, steve f, steve m and brad. the highest point is in rather close proximity to the trailer camping area and alot of less athletic traffic that would come out of there.
 

SpartaBard

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
...Funny how Mahlon sat dormant for over 10+ years with nothing done to it by the official TM people (except huge amounts of gravel, of course) until this past year. Now when Mahlon is fun again, people complain about those new trails and about the image of mountain bikers. Whatever. What is Morris going to do now? Close these new fun trails down now and wait another decade for the county bureaucracy to get off its ass while it completely neglects the existing trails? Typical government....

Joe, get a grip. Work has been done illegitimately in the park, and although the trails are great and all, the Park Management is not happy about trails being constructed in that manner. For that reason alone the MCPC can close the park to mountain biking and potentially all of the MC parks.

A group of us are trying to work through the Morris Trails Partnership (a JORBA Chapter) to get a TM program going like most other outstanding parks in the state. It has nothing to do with the bureaucracy of the county, but rather getting the trust and goodwill built up.

The park has been ignored for some time but the blame lies with the users (mtb riders) not the MCPC. No one, until recently, has stepped up to the plate to organize a legitimate TM program through a JORBA Chapter. Other parks in the area are going through very similar situations such as The Tourne.

If you are so concerned about the trails in MD, get off your rear and help us organize TM events with the blessing of MTP and MCPC.
 

Allamuchy Joe

Not White House Approved
JORBA.ORG
If you are so concerned about the trails in MD, get off your rear and help us organize TM events with the blessing of MTP and MCPC.

Well, SPARTA BRAD, a couple of years ago I contacted MCPC to ask about volunteering for TM. Who ever I spoke with told me that MCPC does all the TM in there and work was not "authorized". OH well, I don't need to beg to do work on their trails. INSTEAD, I chose to do TM where it was more appreciated, at Allamuchy, Deer Park & Kittatinny. I have the hours logged officially to prove it.

MCPC management sucks. Period. They had (have?) an arrogant attitude toward MTB'ers and like I said, I didn't need to beg, grovel and kiss their asses to do work that they should be doing.

That is my problem with MCPC. Perhaps there has been a recent change in management. I hope so. If you guys are now running the show in there, I guess they decided to allow outside help at this point.
 
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Shaggz

A strong 7
Guys, let's all take a step back and a deep breath. No one is in charge of anything right now, except for the parks department and the mtp. We seem to be riding a timing wave, and are fortunate to have the opportunity to show a good face for mtb'ers. I think we would all be better served to stop this from escalating any more on the boards. Joe, we will keep you informed to our progress, and you let us know if and how you'd like join the effort.
 

Allamuchy Joe

Not White House Approved
JORBA.ORG
"Guys, let's all take a step back and a deep breath."

Sounds like a plan. I would definitely like to help out with some TM at Mahlon. I have a BOB-like trailer that can carry stuff, too.
 

Bob W

JORBA: Allamuchy
JORBA.ORG
Tm

Allamuchy Joe,

Time to take a few big breaths and calm down...you dont need to get that worked up over things you love...watch the bloop presure. :)

Anyway, you gonna leave me alone at the Mooch, and defect to MD on us??? Stay in our backyard and play, we have lots to do.

Love ya, Bob W.
 

mergs

Spokompton's Finest
JORBA.ORG
To Sean and Joe and all others here...

I rode Mahlon for the first time in a few years, and I must say I was impressed. Past impressions I had of MD was double track, double track with gravel, and washed out double track featuring baby heads the size of a 15 pound newborn! ;) This is basically why I've been riding elsewhere.

Well, suffice to say, after the ride, I can see its changed: I see lot of positive improvement now and more possibilities in the future. Now, let me comment what's been going on behind the scenes (its fairly new developments as of Oct-Nov 06 really) just so everyone knows the dealio:

Sean, Sparta Brad, Steve (both Steves) and some other guys on this board have been complaining since last year that MD has been neglected. Agreed. After some chatting between them Bob W and Greg Murray, and I, Sean and his crew have recently stepped forward to take on Mahlon with both the blessing of me (JORBA) and Greg Murray (at the Morris Trails Partnership). We've also gotten Sean's crew in touch with Janet at MCPC and she's pleased too. Hell, we're all pleased.

Joe, I know your frustration. Its one we've all shared: I want to help, but no one will let me (I didn't get involved myself bc I was pleased with NJ's trail situation). But Sean's frustration (and Steves, and Brad's etc) is what made him/them come forward with the idea of taking on these trails. Morris Trails Partnership has needed some more folks to get involved in the parks other than Lewis Morris (which its concentrated on).

That said, I wish someone was around when you came forward, as you noted in your post... you obviously took a shot at helping out but you had no one to turn to. I hope that you now know that you can turn to me or Bob W and have someone that will listen, and will act. In any case, I know you've been a dependable friend to Allamuchy and to Bob W.; so even though your shout out to help fell on deaf ears, Bob W now reaps the rewards of that with your enthusiam and support over at the mooch. ;) Seriously, sorry that you had no one to listen.

Sean, your original post was spot on; you've got all the right points covered... you've been well-indoctrinated, bro! ;) I'd ask that all local riders and folks here give Sean and his crew the same support that you would give Bob W., Greg Murray or any of the chapters of JORBA.

Joe, on your points about gravel... tell me about it. :( These are things that only change with time, and Sean is on that (as is Greg and Ryan at the Tourne). You cannot enforce such a fundamental change in policy unless these guys are taught exactly why gravel sucks and why its not necessary. If I thought grabbing by the collar would do it faster, I would but that don't work at all. You have to persuade and educate.

Sean, you are right on with the illegal trailbuilding. Most of it is good stuff, but its unsanctioned and you now know first hand what happens when rangers get a sniff of this. They start using that "c" word: close.

I must tell everyone that this is not the only place that this goes on. Its happening in Ringwood, KSVP, Wawayanda, et al. The only thing that does not close down these venues is that we're not quite there yet... but I gots to tell ya: its 2 ticks below "rampant" and 3 ticks above "not yet noticed". It if continues, we WILL see closures. There won't be warnings, it'll just happen. Someone will complain one more time and Superintendent of "so and so park" will have enough. I've spoken first hand with super's at KSVP (2 days ago) and Ringwood (last month) about this and we're not in crisis mode, yet... but if the illegal stuff continues, we're going to have serious problems. Rocky at KSVP gave me a bit of an earful the other day.

To anyone doing or thinking about building illegal trails: just because you have not been caught building illegal trails does not mean no-one's noticed. Chances are, they have. And the more I get the know the park supers, the more I hear about it.

Anyway, back to the positive!

Sean and crew, thanks again for taking on this stewardship. I have no doubt that you guys will excel!

Joe, thanks for being passionate about our sport and always being there for Bob W. and Allamuchy. People like you are an asset to our sport as well!

Cheers,
mergs
 
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anrothar

entirely thrilled
Thanks for the support Mergs! and thank you for elaborating on the problem. it should help those working covertly to realize the problems what they're doing can cause, knowing that it is regarded as a problem and an obstacle everywhere.
 

Shaggz

A strong 7
Mergs, Thanks for chiming in (finally); I thought you were abandoning us. Kidding aside, we are looking forward to getting our hands dirty, and knowing we have support behind us really means a lot!
 
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RyGanley

Member
Happy to hear

I just read this energized post over and I am happy to read and ride the progress being made in all these parks. There are a lot of changes planned behind the scenes but we could all rest assured that those changes are being mostly made by: 1. Experienced Mountain bikers who want challenging trails 2. Trained Trail builders, IMBA People 3. Locals who know these places like the back of there hand and just want to make home a fun place. 4. Volunteers, we get nothing out of all this work but rocken rides we call our own. So keep the energy flowing, we need it to keep these projects going.
 

mergs

Spokompton's Finest
JORBA.ORG
Mergs, Thanks for chiming in (finally); I thought you were abandoning us. Kidding aside, we are looking forward to getting our hands dirty, and knowing we have support behind us really means a lot!

my pleasure... and no, I'm not ignoring youse guys :) its just a really busy week at the day job, so I've been popping into the forums only every few days or so... not a couple of times per day as usual. dang day job. ;)
 
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