Sterling Forest Trail Conditions

a.s.

Well-Known Member
ALERT…
A couple of weeks ago we built cairns on the rock slab at the power line crossing. A cairn is a pile of rocks stacked to show hikers and bikers the way through an area that has no tree markers. These were erected to guide people (specifically those racing the Sterling Furnace on September 18th) through that section of trail. It appears someone knocked the cairns down. If you are riding Sterling Forest, can you please take a moment to access and let me know if that is the case? They should look like the picture below. Thank you.

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Karate Monkey

Well-Known Member
ALERT…
A couple of weeks ago we built cairns on the rock slab at the power line crossing. A cairn is a pile of rocks stacked to show hikers and bikers the way through an area that has no tree markers. These were erected to guide people (specifically those racing the Sterling Furnace on September 18th) through that section of trail. It appears someone knocked the cairns down. If you are riding Sterling Forest, can you please take a moment to access and let me know if that is the case? They should look like the picture below. Thank you.

View attachment 166827

There is a subset of "nature person" who actively destroys 'rock piles' without stopping to consider why they are there. They view everything as a balanced rock pile.

It may help to put a laminated card on the front+back of the first cairn on either side to explain why it is there. It sounds like this is more a case of being misinformed than maliciousness (especially since you can't easily remove those rocks to anywhere else).
 

cassinonorth

Well-Known Member
ALERT…
A couple of weeks ago we built cairns on the rock slab at the power line crossing. A cairn is a pile of rocks stacked to show hikers and bikers the way through an area that has no tree markers. These were erected to guide people (specifically those racing the Sterling Furnace on September 18th) through that section of trail. It appears someone knocked the cairns down. If you are riding Sterling Forest, can you please take a moment to access and let me know if that is the case? They should look like the picture below. Thank you.

View attachment 166827

They were there last weekend. I was happy to see useful cairns for once.

There is a subset of "nature person" who actively destroys 'rock piles' without stopping to consider why they are there. They view everything as a balanced rock pile.

It may help to put a laminated card on the front+back of the first cairn on either side to explain why it is there. It sounds like this is more a case of being misinformed than maliciousness (especially since you can't easily remove those rocks to anywhere else).

2 types of people....people who understand what cairns are for and those who do not. Plenty of hikers make them with no reason to do so and that's another issue of it's own.
 

serviceguy

Well-Known Member
There is a subset of "nature person" who actively destroys 'rock piles' without stopping to consider why they are there. They view everything as a balanced rock pile.

It may help to put a laminated card on the front+back of the first cairn on either side to explain why it is there. It sounds like this is more a case of being misinformed than maliciousness (especially since you can't easily remove those rocks to anywhere else).
To be honest in recent years there has been a proliferation of 'rock piles' being placed in random places along trails that serve no purpose other than as a testimonial of the place being blessed by the presence of the builder of said rock pile (as opposed to cairns) or to their 'spirituality'.

https://www.ausableriver.org/blog/leaving-no-trace-rock-stackinghttps://www.adventure-journal.com/2...d-we-knock-down-rock-cairns-or-leave-them-up/

Personally I think that trail marking should follow specific rules, if anything to give the supposed beneficiary of said marking a chance to understand what is being marked as opposed to think they're just looking at the expression of a beautiful soul. Communication 101.

https://www.nps.gov/articles/rockcairns.htm

As mentioned by the article above, where cairns are used to mark trails, there are specific rules which include

- do not remove marking cairns
- do not make random cairns
- do not add to existing marking cairns

How are you supposed to know if the cairns is a legit one or a random one built by a spiritually inclined hiker?

As always, the existence of a rule does not guarantee that is being followed by everybody (especially the ones that ignore its existence).

Where's the trail mate? Crikey!
Stacked-Rocks-Great-Ocean-Road-Australia-2.jpg
 
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a.s.

Well-Known Member
No lady bugs were displaced so don’t touch my 🤬 Cairns! Take your self righteous hippie bullshit and shove it up your 🍑. If I catch you, I will go Samuel L. Jackson on you.

…not you guys. The hippies.

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Karate Monkey

Well-Known Member
They were there last weekend. I was happy to see useful cairns for once.

Agree. Sterling is excellently blazed, and easy to follow...except up over the power line, which required a few moments of head scratching.

How are you supposed to know if the cairns is a legit one or a random one built by a spiritually inclined hiker?

I mean, context is a big cue. If I look up and see a line of cairns, I'm going to think, "huh, these must mark out a direction", not, "some dipstick decided to stack rocks up here to stoke their own ego."

I've been hiking/riding trails long enough that I am reflexively looking for blazes or markers as I go along. I'll grant that not everybody will pick that up, nor will new people necessarily be keen on it...but IMO/E? If there are markers/blazes/cairns that suddenly go missing/knocked down? That's the work of 1) the same delinquents that steal stop signs, 2) well meaning Boy Scouts "re blazing", and 3) someone with a stick (or several) up their butt. Usually the ire that gets worked up to remove/disassemble something as heavy as the cairns posted by @a.s. is from the rock-stacking police.

I'm also willing to stick my neck out and say that--given the terrain of our state/immediate area (foothills, forests), a cairn is not the most immediately recognizable thing. There's a "cairn" built out of sticks/logs in Brisbane, for instance, that I need to [constantly] remind myself is there to mark the trail divergence...simply because so much of the immediate area neither requires that, nor has the requisite materials for a 'proper' cairn.

To be honest in recent years there has been a proliferation of 'rock piles' being placed in random places along trails that serve no purpose other than as a testimonial of the place being blessed by the presence of the builder of said rock pile (as opposed to cairns) or to their 'spirituality'.

Double quote: I don't actually hate the intent behind it, but if it's being done for "spiritual" reasons, then it being easily, if at all, visible shouldn't come into it. A couple of years ago, someone started building a 'fairy village' in Hartshorne, that was only really visible if you were 1) looking right at it, and 2) happened to be there when the sun was going down, with a light. I initially hated it, and the idea that someone would do that...then I took a big swig of "chill the eff out" and realized: some kid (or adult, really doesn't matter though) probably lives in a house that is literally 50 feet from the trail and is having a bit of fun. How many army men did I lose at the park or the beach when I was a kid? Would I be enraged if I stepped on an army man on the beach? Yeah, probably for all of 2 seconds, then be like, "sweet, free army guy, I'm gonna put it on the desk at home!".

You want to stack rocks, or sticks, or setup miniature battlefields? Go nuts...unless it is literally in the middle of the trail, then FU. I've personally decided that it doesn't really matter to me until someone decides to put in zero effort to their 'vandalism', but what makes the scribbling of a bored Lenape or "settler" more valuable than Timmy and Suzie's scratching on the rock, other than time? I'll cop to adding a rock on top of a pile once or twice, in the moment. No different than signing your name in the geocache book.
 

a.s.

Well-Known Member
Went out today to the power line with my son. Someone was nice enough to have re-stacked a few cairns. We fixed the rest. I also weed whacked the area and cleaned up the advance alternate line. It’s clear and ready to bomb. Oh, and we cleaned up a bunch of beer cans. Budweiser, Busch and that summer shandy crap. Figures the culprits are tasteless losers. 🤣

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a.s.

Well-Known Member
Don't ride Sterling this Saturday. Beside the parking issues, you'll have to pull over to let runners by. Save it for Sunday or after 1pm on Saturday.

From Palisadesmtb.org
There will be a half marathon in Sterling Forest starting from Caretakers lot on Saturday September 18, 2021 at 8:00 a.m. You might want to avoid the trails during the race, but if you do ride as always please yield to runners.
The race should wrap up around 1:00PM.

Please spread the word.
 
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MuniMan

Well-Known Member
On the subject of rock piles: I’d like to thank Tim B. For helping to harvest these today. Now they need to be installed in the trail.

If you are interested in helping I should be at Caretaker lot tomorrow at about 9:30 or we can meet on the trail later. Send me a pm please. Munsee-Eagle about 3/4 mile from Caretaker. (Going clockwise).

Or signup here for next Saturday. Work Signup or for other days working on the new Augusta Mine Trail. Start and end times are soft. You can come at any time, just need to meet on the trail.


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MuniMan

Well-Known Member
What brand, model and cost?
A Tractel T-516 with 60’ wire rope runs about $1800. Then you need slings and/or chains, a snatch block and shackles. It will add up fast, especially if you get a big snatch block to bend the cable over 90 degrees. Without trying very hard you can quickly spend another $1000. And a lot more if you want to do some elaborate rigging.
 
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