Anyone know why this was closed to mtn bikers?
I used to ride South Mountain and Watchung several days a week. SoMo was more heavily ridden by people from everywhere.
When SoMo closed I knew Watchungs's days were numbered. On a typical weekend before SoMo closed you would see riders here and there throughout Watchung on a typical ride. After SoMo closed I would pass multiple trains of 10-20 people on any given ride.
At that time the Trailside Nature Center had some trails that were mulched and used for "hiking only." There was probably less the a mile of these trails and the 'No biking" signs were only at one location near the Nature Center parking. However you could enter those trails from other trails without any knowledge that they were hiker only.
There was a womand who ran the center (Mary, I think) that really didn't want the mountain bikers there at all, but especially on her "nature trails." From what I was told, the straw that broke the camels back, was when a couple of mountain bikers while passing her and a group of kids on the hiking only trails, told her to F off. It was closed shortly after.
The funny thing is whe I spoke to her about the closure (they had posted "no mtb'g" signs EVERYWHERE). I told her if they posted that many signs about not riding on her Nature Trails, most people would have followed the rules, but few knew the rules exixted.
People argued about MTB trail damage vs the damages caused by horses there. It was really a non-issue. It was very obvious the damage caused by horses were worse. But, the Stables are part of the County owned Reservation. They were never going to restrict the horses from the Reservation.
I really miss riding at both places, though I still have friends riding there.