Mountain Biking - How would you go about working this?
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03-11-03, 09:26 AM
I have been approached by a local group to help develop use of an old strip mine area into a multi-use trail area. Several square miles in an area north east of Evansville. The problem is that the area will also be used by ATVs/4 wheelers and the like. The plan is to have trails designated for motorized vs. non-motorized, plus hiking and horses.
Has anyone done any of this type of stuff before and does anyone have any ideas on the best method of working with this variety of transportation choices?
Thanks in advance...
03-11-03, 09:54 AM
hmm... hikers, horses, MTBs and motorized all in the same area... i hope it's a really big place!
i've never done any planning like this, but i have seen separated trails that have worked - "Brown's Camp" in the Tillamook State Forest in Oregon has a trail network for hikers, MTBs and motorcycles... and it works pretty well as far as i can tell b/c i pretty much only saw the motorized guys and the hikers in the parking lot - then occaisonally at intersections.
i think the main key is making sure that each group is satisfied with the designated trails: i.e. if hikers decide to take the motorized trail b/c it is more direct to some waterfall they want to see or the motorized guys find their track too boring and ride the MTB trail or the MTBers likewise the hiking trail... you get problems.
IF you can create trails that interest each group then you just have to worry about intersetions... from my experience as a MTBer you hear the motorized vehicles coming so it's not so bad as long as there aren't too many crossing... hikers and horses can be more of a problem as they are usually more sensitive to "disturbances" mainly meaning noise and fast-moving dangerous objects...
i think the best way is not JUST through signs, but to make the trails so that each user wouldn't want to use the other trails anyway... b/c regardless of what kind of sign is there, some people are going to ride wherever the heck they feel like... i.e. MTB trails don't have enough jumps or challenge for the motorized stuff, hiking trails too tough for the MTBers (or the MTB trails just plain cooler)...
03-11-03, 10:23 AM
Trail building is fun. Contact http://www.imba.com/ they have all the info you need.
03-11-03, 10:27 AM
I'd contact IMBA as a first step. They can help with trail development and design, and can even send out a crew to help volunteers with construction. Their website is www.imba.org I think!
What I've seen in some areas, Tsali Trails in NC specifically, is that there is a network of 4 trails. Two to the West of the parking lot and two to the East. The equestrians and Mtn bikers alternate days on the pair of trails. It seems to work well and keep user conflict to a minimum. I think the hikers are lumped together with the equestrian as there is less of a conflict with use.
03-11-03, 02:04 PM
Check out these links:
IMBA provides a fantastic resource for trail building and designing muti-use trails. You may want to check out some of the local MTB clubs around your area or near your state. They may have already built or maintained a multi-use trail. Here in Ohio we have a great partnership with the Ohio Horsemans Council and other user groups. Together these groups form the OTP - Ohio Trails Partnership. We have several multi-use trails in Ohio that were created through networking and partnerships with other user groups. It's amazing when you have a trail building day for a MTB trail and horsemen and hikers show up to help out! :)
03-12-03, 08:33 AM
I am a member of IMBA and I tried contacting them first, but got no response. The groups that are working together on this project said they tried to contact local bike clubs and received luke warm or no response.
I was contacted because I am starting a MTB riding club at my office. Another person at my company is a part of the board that is building the trail system and contacted me for possible input. I jumped at the chance and hope to keep MTB interests represented.
I will try the IMBA again and see where that goes...thanks for the advice and insight, it gives me some better ideas to build on. I'll let you know how it goes...
03-12-03, 09:09 AM
Have you contacted the folks at hmba.org or dinoseries.com? Both may have leads as far as finding interested trail-builders in your area.
I have shared trails with motos(2-wheeled) at a very popular trail in TX. They were pretty easy to get along with; many of those guys ride mtb as well.
I think your biggest conflicts will be between the motorized vehicles and the horses/hikers, so you will need to plan to keep those two groups as far away from each other as possible. Of course many hikers and equestrians will choose to stay away from an area with motorized traffic. That may actually help you as you won't have to deal with the trail-damage caused by hooves.
Good luck and have fun. Nothing so nice as zipping along a sweet piece of singletrack and thinking "I made this". :)
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