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  1. #1
    Zan
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    Trail Construction

    Hello!

    I'm sorry if i shouldn't be posting this topic in this section, but i figured this was the best place to post.

    Trail Construction.

    My friend + i are working on about 9 km of trail around my neighborhood. The land we're building on is part of a big conservation area - it's part of the town. I looked under the town's bylaws, and technically building wooden structures to enhance the "off-the-path" trails through the woods (where no one goes) is not illegal. As long as we don't kill any plants, harm the animals, or pollute with chemicals/garbage, it looks like things are cool. Another rule is that we can't attach anything to the trees - nail stuff to the trees, or tie, or w.e.

    Anyways, we've started to encounter problems. We are trying to build structures over the deep mud spots (most of the trails are along rivers, and water flows into them). As well, we're trying to build a bridge to actually cross the river. Our problem is the vandals who transverse the path sometimes. You know, those punk kids who do the graffiti and deface property and whatnot. At least, I'm assuming it's them - i assume those walking their dog along the path have better things to do than destroy structures enhancing the trails they walk.

    They're not destroying the actual structures - we built them too strong. Instead, they're picking them up and moving them around! It's a pain in the ... we want to embark upon building the bridge across the river. it's gonna cost a fair chunk of change for it (plan to build it extra strong + large, so it's safe). We don't want the vandals to simply knock the bridge into the river and let it float off.

    My question to you is: how would you construct the bridge so that the vandals don't destroy what we build? My friend + i have come up with a few ideas, but i'm open to other suggestions that may be more effective.

    Thanks in Advance!
    -- Zan

    "Every dog needs a squeak toy."

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Interesting, do you have pics of the structures?

  3. #3
    Zan
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    not at the moment.

    they're not that pretty. much of it is made out of scrap wood from various salvage jobs... we plan on painting 'em green + brown so they blend in with the rest of the trail (makes things pretty).

    when the trails are done, i'll post pics, for sure.

    my friend + i are thinking of just chaining the bridge to a tree, looping the chain around the supporting struts of the bridge. as well, we'd bury the ends of the bridge into the banks along the river, so it's nice and secure in the ground.... if the vandals want to destroy the bridge, they'd have to totally disassemble the bridge.

    Anyone do trail construction? does anyone have any tips or techniques they would helpful? Just keep in mind my friend + i are on a low budget for materials used in the construction...

    Can anyone post pics of stuff they've built? That'd be neat.
    -- Zan

    "Every dog needs a squeak toy."

  4. #4
    ಠ_ಠ DevilsGT2's Avatar
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    I wouldn't chain it to anything, that would seem like you're escalating the battle. Painting it may also violate the chemicals part of the bylaws, depending on what you use. Building it into the banks seems like a good idea, you could also use heavier peices of wood that are more cumbersome to move. If there's space and the lead-in fits, you might also try building few kickers instead of bridges.

    P.S. In before illegal-trail-mod-nanny.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member rankin116's Avatar
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    My advice is to contact the land management so they don't take your bridge. Get them in on the project, and they may allow you to anchor it so you don't lose it. Otherwise, either the vandals or the people managing the land most likely will remove it.

  6. #6
    Zan
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    no one manages the land, there, really. the particular area i'm working in acts as a buffer between the highways and the local subdivisions. i've never seen anyone other than dog walkers + kids walking/riding the trails.
    -- Zan

    "Every dog needs a squeak toy."

  7. #7
    Gravity Is Yer Friend dirtbikedude's Avatar
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    I find a set up like this helps keep the vandals away.



    Now on a serious note, I would suggest contacting whom ever is in charge of that land. If they are anti-cycling and find your "builds" it will give them that much more ammo to keep bicycles out. If they are pro-bicycle then they might even help out. If they could care less weather bikes are allowed or not then try and sell them on yer proposal and you will have no worries if/when someone gives you a hard time about it.

    As far as "dog walkers" moving your builds, it very well could be. Some of them are, shall we say, uppity old (sometimes young) shytes who feel every and all trails is for them and them alone.

    DBD

  8. #8
    Caustic Soccer Mom apclassic9's Avatar
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    SOMEONE manages the land - especially since it's part of a conservation area. Find your local Conservation Officer, Park Warden - whatever you call them - and get them on board. You may just find out that they are the ones moving your structures!
    As with mud, life, too, slides by.

  9. #9
    Zan
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    i hear ya
    -- Zan

    "Every dog needs a squeak toy."

  10. #10
    DNPAIMFB pinkrobe's Avatar
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    If you want to get more info on trail building, go here, here and here.
    Proud Member of the HHCMF
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  11. #11
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    I second all the stuff above about contacting people, but if you really want to chain it to something, dig a small trench back say, 10 feet, on either side, lay the chain down, then, loop it losely around the tree. If they cant see it, they wont know it's there. That way you're not escalating anything, but if someone decides to attempt to move it, they're out of luck.

  12. #12
    Custom User never's Avatar
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    How big is the "river"? By using the term "river", I'm assuming it's at least 5 m wide. Are you going to clear-span the bridge? If not, you'll need to get a Fisheries Act authorization (or maybe a Letter of Advice) from DFO (and maybe something from the ON government), especially if you want something permanent. You really should contact the land owner if you want to put something permanent like that. You'll also need some hydraulic info so you put the bridge high enough up the banks to avoid any lower return year flood events. Don't want it washing out after every 1:2 or 1:5 event.

  13. #13
    Member frothyllama's Avatar
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    you should dig big holes put a log in chain the log and then bury it!!!!
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  14. #14
    Senior Member btjzx6rr's Avatar
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    is concrete a chemical? its really just rock, dust, and water, so may be able to get by.

    id say dig some posts in the end by where the bridge goes across, and concrete them in, then fill the soil back in. if you concrete some 4 x 4's in and then build from there, then it will take a chainsaw to bring the thing down. plus it is removable if its a problem, as you just have to dig out the concrete (pain, but doable)
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  15. #15
    ****** (can I say this?)
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    Bear Banger and string across the trail.
    “Speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary... that’s what gets you.”- Jeremy Clarkson

  16. #16
    Commited Suicide WannaGetGood's Avatar
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    I would try to maybe find a more natural way. Maybe try and find a tree that has fallen over, how deep is this river? if you dont mind getting wet than put poles in the river to make sure that they have a good ground, should be hard to push over. I wish that I could come out and help you, I just dont the time to help on my mountain.

  17. #17
    Zan
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    this thread was created a long time ago... i've built the bridge. i found a iron netting nearby to hold rocks back from falling into the river. the rocks provide a stable artificial bank. i chained one of the struts to the grid... it prevents the bridge from washing down the river during the spring run off, and stops people from digging up the bridge and walking away with it.

    no problems as of yet.

    edit:

    actually, i have been finding these signs by the entrances of the parks... and they're offering to build permanent bridges at the EXACT places my team and i have built bridges.

    i don't want them to do it. i fear it'll turn the trail into a pedestrian highway. it'll ruin the "natural feel" of the forest. the stuff my crew and i build is mostly made out of fallen trees, sometimes with scrap 2x4's as planking. it's very "rustic." it blends in nicely with the trail imo.

    the way the trail system currently is built is that you have to know where to go to get there... meaning you have to be a local who lives on the trail. if they start making the trails public, i fear they'll do some stupid crud like lay a peat trail that makes your bike roll at 4 - 5 km/h (i've seen this happen elsewhere where i live.)
    Last edited by Zan; 02-22-09 at 05:14 PM.
    -- Zan

    "Every dog needs a squeak toy."

  18. #18
    ****** (can I say this?)
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    Ha, I didnt even see the date.
    “Speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary... that’s what gets you.”- Jeremy Clarkson

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