So, I found a cool trail that runs alongside a paved path I'd ridden for a while. I rode a short stretch before, but decided to tackled the full trail this morning. Parts of it are quite nice (see below).
Other parts, however... completely unrideable. I don't just mean because of huge fallen trees blocking the path (which there were several, included mammoth of a tree that was even difficult walking over). There was one point a bunch of vines hanging down caught my handlebars and almost threw me off the bike. Plus one section was very treacherous just to walk past--a huge tree fell and took the ground with it. The path was about 2" wide here, with a steep fall into the river on the right and a steep cliff hugging it on the left. I was constantly getting smashed with overgrown vines and weeds and bushes.
Now, I'm a novice to mountain biking and this is actually my first "technical trail" (I haven't made it to a few local trails yet due to weather--want to wait for a dry week). Is what I'm describing normal for trails like this? Or is this an old, neglected trail not really meant for riding? Some spots seem much more cleared/ridden then other sections. Or is it just too early in the season that this trail hasn't been cleared yet? Lastly, would I be wrong in trying to clear it a bit myself? Would I need to contact the borough that owns the paved trail/park beside this path? Or (as I mentioned), is this just how "technical trails" are supposed to be?
I didn't think to take pictures of the rough spots, but here's a nice spot. The first small section is like this. Then it gets really, really rough.
Tough to say what to do. The "correct" answer is to find the landowner or land manager, and work with that person. You might get away with clearing sticks and small brush. I would try to find out more about the trail and the ownership before going big guns with chain saw or anything like that.
Do you know other riders in the area? A good start might be to quietly ask around to learn more about the trail and how it's managed, if it's managed.