Mid-State: Bennett Park

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Re: Mid-State: Bennett Park

Postby plunderspunk » July 21st, 2011, 9:16 am

jacked wrote:Bill while I may kid you on your lack of temperature tolerance, it was nasty out. The heat and a few other variable kicked my but. Jon, thanks for the ride home and tending to grandpa!

We rode everything but the North Shore. After two branches across the trail and an attack of the "super nettles" I quickly and whimpily led the way to the paved path. Now there is a trail that needs much less maintenance!
The 2nd half of the hard woods still has a few thick spots, but all are passable, the same with Trillium Road. There are also a few trees here and there in the hardwoods as well that need a little chainsaw love.

David

I didn't even read this til this morning...LOL! :P went home, fixed dinner for my wife, and watched Man U vs Seattle Sounders...in short, I stayed IN !!! tonight I have to ref two games at 6 and 7:30...god help me! :shock:
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Re: Mid-State: Bennett Park

Postby rvd » August 10th, 2011, 11:51 am

Does anyone know the status of the Wednesday group ride at Bennett Park? I plan to ride there tonight from 6.
If not Bennett, is there a group ride in Owosso / Hopkins Lake?
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Re: Mid-State: Bennett Park

Postby AllMountin' » August 10th, 2011, 3:07 pm

Can't speak to Bennett, but the Owosso group ride was derailed by rain from the beginning, and has never gotten off the ground. The trail tends to be affected by heavy rain significantly. Haven't ridden it in a few weeks, so I can't comment on current conditions.

I'll try Bennett some day, but cannot make it out there tonight.
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Re: Mid-State: Bennett Park

Postby jacked » August 10th, 2011, 3:27 pm

rvd wrote:Does anyone know the status of the Wednesday group ride at Bennett Park? I plan to ride there tonight from 6.
If not Bennett, is there a group ride in Owosso / Hopkins Lake?


There has only been 2 people on the weekly rides this year, and that was only once, otherwise it has been just me. Unfortunately I have a business meeting in Battle Creek tonight so I will not be there. Most every thing is cleared with a few spots in the Hardwoods still needing some love but rideable and the north shore, which when I tried riding it a few weeks ago there were nettles galore so I skipped to the paved path. There are also a few logs in the hardwood that may provide a small obstacle here and there.

I will post the new map in the marque before I head out of town. It is also on the trail guide, http://mmba.org/library/maps/bennettpark/BennettPark-map.pdf

As with everywhere around here, the bugs are rather thick out there, so don't slow down.

Let me know how the ride goes.

David
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Re: Mid-State: Bennett Park

Postby rvd » August 10th, 2011, 8:10 pm

My first ride at Bennett this evening. Lots of trail for a small area; excellent signage; enjoyable trails; group-ride worthy. Except for a few sections (Gully/Hardwood) the trail is in good condition, see below. There are about 5 trees down that require a dismount, but most of these could be easily built up into log obstacles (a few more 'elements' like these would be fun).

- Jungle 1 and 2 through the floodplain were in good shape; just a bit slick in a couple of places from the recent rain. One fallen tree could be converted into a challenging lo(n)g ride.
- Pines has a very different feel from the rest of the trail; in this section the trail is difficult to follow in a few areas (the low sun didn't help).
- Hardwood is the fastest section of the trail and fun.
- Gully has a great feel to it, but it is so overgrown in several places that it gets tricky (I think this was Gully; it could also have been the second part of Hardwoods). The fresh growth comes in at you from eye level and hinders seeing the trail.
- I didn't ride North Shore because I missed the sign for the entrance. (Signage is generally excellent, except for the section before and after the old car bridge toward the end.)

Here is the log of my ride: http://www.strava.com/rides/6-miles-1188225
Last edited by rvd on August 10th, 2011, 9:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mid-State: Bennett Park

Postby rvd » August 10th, 2011, 9:31 pm

I added a Strava segment for a 1 mile stretch covering parts of Pines and Hardwood:
http://www.strava.com/segments/bennett-park-pines-to-hardwood-709932
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Re: Mid-State: Bennett Park

Postby jacked » August 10th, 2011, 10:39 pm

...Hopefully by next weekend all the trails will be cleared.


Best laid plans...... sorry but life got in the way.

Let me know if anyone plans on riding tomorrow so I can arrange my afternoon/evening.

Thanks,

David
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Re: Mid-State: Bennett Park

Postby gtrowbridge » August 22nd, 2011, 8:40 pm

Rode this trail for the first time saturday.
Boy this trail needs to be ridden by more people.
Some places it hardly looks used.
This trail makes great use of what little topography there is around there. No big elevation changes but lots of ups and downs and arounds.

I cleared off 4 or 5 branches that I could move from Hardwoods and Gully. There are some big branches down on Gully that are going to need a chainsaw. Oh and one of them is a spear right at neck level (for me) pointing up trail. I'm glad I saw that in time! Very dangerous.
There was at least 5 places on Gully where the vegetation was covering the trail for about 15ft and over my head. I couldn't see but I felt them on my face. Good thing the trail is straight right there.
As previously stated the nettles are terrible on the North Shore trail. Its obvious that everyone knows this because it looks like few ever ride it. There are some nice thorny things too that tore at my legs too.

I specifically rode this trail because it was marked as advanced on the trail guide.
It is not.
It is straight up low intermediate. We might want to change that on the trail guide as its misleading.

Fun trail. I look forward to doing it again in the fall when the mosquitoes are all dead and the vegetation has died back.
Almost all intersections were well marked except where the "helping hands" of some folks have probably torn down the arrows.
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Re: Mid-State: Bennett Park

Postby jacked » August 24th, 2011, 6:38 pm

Thanks GT for the feed back.

BP tends to be abandoned during the summer due to bugs and the occasional over growth.

I went out tonight during the group ride.... insert laugh track here.... and ran the chainsaw till I couldn't take the bloody skeeters anymore. A long sleeve T is still no match for the little blood suckers. Next time I think I will wear my winter parka.
I got most of the dead falls in the hardwoods/gully, but I am sure I missed one or two. I'll be back out next Wednesday with different clothing, more bug dope (poured the bottle of cutters down my back tonight.... hard to get a even distribution that way) and the weed wacker.

David
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Re: Mid-State: Bennett Park

Postby gtrowbridge » August 25th, 2011, 7:37 am

jacked wrote:Thanks GT for the feed back.

BP tends to be abandoned during the summer due to bugs and the occasional over growth.

I went out tonight during the group ride.... insert laugh track here.... and ran the chainsaw till I couldn't take the bloody skeeters anymore. A long sleeve T is still no match for the little blood suckers. Next time I think I will wear my winter parka.
I got most of the dead falls in the hardwoods/gully, but I am sure I missed one or two. I'll be back out next Wednesday with different clothing, more bug dope (poured the bottle of cutters down my back tonight.... hard to get a even distribution that way) and the weed wacker.

David


Yeah that's kinda what I thought. Ionia gets like that in the summer for the same reasons. After spring mosquitoes comes deer flys then summer mosquitoes. This year has been the worst for bugs.
I found working in some parts you can spray yourself all you want and you won't get bit, but they get so thick that you can't breath. :)
A trail builders life is a rough one...unless maybe you work in Copper Harbor or something. :lol:
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Re: Mid-State: Bennett Park

Postby rvd » August 28th, 2011, 11:58 am

Rode a lap and a half today and did some light trail work along the way. The trail is in reasonable shape, but needs some love. Numerous twigs and branches down which isn't a real issue of course. We took care of the dangerous spear that GT mentioned and did some (but not enough) clearing of overgrown areas in the gully section. There still are a few small trees down in Jungle that require dismount; handsaws should do the trick. Pines needs to be raked / leaf-blown to make the trail visible again.

We saw one car w rack in the lot when we started and saw a couple riding on our second lap, so there at least some people taking advantage of this fun trail! I liked it even more than before. It is sort of tight (less narrow than Anderson) with tight turns and several sections made for speed / flow. the rooty sections and jumpable bumps add to the fun.

Anyway, the trail needs a bit more love. A trail (half) day w a handful of people would do wonders!
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Re: Mid-State: Bennett Park

Postby jacked » August 28th, 2011, 12:06 pm

rvd wrote:Rode a lap and a half today and did some light trail work along the way.


Thanks and a beautiful morning for a ride.

I plan on being out there on Wednesday starting at 4 in the hardwoods with the trimmer. I can have the leaf blower there as well if someone will be there to use it. Let me know.

David
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Re: Mid-State: Bennett Park

Postby rvd » August 29th, 2011, 6:32 am

jacked wrote:
rvd wrote:Rode a lap and a half today and did some light trail work along the way.


I plan on being out there on Wednesday starting at 4 in the hardwoods with the trimmer. I can have the leaf blower there as well if someone will be there to use it. Let me know.

David


In my earlier post I forgot to mention: The signpost coming out of Pines has broken at ground level and is falling over. Also, had a chance to ride the river edge trail back to the parking lot this time, but the nettles are pretty bad there.

I will try and make it out Wednesday, but cannot make it before 5:30.
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Re: Mid-State: Bennett Park

Postby jacked » August 31st, 2011, 8:09 pm

RVD thanks for restoring my faith in humanity/mountain bikers!
It was wonderful to see someone ride a trail, observe a need, post the need, and then do something positive about it.
Nice to meet you and especially nice to see you working on the trail.

David
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Re: Mid-State: Bennett Park

Postby rvd » August 31st, 2011, 9:44 pm

David, no problem. Glad I could help. I weedwock (!) the North Shore trail and used a chainsaw to remove two trees from Jungle and one from North Shore. My weedwacking wasn't as thorough as your work in Hardwood, but at least the river trail is now rideable. I did do a quick ride after the work; the trail is in great condition. Mosquitos are mild.

Remaining items:
- A few leaners in jungle 2 (can remain; adds some challenge)
- One large tree in HW a few turns before the muddy spot with partial wood cover (a nice log pile could be made of this; with bypass- I wouldn't mind to help building it this weekend).
- Still some overgrowth in HW-gully that needs to be taken care off.
- Leaf blowing a few sections of Pines?
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