MCMBA: Island Lake

For posting trail-specific conditions and problems

Re: Metro South: Island Lake

Postby Bernard Smith » February 11th, 2011, 6:15 pm

There should be a huge thermometer posted at all trail heads, with color codeing. Green, colder than 25deg (great for riding or walking); Yellow, 25 to 30deg (question yourself, rather you will ruin the snow base); RED, over 30deg (you will ruin the snow base, best not to ride or walk on the trail, skiing should be ok).
I hope the snowmobiles show up at night to smooth out the trail.
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Re: Metro South: Island Lake

Postby ibisman » February 11th, 2011, 10:19 pm

We put a thermometer on the big pine tree by the water pump maybe 10 years ago but I noticed last Tuesday it isn't working correctly. It was by the way 14 degrees when I got there at 9:15
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Re: Metro South: Island Lake

Postby Friend Or Foe » February 12th, 2011, 8:15 am

can anyone provide an update on the condition of the park road &/or the kensington connector? would like to get some miles in sunday.
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Re: Metro South: Island Lake

Postby KLydesdale » February 12th, 2011, 9:58 am

Bernard Smith wrote:There should be a huge thermometer posted at all trail heads, with color codeing. Green, colder than 25deg (great for riding or walking); Yellow, 25 to 30deg (question yourself, rather you will ruin the snow base); RED, over 30deg (you will ruin the snow base, best not to ride or walk on the trail, skiing should be ok).



I dunno... Those temperature range recommendations seem a bit off in my experience. The absolutely best winter rides I've ever had have been in the 25 to 32 degree range. I weigh around 250 lbs and certainly don't "ruin" the base when riding in those temps. *beep*, I look forward to it because I've found it to be the optimum range for pleasant winter riding in terms of great trail conditions and being able to keep my hands, feet and face warm.
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Re: Metro South: Island Lake

Postby ihateplaindave » February 12th, 2011, 10:07 am

+1 for for 30 degrees being the best winter riding. Although I'm usually riding early before the sun kicks in.

FYI. I'm 95% sure the K-PL connector is unridable right now.
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Re: Metro South: Island Lake

Postby Hermannator » February 12th, 2011, 2:33 pm

The park road is very good at ILRA today. Better than the bike paths. My buddy and I tried a small section of Blue, but it was too deep for us, so we hopped off onto the park roads. I did not check out the Kensington/ILRA connector. However, if that is snowy, I just ride north on Kensington road and cross the expressway to get into Kensington Metro Park at the west entrance. It adds a few miles both ways, but the traffic is not bad.
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Re: Metro South: Island Lake

Postby Steve_Balogh » February 12th, 2011, 8:46 pm

I was out at ILRA today from 8:45AM to about 3:00PM riding the trail and the "gravel pit". Early birds had the best rides. Saw another set of Fatbike tracks followed by a set of studded tires (Ibisman?). Afterwards I came back to the car and swapped pedals & boots to go clipless and followed more tracks. After around 1PM the snow was getting soft and churned up more from the snowmobiles. I passed a group of three guys that passed me earlier. The last mile on the yellow around 3PM seemed to take forever. Nothing turned to slush while I was out there, the usual railroad tracks had some pieces of slush, but nothing major. Two more groups of regular bikes were taking off as I packed up to leave.

Almost forgot to add..on the blue a snowmobiler came around a corner towards me going in the opposite direction, I pulled off to the side, stopped, and watched while he zig-zagged through four more that were behind me going in my direction. May have been nothing, but from my point of view it looked like a stroke of luck no one got hit head on.
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Re: Metro South: Island Lake

Postby Bernard Smith » February 13th, 2011, 2:45 pm

Klydesdale, I think we're in agreement; you use your own judgement on those Yellow temperature range days and have found that the snow base either wasn't that deep or was still in the "deep freeze mode", where the snow was still quite solid. If it turned out to be warming up to the atmospheric temperature and you started fishtailing down the trail leaving rutts, you might decide to not ride. Often, it just means to ride before noon, while the conditions are still cold from overnight.
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Re: Metro South: Island Lake

Postby Steve_Balogh » February 13th, 2011, 8:31 pm

Was out riding again today until around 1PM or so. The yellow loop was in fantastic shape, packed down by skiers, except for the area between the Kensington Road bridge and the dirt road. Heavy snowmobile traffic there. My Escape's thermometer was reading 45 degrees. Figured I 'd stop there. However I did find some bone-jarring opportunities at Morton Taylor afterwards, no slush or seriously melting snow on the trail there.
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Re: Metro South: Island Lake

Postby gearbike » February 19th, 2011, 9:03 pm

Island Lake for Sunday morning?
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Re: Metro South: Island Lake

Postby Moto339 » February 19th, 2011, 9:28 pm

I hit the trail today 8 am and Blue was in good shape considering the time of year no stud's and did everything with only a few little scare's. Tree down past 1 1/2 and also around 7 3/4 Mile marks I will take pic's tomorrow morning if they are still their to show you exactly where. I couldn't do anything with them by myself. It was frozen and great!! I will be their again tomorrow around 8 to get some time in before this Snow and Ice hit's.
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Re: Metro South: Island Lake

Postby Moto339 » February 20th, 2011, 8:19 pm

Tree's where gone this morning!! Pretty icy but glad to be out before this mess hit us.
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Re: Metro South: Island Lake

Postby DNR Island Lake » February 21st, 2011, 2:55 pm

Park is plowed. Paved trail is plowed. Enjoy it if you can make it out.

Only saw two sleds so far today so trails are probably not packed down yet.

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Re: Metro South: Island Lake

Postby risnewski » February 23rd, 2011, 9:29 pm

Two trees down on Yellow at mile 4.75 (one's a biggy) and one at mile marker 1. I was on skis but first 4 miles appeared rideable. Last two were pretty soft.
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Re: Metro South: Island Lake

Postby Steve_Balogh » February 26th, 2011, 7:26 pm

Even with snowmobiles out there, there's a lot of deep soft snow that would be tough on a normal bike. The Spring Mill Pond hill I could climb, but coming down the sled tracks scattered and I walked most of it. Blue loop was best, I almost endo'd on the Yellow when I encountered some trail runner tracks half way. Those were nasty, past 4" deep, made hills impossible to climb. I barely did a half mile in twenty minutes or more. Finally a snowmobile passed through just before I got to the Kensington road bridge, then I could start riding at speed again.

Snowmobiles pretty much ignore the new section this year descending alongside the road. The path they are making has a pretty dangerous ending. I followed it, but walked down the hill. When they get to the road, it's a very steep descent. My fear is I would get too much speed ending up on the road and hitting a passing car. Either way, a couple years ago I saw a sled almost slide off the new section. Seems there's no longer any safe way for them to get down off the hill and continue on. Tough riding that sled section, lots of low hanging branches make it impossible to ride though in some spots.
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