Tree cleared in lost loop. Thanks to whomever pushed it mostly off the trail - hope you were wearing gloves with all that poison ivy on it.
Thanks for the trail feedback. As others have pointed out, we are blessed with a great diversity of trails in our chapter. Island Lake is not Highland is not Hickory Glenn is not the Farm. Each has their own defined character, and maintaining that diversity of experience is important to us, even incorporated in our mission statement. The unexpected is sometimes a good thing.
That said, I agree there's opportunities for improvement in those two areas. No idea as to why they are the way they are - they predate my involvement - but we've worked to maintain them as is so far. Let's look at the easy one first, the knuckle in Maru's way before the pump track:
The current tight corner doesn't bother me, but I'm cool with making an interesting log pile as an alternate line here, inside of the apex tree, allowing for a smoother curve. That would be entirely within the character of the trail. A foot or so high, relatively smooth, and cambered. Log piles on corners are tricky - we have only one other that is in an advanced section before the crater - and it would need to be thoughtfully built. We'd have to import the logs from elsewhere in the park - there's nothing in the area that would last a year - but we could do that.
The other case in lost loop requires more thought. As surmised, the knuckle is a speed bump, forcing riders to radically scrub speed before the river approach. We know it's awkward, it's not a favorite with fast riders, but it does work to keep most of us dry. If we lose that, we'd need a different control strategy.
As an aside, I'd love to completely re-do the whole section between the road crossing and the river approach. That's one of the fastest sections of the trail, coming down the hill, across the old abandoned access road, and down another hill into a tiny berm. There's so much potential - I played with a tiny lip on that road crossing that was a lot like the crater and ever so much fun, but landing was too sketchy at speed, (4 foot drop to flat and you better be ready for an immediate hard 90 degree left). With enough energy, one could build a large flowing 120 degree berm at the bottom of that hill that could handle the speed and direct you into another berm on the access road embankment, and then a series of decreasing radius corners ending near the river, with most of the speed gradually scrubbed along the way.
Let's keep thinking about it.