Mid-State: Ella Sharp

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Re: Mid-State: Ella Sharp

Postby aarontriton » July 10th, 2012, 11:46 am

ME and my 8 yr old son hit the trails at ella 2 to 3 times a week . and custer about twice a month it is nice to have something close my son loves to hit the trails out there. but he is always asking me when we are going to the fort. This Thursday i am taking him to Poto. I have been teaching my son to help pick up sticks off the trail.
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Re: Mid-State: Ella Sharp

Postby jake » July 11th, 2012, 5:40 am

http://mmba.org/library/maps/ellasharp/ellasharp.gif

Here is the gps map of the park. It's better than the CCC map with the stars, but the trail is so close to itself in several spots even this is not completely accurate, but it's a little better representation.

At my last meeting with the park it was mentioned that they were going to change the main sign to the park and actually add the trail map to it, but that was years ago and nothing was ever done. Everything with this park has to be approved my the board of trustees and Jackson seems to be really against having anything that actually gets people outside to do anything.

I was once told I couldn't even fix a washed out section of trail with a reroute without having it approved first. It's funny because I bet none of these people who make decisions could even find the trail.

My favorite part of all meetings with the park though had to be when we (MMBA) were told we could not alter the trail in any way because it was a beginner family friendly trail and they didn't want additional features that people would not be able to ride. This trail would be one of the worst places in the area to introduce someone to mtb riding. They also made a comment about the dirt jump area and how they know it's there but choose to ignore it.
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Re: Mid-State: Ella Sharp

Postby Laser4G63 » July 11th, 2012, 10:22 am

jake wrote:Jackson seems to be really against having anything that actually gets people outside to do anything.


Isn't that the truth. I advocated to get a portion of the rail trail repaved and was met with a lot of resistance. It did get repaved, but it's still sad that this area is like this.
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Re: Mid-State: Ella Sharp

Postby jake » July 11th, 2012, 10:28 am

Craig, I have used the rail trail a ton but I think that section and what the city paid was a waste of money. I won't ride my bike on that section anymore. I have had way to many bad encounters out there. They should have planned a little better when they decided where to put the trail. Now I will go out of my way to go around that section and jump in at 4th st and then continue out to the end. I ride the small section of trail inside the old prison as well and unfortunately the section between North st and Argyle is much like ride through the south side.
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Re: Mid-State: Ella Sharp

Postby Laser4G63 » July 11th, 2012, 11:14 am

This city wastes so much money on useless projects it's not funny. The way I see it is with the city taxes we pay at least this would be something that both my wife and I can benefit from. The trail is 1/4 mile from our house and is the main way for me to either get to Sharp or Concord.

I guess I am fortunate because I haven't had any bad encounters (I assume you're talking about with people). Also, not sure what you mean by planned on where they put the trail. It follows an old rail road bed. Not sure where else they could have put it, to be honest. The way I see it is, with the way this city is, I think we're fortunate to have a paved trail there at all.

This city is really going nowhere and once my wife and I get our degrees, unless something miraculous happens between now and then, I plan on moving out of the area simply because there isn't much for this city to offer people. The city needs to reinvent itself and try and lure fresh thinking minds here, which might bring jobs in the process. A lot of people are just going to move to Ann Arbor because that city has more to offer. This may mean trying to offer more in the way of healthy living and when most projects like that get met with resistance, those people will simply move elsewhere. Jackson County is ranked among the unhealthiest counties in this state. And you can see that when you walk around Meijer, Walmart, Kroger, or the malls.
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Re: Mid-State: Ella Sharp

Postby MLKuhl » July 11th, 2012, 12:56 pm

I agree Craig, the city just like the trails are probably never going to change...at least not in my lifetime. All you have to do is read the comment section on mlive after any type of positive story to see how alot of the people think here.

However, having said all that it still surprises me that we do have the falling water trail and am very thankful for it.A lot of communities don't have something like that.

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Re: Mid-State: Ella Sharp

Postby reidabel » July 13th, 2012, 1:37 pm

What and where is the falling water trail?

I'm thinking about taking my daughter on a trip to Jackson to visit the museum and ride the trail, but we've never been there before. Any tips? The trail is not advanced, is it? Are there any stunts? Is it safe to park in the museum lot with bikes on the back for an extended period while we're inside? Should I be concerned about the bikes? The area looks pretty from Google Maps, and I'm guessing it's safe ...
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Re: Mid-State: Ella Sharp

Postby jake » July 13th, 2012, 2:39 pm

I think your bikes will be fine while your in the Museum.

There are no stunts the trails have several roots, lots of washed out places and are tight and twisty in spots. I wouldn't consider them advanced at all, but I wouldn't consider them kid friendly either unless she is use to riding.
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Re: Mid-State: Ella Sharp

Postby jake » July 13th, 2012, 2:42 pm

Oh, forgot... Falling Waters Trail is a paved path (rail trail) from Jackson to Concord.

If you parked at Ella Sharp just head a block North through the school parking lot and you will see the trail head west. If you go east that will take you downtown Jackson and a less desirable route.
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Re: Mid-State: Ella Sharp

Postby reidabel » July 13th, 2012, 2:44 pm

jake wrote:I think your bikes will be fine while your in the Museum.


Assuming they're locked, I imagine :D

Thanks, Jake.
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Re: Mid-State: Ella Sharp

Postby MLKuhl » July 13th, 2012, 2:57 pm

Without a doubt, lock them. For the most part pretty safe but there are some shady characters that pass through now and then.
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Re: Mid-State: Ella Sharp

Postby Flyer 130 » July 13th, 2012, 9:16 pm

reidabl, I would agree with Jake and MKL Jackson is just like Lansing shady passer throughs but Ella is on the good side of town...and yes head west and not east on the falling
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Re: Mid-State: Ella Sharp

Postby reidabel » July 14th, 2012, 10:35 pm

Ended up going early afternoon today. Not easy to find the trails without the map in hand, but finally figured it out going off of my vague memory of one of the maps posted. It also helped to see bike tracks in the very dry grass. Turned out the trails were NOT friendly enough for my 12-year-old kid despite her having ridden Burchfield many times, Anderson a few, and Rose Lake a few. We ended up just heading back to the entrance after 10 minutes and giving up on it. Between being overgrown and full of roots, she was just too worried about falling, and actually did fall once, which didn't help her confidence. The little bit of trail we did see was definitely intermediate.

The museum was small but interesting, and Saturday free admission was excellent. The museum restaurant closed before we got there or we would have tried it. Saw a wedding party with the only decent-looking bridesmaids dresses I've ever seen - midnight blue strapless dresses and high heels with touches of hot pink. There was a mini-golf course we would have liked to have tried had we had more time and it wasn't so sunny.

Parked at the mini-golf to be able to park in the shade and the area felt quite safe to leave the locked bikes for a couple of hours - lots of people and cars around. We did see one shady character riding around on a ten-speed looking like he was scouting for a snatch-and-flee, but other than that the area looked quite nice.

I might well head back there on my own some day in the future. Thanks for the info and tips.
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Re: Mid-State: Ella Sharp

Postby Flyer 130 » July 16th, 2012, 10:48 am

Rode museum,hedgerow,driving range (in reverse),east connector and north. Thanks for the flow Jake woks really good. Not bad riding no trees down and pretty clear trails. Next time I go out the north tail by the river could use some trimming. I do not knowif she will be there always but on the diriving range trail I almost got to meet mother dear and her fawn...I think both of us left some little pellets out there
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Re: Mid-State: Ella Sharp

Postby Laser4G63 » August 7th, 2012, 10:00 am

Thinking about purchasing one of those weed whacker tools and heading out this weekend to chop down those burr weeds. You know, the ones that like to cling all over you and chafe the heck out of your skin. If anyone wants to help out, that would be appreciated.
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