Poto: Rolling Hills Park

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Re: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » September 25th, 2009, 1:14 pm

A small crew of three of us worked on Trail Work Tuesday to clean up some areas of RHP. We finished the bench cutting of the very off-camber section starting the downhill run on the first 'island' after the crater to prevent someone from eating a tree and bench-cut the area at the bottom of the hill on the second 'island' to limit erosion. We also hacked out ~100' of new trail through the dense underbrush along the south fenceline of the park. A bit more work will clear out the dense brush and then it's easier going under the forest canopy.

The next RHP trail day is now scheduled for Saturday 10/17 at 9 AM. In the interim, we will continue Trail Work Tuesday activities at 6PM each week although the light is fading faster every week...maybe only 3-4 more TWT's left. I'll also likely be out at RHP most Saturday mornings from 9 AM until Noon or so. Usually, I should have enough trail equipment to keep all participants occupied. There's A LOT of trail still to build at RHP so feel free to come out and join me. Please send a RSVP if you plan to come out in case of weather issues or late arrival.

Michael Connolly
RHP Trail Coordinator
734-528-1496
mconnolly62@yahoo.com
Michael Connolly
RHP Trail Coordinator
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Location: Ypsilanti, MI

Re: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » September 28th, 2009, 9:27 am

The push westward continues!! Norm Roller and I spent about 3 hours on Saturday 9/26 hacking our way through some heavy undergrowth, grape vines and dense saplings to add ~100 yards to the trail along Bemis Road on the south side of RHP. We left a downed log that will make a great log pile of 20" or so, but we didn't have enough other timber to complete the pile. We made a smaller ride over to the right of the main log for now.

We'll continue working this section on Trail Work Tuesday this week. After clearing a dozen or so saplings with the root wrench on TWT, we'll be able to open up this section of ~0.2 miles and use one of the disc golf access paths as a return to the mowed park paths. The following trail section starts on a plateau, but quickly transitions to a series of technical switchbacks as the train heads down a steep hill to the next grass path in the southwest corner of RHP. Some of the switchbacks will likely need to be well engineered to prevent errosion. See the attached map for our current progress.

If you are willing and able to help, come out to Trail Work Tuesday each week and to our 'ad hoc' work days on Saturday mornings (9-Noon). Remember that our next 'official' RHP trail day is Saturday 10/17. Hope to see you out there.

Michael Connolly
RHP Trail Coordinator

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Michael Connolly
RHP Trail Coordinator
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Re: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » October 2nd, 2009, 12:41 pm

Bob Hollen and I worked for ~1.5 hours on TWT on 9/29 to clean out some saplings and under brush. We were able to complete the section and open it up for riding. Pacing it off, the section adds ~200 yards to the trail. We moved the Temporary End sign to the end of the trail at the disc golf path.

I'll aim to get out to RHP this weekend to get an 'official' measurement of the single track length and add a few directional signs. I was originally planning on Sat. 10/3 morning, but with the poor weather forecast and a family obligation that came up I'll probably do some work and riding at RHP on Sunday morning 10/4 9 AM to Noonish.

Michael Connolly
RHP Trail Coordinator
Michael Connolly
RHP Trail Coordinator
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Posts: 448
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Re: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » October 5th, 2009, 10:40 am

I worked for ~5 hours on Sunday morning on the next section heading downhill through some switchbacks between disc golf holes. It's definitely nicer out there without the bugs and heat!! I didn't open the first 15 feet so that we wouldn't have to block off a partially completed trail. I cleared the first 3 switchbacks pretty thoroughly (about 75 yards of the 200 yard section) and rough cut the remainder. If a team can get to RHP on Trailwork Tuesday, they can 'groom' the areas I completed and start the detail cutting along the rest of the section. We'll probably have to do some bench-cutting on these switchbacks as the hill falls away pretty sharply where the trail traverses some areas, but that work can be left until a bigger crew is available.

Unfortunately, I'll be out of town for work this Tuesday and next so won't be able to participate in TWT. I'm also tied up this weekend with family obligations so won't be out at RHP on Sat. or Sun. Contact me or Bob Hollen (bhollen666@att.net) if you can help out in my absence and I'll arrange to get you some tools.

Remember there is a trail day on Saturday 10/17 from 9 AM to 1 PM. Hopefully, with a good crew, we will complete this switchback section, move through to the southwest corner of RHP and begin the turn north along the west fence line. Hope to see you on 10/17.

Michael Connolly
RHP Trail Coordinator
mconnolly62@yahoo.com
734-528-1496
Michael Connolly
RHP Trail Coordinator
michael48197
 
Posts: 448
Joined: June 1st, 2004, 3:12 pm
Location: Ypsilanti, MI

Re: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » October 14th, 2009, 9:16 am

A small team was out at RHP for perhaps the last Trail Work Tuesday of the season this week. They were able to complete most of the downhill switchback section to lead the single track into the soutwest corner of RHP (see map). We will do a bit of benchcutting on this section on the upcoming work day this Saturday and then should be able to open this technical section to riders. With a good crew on Sat., we should be able to make significant progress and turn the trail northwards along the west fence line.

Hope to see you out at RHP on Saturday 10/17.

Michael Connolly
RHP Trail Coordinator

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Michael Connolly
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Re: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » October 19th, 2009, 9:39 am

The trail work day at Rolling Hills Park on Saturday 10/17 was immensely successful. We had 11 eager workers and wonderful crisp, cool fall weather. The work team included regular RHP and Poto chapter volunteers as well as many new faces. Thanks to all who participated and to Tree Fort Bikes for the pizza and soda!

We started at the bottom of the switchback section in the SW corner of RHP, crossed a grass park path and began the long run up the west side of the park. We cut trail through some new growth forest, a short low lying section, across a nice meadow and back to the grass park path. The 'Temporary End' sign was moved to this point, opening up ~600 yards of new single track including the fun and challenging switchbacks. Thanks to Steve Wyatt - RHP Supervisor - for bringing out the wide deck mower to cut the grass in the meadow. The switchbacks still need some bench cutting to be sustainable, but we decided to press on with new trail so we'll get back to the detail work on the switchbacks after the trail is completed. Before we quit for the day, the team also started the next loop, but only completed ~1/2 so we blocked off the opening to keep riders out of the dead end (see purple and orange sections on attached map).

Come on out and ride RHP. The trail bed needs to be ridden in and we are eager for feedback on the layout and potential for improvements. There is now 2.5+ miles of single track out at RHP leading to a 3.0 to 3.5 mile loop depending on how a rider returns to the Temporary Start.

With the evenings shortening and the clock about to change, Trailwork Tuesdays are over for 2009. Look for an Email in about two weeks planning the next and probably last official trail work day at RHP in mid-November. In the interim, I'll probably be out at RHP for an 'ad hoc' workday at least one morning each weekend (usually Sat. depending on the weather). Give me a call or send an Email if you are interested in helping and have the time to join me.

Michael Connolly
Rolling Hills Trail Coordinator
734-528-1496
mconnolly62@yahoo.com

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Michael Connolly
RHP Trail Coordinator
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Re: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » October 30th, 2009, 8:37 am

Norm Roller and Fred Coontz have been beavering away over the past two weeks and have now extended the single track at RHP another 5-600 yards (?) after the 'orange' section from the last trail day (see map attached). GREAT WORK!!! According to Norm, these sections (dark pink and light blue) still need some grooming, but they are rideable. I estimate that there should now be ~3 miles of single track.

I plan to work out at RHP tomorrow (Sat. 10/31) and perhaps Sunday AM too for 3-5 hours staring at 9 AM. I'll also be bringing my bike for an 'after work' trail ride and 'official' trail length measurement. Come out to join me if you can.

Tentatively, we hope to finish work along the west fence line and, hopefully, the first section near the central parking lot before Thanksgiving. If so, there may be a Poto group ride to inaugurate the RHP trail on Black Friday, the day after T-Day. Combining Hewens Creek and RHP, riders should have a nearly 10 mile loop!! Bill Mayer is coordinating the group ride to perhaps include Morton-Taylor on Sat. 11/28. More info in a week or two. To reach this goal, I'm tentatively planning another trail workday for Sat. 11/14 and maybe 11/21 as well. Look for an announcement by the end of Halloween weekend.

Michael Connolly
RHP Trail Coordinator
734-528-1496
mconnolly62@yahoo.com

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Michael Connolly
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Re: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » November 1st, 2009, 9:51 pm

The weather cooperated and we made some good progress through some dense underbrush. We are now at the west fence line about half way up the west side. See the 'lilac' section on the updated map. Only four sections remain: this west fence loop, the final tree/meadow combination and the start and a short loop on the bluff over the pond we bypassed earlier.

I also had a chance to ride the entire trail cut in to date. The 'official' distance is 2.5 miles as of 10/30 with a complete loop on the park paths at ~3.4 miles. With all our work his summer and fall, I had hoped for more. However, it's quite a hard 2.5 miles considering the undulating terrain and the VERY soft soil, making the newest section quite a slog.

I'll be out at RHP on Sat. AM. to delve into the next sections. Come on out to help if you can.

Michael Connolly
RHP Trail Coordinator

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Michael Connolly
RHP Trail Coordinator
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Re: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » November 11th, 2009, 4:50 pm

The weather is looking promising for the RHP work day Saturday morning. Come on out to Rolling Hills Park in Ypsilanti Township (off Stony Creek Road) to help us finish Phase I of the trail in time for a Poto Chapter trail inauguration ride on Thanksgiving weekend. Coffee and breakfast snacks as well as lunch (and Arbor Brewing beer) will be provided. Please RSVP if possible so we know how many people will be participating to plan the work day and food quantities. See the image below for details. Contact me with any questions.

Hope to see you out at RHP.

Michael Connolly
RHP Trail Coordinator
734-528-1496
mconnolly62@yahoo.com

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Michael Connolly
RHP Trail Coordinator
michael48197
 
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Joined: June 1st, 2004, 3:12 pm
Location: Ypsilanti, MI

Re: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » November 16th, 2009, 10:54 am

We had greatly successful trail day on Sat. 11/14. A team of 10 volunteers came out on a truly spectacular, sunny autumn day. We finished the west fence line including a BIG log pile as well as the start and finish sections. So, Phase I of the RHP trail is complete and officially open for riding. There is a temporary connector between the west fence and the final loop using the mowed park path. In 2010, we will push the trail northward beyond the old park boundary, potentially adding 4+ miles more. We will put up some directional and caution/stop signage over the next few weeks for clarity and safety.

I clocked the loop at 3.1 miles, but it rides MUCH harder. The best description I can give to the trail is 'unrelenting'...no rest for the weary with terrain changes, turns and obstacles to overcome. And the middle sequence of 'down and up' loops in the second mile will only get harder, much harder, after we add the 'lost loop' on the bluff above the pond. Next time you are out at RHP take a walk of this section and you will understand my meaning. We might work on that area this weekend so watch for details later this week.

Please send me any comments on the trail or problem areas that arise as the trail gets broken in over the next few weeks and months. We already plan to make a minor change to smooth out the turns of the first few yards of the trail at the grass entry point and the downhill left at ~1.6 miles which is too sharp for the riders speed at that point, leading to 'wash out' in the sandy soil.

Mark down Friday 11/27 on your calendar for a Poto Chapter inauguration ride at RHP complete with beer, brats and good comraderie. Look for final details in an Email later this week.

Michael Connolly
RHP Trail Coordinator
734-528-1496

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Michael Connolly
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Re: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » November 21st, 2009, 9:47 pm

We finished the 'bluff loop' above the pond this morning...a nice swooping downhill and ass-kicking switch backs on the way back up. I haven't ridden it yet, but I think most will describe it as 'difficult'. In fact, I'll probably put a set of 'easy/hard' signs up for those who want to avoid that loop. When I was leaving today, I could see across the pond from the parking lot that someone was WALKING their bike up the switchbacks!! The second mile of RHP reminds me of parts of Torn Shirt with the trail hugging the contours of the land, but without the ruts and roots. We also redid the start to smooth out the entrance turn and one turn in the woods about 50yds. from the start. And I fixed up a couple of the log piles as best I could the other day. Give it a ride and send me some feedback.

Check out the updated map below along with some pics of the crater, bluff loop and west fence log pile.

Hope to see you for the 'Black Friday' Poto group ride at RHP and Hewens Creek next Friday 11/27 at 11 AM.

Michael Connolly
734-528-1496
mconnolly62@yahoo.com

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Michael Connolly
RHP Trail Coordinator
michael48197
 
Posts: 448
Joined: June 1st, 2004, 3:12 pm
Location: Ypsilanti, MI

Re: Rolling Hills Park

Postby bhollen666 » November 27th, 2009, 2:54 pm

Pictures from the inaugural ride today can be seen at:

http://picasaweb.google.com/BikeHewensC ... directlink



Thanks to all who came out to check it out!
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Re: Rolling Hills Park

Postby SANTA_CRUZ » November 27th, 2009, 11:35 pm

Cool video Bob ! You can hear the cold wind blowing the whole time, but everybody was smiling as we rode today !
I love mountain biking because I haven't found anything that is more FUN !!
Of all the paths you choose in life....make sure some of them are DIRT !!

Commuting miles in 2012 = 1065
Total road/trail miles = 2800
Number of rides = 152
Trails ridden = 28 different in MI, 2 in Oregon
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Re: Rolling Hills Park

Postby hotspurr » November 29th, 2009, 8:58 am

Hi All,

Thanks to everyone who came out to join us on the first official ride at RHP. You can view some pictures from the ride at the link below.

Cheers, Norm

http://www2.snapfish.com/thumbnailshare ... =snapfish/



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Last edited by hotspurr on November 29th, 2009, 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rolling Hills Park

Postby G.Cook » November 29th, 2009, 11:50 am

Wish I could have made it out for both rides but working at Target and Black Friday got in the way . Gary and Mike did a ton of work on those trails . I appreciate the *beep* outa that effort . Good job you guys . :icon_cheers:
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