Poto: Rolling Hills Park

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Re: Rolling Hills Park

Postby Wheels In Motion » December 11th, 2009, 4:48 pm

The trail is going to be great with a lot of potential yet!!

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Re: Rolling Hills Park

Postby georgemra » March 19th, 2010, 1:05 pm

When are these trails opening to the public? Are they anywhere near ready to ride for this season?
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Re: Rolling Hills Park

Postby pneumatico » March 21st, 2010, 10:01 am

georgemra wrote:When are these trails opening to the public? Are they anywhere near ready to ride for this season?


The trail is open to the public and a blast to ride. I haven't been down there since the thaw, but the soil structure seems like it would drain well. I'm planning on heading down there on Tuesday to check it out. If it isn't ready there are paved trails and wide grassy xc ski trails plus dirt roads in the area that should provide sufficient stimulation.
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Re: Rolling Hills Park

Postby georgemra » March 23rd, 2010, 6:53 am

How long is the trail right now? And how technical is it? I want to take my girlfriend out, but she's new to mtbiking and I would like to take it easy on her (want her to come back for more). I saw a few obstacles on the trail in the photos...I guess the best way to know is to go ride, but I was just looking for a little info.
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Re: Rolling Hills Park

Postby pneumatico » March 23rd, 2010, 2:04 pm

georgemra wrote:How long is the trail right now? And how technical is it? I want to take my girlfriend out, but she's new to mtbiking and I would like to take it easy on her (want her to come back for more). I saw a few obstacles on the trail in the photos...I guess the best way to know is to go ride, but I was just looking for a little info.


With the rain, I didn't go check the trail on Tues.

My wife is newish to the sport as well, we rode the trail with 2" of snow and she had a blast...even briefly considered doing another lap.
I think the mileage is about 3.5, but there are quite a few places you can bail onto paved or grassy paths to get back to the trailhead. There are a few short steep climbs that a beginner might have to walk, but no death marches. The crew has done a great job on the trail thus far making it fun for everyone (in my opinion).
Hewens Creek is another great beginner spot, right around the corner from RH, but will be underwater for a while in the spring.
Cheers!
Last edited by pneumatico on March 25th, 2010, 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rolling Hills Park

Postby parttime » March 23rd, 2010, 2:06 pm

How long is the trail right now? And how technical is it? I want to take my girlfriend out, but she's new to mtbiking and I would like to take it easy on her (want her to come back for more). I saw a few obstacles on the trail in the photos...I guess the best way to know is to go ride, but I was just looking for a little info.


Per Mike the TC the trail is ~3.1 miles. It is pretty twisty, has some good little hills, and log piles (one monster log pile), so just go with the expectation that she may have to get off the bike a couple times depending on her skill set.

Did 2 laps on Saturday and my thighs were burning pretty good.

Also watch out for a downed tree w/in the first 50 yds. or so. Mike has alerted park maint. and they should take care of it.

All in all a pretty good trail that we'll hopefully get to extend this year and connect with Hewen's at some point
Enjoy!

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Re: Rolling Hills Park

Postby ADDam » March 24th, 2010, 10:57 am

Just got in from riding Rolling HIlls, trail was in great condition. According to my computer the trail is 2.97 miles, but feels like 8 :lol:
There some decently technical twisty turny sections, but just take is slow and it's very doable.
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Re: Rolling Hills Park

Postby georgemra » March 27th, 2010, 4:28 pm

Rode RH last night. That is going to be an amazing trail once it smooths out a little. You sure do work for every climb. Never thought a trail that tight would flow so well. My hat's off to those that put the hours into the design and construction. You are appreciated.
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Re: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » March 28th, 2010, 11:55 am

Thanks to all for your comments and input. I'm pleased that riders are enjoying the trail. Thanks mainly to Norm Roller for the trail design. I'm just one of the worker bees that carved the trail out of the wilderness. ;-}

As for trail length, I measured 3.1 miles several times on my bike so we'll go with that length for now. I'm working on a GPS of the trail, but am a bit of a novice with the GPS unit so haven't quite got it sorted out yet. Considering the tight, twisty terrain, however, I'm not sure the GPS will be that accurate anyway. TDB I suppose. Look for RHP on the Trail Conditions forum when I get the map sorted out in the near future.

With the rain today (Sunday), I'll remind you to keep off the trail for a few days until it dries out. Given the hilly terrain and sandy soil, RHP dries fairly quickly, but take care to avoid damaging the trail nonetheless. The down/up section along both sides of the gravel road between ~1.6 and 1.8 miles is the only section that seems to dry slowly. It's easy enough to avoid this area by using the grass paths in the park.

FYI, here are the plans for RHP in 2010 thus far:

1. build a kiosk at the edge of the central parking lot across the park road from the trail head (RHP staff will do this soon).
2. stock the kiosk with fodder such as 'rules of the road', MMBA and Poto chapter info and a map when completed (that's on me).
3. work on various trail improvements including:
- build a small log pile at the end of the first section using the remains of a recently downed tree
- bench cut and widen the exit of the sharp S-bend before the drainage ditch crossing at the end of the first section
- slightly reroute the overly steep climb at ~1.4 miles as it's too steep to be sustainable and rideable by novices
- fix up some of the log piles to make them more stable and less steep especially on the back side
- build a large log pile next to the smaller one already there in the section after the back gate (~2.0 miles) using logs set aside by RHP
- bench cut a number of off-camber areas (e.g., much of the grassy knoll on the bluff above the pond and in the following downhill section toward the gravel road)
- knock down some of the wash board bumps especially in the last section
- armor the sharp downhill S-bend with paving stones or the like in the second section along the gravel road
4. coordinate with RHP staff on the expansion plans of the park
- Washtenaw County Parks has major expansion plans for the park to the north
- the MMBA-Poto RHP team will work with RHP staff to find the best use of terrain for all user groups
- planning will take place this spring and summer with new MTB trail cutting potentially occuring this fall (1.5 or more miles trail possible)

So, I'd appreciate all the help I can get on the trail improvement work. Send me an Email directly to get added to my RHP trail crew Email list if you are interested in helping out. Please DON'T take it upon yourself to do any of this work at RHP without coordinating with me first. Thanks.

Between now and the next RHP expansion phase in the fall, the main MTB trail building efforts in the area will be expansion of the nearby Hewens Creek Park (HCP) trail (~1.5 miles away on Stony Creek south to Bemis east) which now measures ~4.5 miles. Norm Roller and Bob Hollen (HCP Coordinator) are planning to implement already standing plans to expand HCP by 3+ miles this spring. Keep on eye of the Trailwork Tuesday forum for trail day activities at HCP and RHP.

Contact me directly with any questions or comments. Get out and ride!!

Michael Connolly
RHP Trail Coordinator
mconnolly62@yahoo.com
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Re: Rolling Hills Park

Postby john_galt » April 1st, 2010, 7:13 am

Rode Rolling Hills for the first time last night and my expectations were FAR exceeded. Way to go designers and builders! However, I think rerouting any climbs because of difficulty level would just "water" the trail down. That's my 2 cents
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Re: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » April 1st, 2010, 8:33 am

John,

Glad you liked the trail. We have been quite pleased with the feedback. We were - at least I was - worried that the tight trail wouldn't flow well, but I have only been hearing good things from riders. Regarding re-routes, I have no intention in taming the trail. In fact, most riders seem to love the technical aspects and the continuously changing terrain. There is just one short stretch of ~50 yards at ~1.4 miles where the uphill is a bit too direct to be sustainable. When it's dry, the climb is no problem. When it gets the least bit wet, it's super greasy and leads to a lot of wheel spin and, hence, erosion. I intend to shift the trail slightly right and cut diagonally up the hill instead of along the fall line. It will still put a grimace on your face!

Rolling Hills MTB trail is a test bed of sustainable trail building for Washtenaw County Parks. As we continue to build the relationship with WCP, the Poto Chapter may get the opportunity to build more trail at Independence Lake and, more importantly, Park Lyndon. A trail at Park Lyndon would allow a direct link up of Poto and Waterloo without the long ride around we currently do for the Triple Trail Challenge. So, sustainability is key.

Thanks again for the feedback. Send me your Email contact info if you want updates on RHP activities.

Michael Connolly
RHP Trail Coordinator
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Re: Rolling Hills Park

Postby Steve_Balogh » April 3rd, 2010, 8:09 am

Trail was in great shape yesterday, here's a couple of vids:

Image

Image
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Re: Rolling Hills Park

Postby brickwall00 » April 3rd, 2010, 12:11 pm

Rode the trail this morning, great job on the build guys/gals. Looks like it's getting some riders on it, breaking in great.
The only negative I have towards it is the flow, very twisty-turny, wish there was more strait aways and not so many switchbacks on the hills. Maybe something to keep in mind as more is built.
That being said, it's is a great trail & I plan on riding it a bunch this summer.
Thanks for all the hard work MMBA...
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Re: Rolling Hills Park

Postby SANTA_CRUZ » April 3rd, 2010, 5:13 pm

Very cool videos Steve !
Thanks for putting those up, it makes me want to go ride there !
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 !!

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Re: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » April 4th, 2010, 3:32 pm

There is a tree down at ~1.3 miles on the first downhill run after the crater. I'll alert the RHP crew or try to get out there myself, but that won't be until Tuesday. If anyone has a hand saw and can gey out to take care of it, let me know. The tree is ~6" diameter, but only the only thing on the trail is a few of the 1-3" branches from the top of the tree.

Also, thanks for posting the videos Steve. Very cool. One problem though: how come you weren't wheezing like a 90-y.o. TB patient after those climbs like I do? :wink:

And you'll notice a new kiosk next to the parking area courtesy of RHP staff. I'm working on "fodder" for the kiosk and a detailed trail map. Hopefully, we'll get the GPS done next weekend and will have the map in a week or two.

Lastly, I'm planning to do some minor trail work at RHP on Tuesday 4/6 at 6 PM. I want to build a small log pile in the first section where RHP staff cut down a tree last week and bench cut and widen one of the sharp S-bends before the drainage ditch. If you are free and plan to come out and lend a hand, let me know.

Michael Connolly
RHP Trail Coordinator
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Last edited by michael48197 on April 4th, 2010, 4:14 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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