Poto: Rolling Hills Park

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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » April 9th, 2010, 7:11 pm

Scott,

The MMBA wants to cooperate with other user groups at RHP (and Independence Lake) with the aim to make the parks best for both worlds. I'll be at that meeting with Steve Wyatt.

As for golfer and bikers co-existing, I haven't heard about any major issues. Some minor ones have been reported to me including: tearing down 1 or 2 MTB trail signs, placing sticks across the MTB trail, making snide comments to riders. Someone mentioned a golfer throwing a disc at them, but that wasn't confirmed. As for the MTB side, some rider accidentally strayed onto a hole or two initially. However, now that the trail bed is obvious that shouldn't happen any more.

Let's correspond off line to discuss planning and cooperation.

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

Postby lavaspill » April 11th, 2010, 5:38 pm

Motion X Map

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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » April 14th, 2010, 5:50 pm

Thanks for posting the Motion X map.

With the help of Tyler Erickson, I was able to get a good trace of the trail this past weekend on my GPS handheld unit which I posted to MapMyRide in GPX format (http://www.mapmyride.com/route/us/mi/yp ... 7784653748). Not sure why it seemed to save the file in 'out and back' mode and shows a total ride length of 5.4 miles. First time I tried posting a ride to MapMyRide. If anyone can suggest a fix, let me know. I also was going to post the GPX data to OpenStreetMap, but it looks like someone already posted the trail there (http://www.openstreetmap.org/?lat=42.17 ... ayers=null). If you know what you are doing, you should be able to download the GPX file from either site. However, that's not me since I'm just muddling through.

Tyler also recorded a trail track with a high accuracy surveyor-type GPS unit. We'll get the track translated and send it to RHP staff who'll, hopefully, be able to create a detailed park map for the trail head and for the Trail Guide. I'll let you know when that's done. In the meantime, see the GPS trace on a Google Earth photo below.

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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » April 18th, 2010, 1:14 pm

Worked a bit this weekend on the downhill section after the climb back up the bluff at ~1.7 miles. This area was particularly off-camber and was extremely greasy when wet. I also observed several relatively experienced riders having a hard time negotiating the hairpin bend and lots of skid marks of riders trying to make the turn. So, I bench cut the traverse to the right and the exit of the hairpin turn. I hope these modifications make it easier, although not easy, to negotiate this section. Let me know what you think about the changes.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby esdubya » April 20th, 2010, 10:32 am

Rode the trail Sunday for the first time after disc golf league.

I was very pleased with the design of the trail and I think once it gets ridden a bit more and smoothed out it will be one of my favorites. Good use of elevation, short but sweet and not easy. Kind of reminds me of Addison Oaks. GREAT JOB! and THANK YOU!
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.
-Hunter S. Thompson
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » May 17th, 2010, 5:30 pm

Been a busy few weeks for me. Finally had a chance to do a full walk through at RHP this past weekend for the first time in three weeks. Spent a few hours with my 8-year old step-daughter trimming face slappers, clearing some winter debris from the trail and removing a small tree on the steep climb before the pond bluff at ~1.5 miles. We also fixed up a few signs and added a direction arrow inside the crater for those riders thinking the trail was supposed to exit straight up one of the crater walls. There were some small areas with surface mud, but overall the trail was in great shape.

Unfortunately, I'm still working on the map. I've got a good GPS and aerial photo as noted in an earlier post. Still trying to get some feedback from RHP staff and Washtenaw County Parks to produce an 'official' map. In the interim, I hope to place some annotated aerial photos with the GPS trace at the trailhead kiosk by next weekend. Also, working with the MMBA Webmaster to put RHP on the Trail Guide. I've submitted info to him and am now waiting for it to be posted.

Keep the feedback coming. Let me know about any areas of concern that need modifications.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby djansen00 » May 17th, 2010, 7:12 pm

I haven't ridden RH yet but I'm trying to coordinate a ride with my buddies for Saturday. I noticed there's no link in the Trails section yet....or I'm completely dense and missing it. Is that because it's not "official" yet? Is there a good summary of where to go and where to park that I can pass along? I skimmed the other pages on this thread but didn't see anything obvious.

Thanks!
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby bucky katt » May 18th, 2010, 10:17 am

While I like the trail overall, I guess I'd have to say I'm one of those who find it a bit overly twisty and turny at times. I know you're dealing with limited space, but parts of the trail feel like running on a 1/20th mile indoor track - lots of riding without getting anywhere. That being said, I'm still thrilled to have a new trail close to my house and will be riding it more once this soggy weather departs.

Question: Does the park plan on keeping the pedestrian gate along Bemis Rd. chained? It would be a convenient access point for some of us who like to ride to the park, rather than continuing around to the main entrance on Stony Creek.

Also, there should be a directional sign toward the end of the ride where the trail crosses the asphalt path and heads down the green x-c ski trail. The first time I rode it, I lost the trail and ended up following the asphalt path around the swamp and back to the parking lot.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » May 19th, 2010, 7:19 am

To "djansen00":
I'm working with the MMBA Webmaster to get RHP posted in the Trail Guide. Not done yet. Hopefully soon, but it's in the Webmaster's hands now. Once done, the information you seek will be posted there. In the interim, if you scroll through some of this thread, you'll find various photos and maps of the trail. On the first page, there is a map of RHP and a description of its location. As for parking, enter RHP, drive ~1/4 mile and park on the right in the small, central parking lot (only ~50 yds x 100 yds. square). The trailhead is across the road by the large tree. The trail is tight and winding, making the rider focus on the terrain and the occasion obstacle. It's a bike handling course, not built for speed.

To "bucky katt":
Not much we can do about the terrain. The trail uses the ungulating terrain to it's maximum. The park and MTB trail are slatted to expand to the north and west late this year or next year where the terrain is flatter and riding speed will increase. As for the rear gate of RHP, it's usually open during park hours ('til dusk) in the 'swim season' between Memorial and Labor Days. I know the transition to the last section on the grass lane is a bit confusing. There actually is a small direction sign at the top of the rise after the large log pile. Unfortunately, it wasn't very visible on the inside corner before the paved path and was partially obscured by grass. I moved it to the outside (left) side of the corner on Saturday and it should be more visible now. If not, I'll put up a larger sign.

I plan to post an annotated aerial photo on the kiosk by this weekend. It's not an 'official' trail map, but it'll help newbies get around RHP. I'm working with RHP and Washtenaw County Parks to create an official map, but I have found that's a slow process.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby john_galt » May 25th, 2010, 2:22 pm

Anyone know of a shortcut between Hitchingham Rd & Stoney Creek Rd? I live near the park and have to ride around the block via Merit or Bemis. Maybe using part of Hewens? Thanks
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby esdubya » May 26th, 2010, 10:29 am

Lovin the trail more and more every time I ride it..

Only think I don't love is my 30" wide handlebars. I suppose they should be cut down a bit, but I can fit through all of the trees at RHP. There are a few spots where I have slow down to get through.

Poison Ivy, can we talk about this? I am very allergic. After the crater there is a field of poison ivy, looks really scary to someone like me. I found myself looking more for ivy than paying attention to the trail. It is bad out there is all I'm trying to say. Do you know if the park can spray it or try to control it some way? It's also growing on a bunch of trees that could eventually start to drape over the trail. I was scared of falling in it, then I did when I rode the trail Wednesday, clipped a tree with my widebars and took a spill. When I was down I looked at the ground and saw nothing but ivy. I broke out a few days later and yada yada yada..
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » May 26th, 2010, 12:51 pm

To "john_galt":
Sorry, no shortcut between H'ham and Stony Creek right now. You could cut through Hewens from H'ham at the end of the drainage ditch, but with the twisty route at Hewens, it is still quicker to follow Bemis to Stony Creek. We have started the extension of Hewens to the west/NW and will add up to 3 miles this year. There still won't be a connection to Stony Creek, but the long range plan (2011? 20012?) includes a connecting trail of 0.25-0.5 miles from the NW corner of Hewens to the Rolling Hills entrance.

To "esdubya":
Glad you continue to like the trail. What did you think about the bench cutting I did on the downhill hairpin at ~1.6 miles (the section after the bluff)? I actually fell there in the late spring since the surface mud made the off camber turn treacherous. Any other areas that need changes - off-camber, muddy, ...? Regarding poison ivy, well, HCP should just be call Poison Ivy County Park!! The "meadow" after the crater is particulary spectacular in its poison ivy-ness!! I'm planning to do some grooming and weed wacking this weekend and next for face-slappers and poison ivy. Luckily, I'm not too allergic to PI. I'll ask RHP staff about the possibility of spraying. I'll keep an eye out for PI on the trees (I already cut out a ton last year), but let me know if you recall any specific locations for climbing ivy.

If anyone is free to help out with trail maintenance, let me know and we can meet up next weekend (Sat. 6/5 AM).
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby hotspurr » May 27th, 2010, 4:23 pm

For poision ivy sufferers,

I recommend applying "Defense" by Ivy-Dry before riding and washing with "Tecnu" by Tec Labs after riding. The combination works pretty well. Both products can usually be found at a drugstore or some grocery stores, like Krogers. Alternatively, covering up with lightweight, yet breathable clothing can help, too.

Cheers, Norm
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » May 29th, 2010, 10:48 am

I finally posted a laminated map (see attachment) to the kiosk this morning along with some other trail etiquette info. I plan to put take-away maps in an 'info slot', but need a piece of wood to mount it on the kiosk. I also posted a sign indicating the correct parking lot on one of the roadside posts.

I weedwacked and trimmed the first section. Lots of growing since I was out at RHP three weeks ago!! I didn't realize that nearly every tree in the first 100 yards was COVERED in poison ivy vines. I did my best to hack them down and trimmed back the undergrowth a few feet from the trail. Took A LOT longer than I had hoped to do 300 yards or so. I plan to continue working at RHP over the next week or 10 days to get ahead of the grass and face-slappers. If you can help out, let me know.

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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » June 3rd, 2010, 6:38 am

I'll be leading a trail work day out at RHP on Saturday morning 6/5 starting at 9 AM. If you are available to help out, let's meet in the trail head parking lot and then spread out on the trail. With all the rain and warm weather, the grass and underbrush has been growing voraciously. The first wooded section was done last week, but the rest of the trail needs mowing, weed wacking and trimming of face slappers. I plan to bring a push mower, weed wacker, loppers and a rake. If you can come, bring other weed wackers, loppers and trimmers.

Come prepared for heat, humidity, bugs and poison ivy. Bug juice, water, work gloves, work shoes, long pants and long sleeves are highly recommended. Unfortunately, some areas of RHP can have epic amounts of poison ivy. If you are highly prone to PI rash, you should probably volunteer your time for work days at Brighton (Sun, 6/6) or Trail Work Mondays at nearby Hewens Creek.

I know it's a busy time of year with school ending, vacations, yard work and other trail days, but the RHP trail needs your help. Hope to see you Sat. 6/5 at 9 AM.
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