Poto: Rolling Hills Park

For posting trail-specific conditions and problems

Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby dnale » May 24th, 2011, 8:27 am

Please don't take it as a complaint. I'm loving the trail. I think I also picked up my first poison ivy of the year too. I understand the busy and appreciate the work you put in. I'd like to try to help out if I can.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby P_Thomas22 » May 26th, 2011, 8:40 am

Went out the other, think it was on monday the 23rd. Trail conditions were great (Im sure its a muddy river now though)
Got a Go-Pro and figure I'd mess with it and some new editing software, but it goes up to about the 2 mile mark on the trail.
I'll be taking more video I go each time and hopefully make some more. How is Hewens compared to Rolling Hills? Id like to do Hewens first then ride over to Rolling Hills.
Enjoy the video!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9U7yEUmzIA
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby ihateplaindave » May 26th, 2011, 9:38 am

Nice! I've got to get out there. How does the trail turn upside down near the end? Great trail feature.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » May 28th, 2011, 2:06 pm

Thanks 'P_Thomas' for posting the video. I also liked the new 'skills park' inversion feature at the end of your video!!

Seriously, I'll try to trim that vine/tree later this week. Where was that window-maker? Near the west fence line? I remember something hanging low over there a few weeks ago when I last rode. I'm sure things have changed with all the storms and rain and the rapid growing season.

Very cool vid. Thanks again.
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RHP Trail Coordinator
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » May 30th, 2011, 8:32 am

After three weeks of work & personal commitments and rainstorm after rainstorm, I finally had a chance to ride at RHP yesterday. Given the pounding rains of the past few weeks, the trail is in great shape. There is only two short sections where there is standing water and some mud: at ~1.8 miles (going towards the back gate) and the new section along the west fence line. If you are riding when it's still wet, please ride SLOWLY or better yet walk through the middle of the mud and not around it as riding around only widens the trail. Except for those sections, there was a plethora of 'grease pits' with slippery surface mud. So watch yourself on some of the corners. I almost ate a few trees trying to carry speed in the slick conditions. There are also a number of face slappers and tons of fast, growing undergrowth prompted by the rain and warm weather.

And remember that RHP is infamous for its climbing poison ivy vines. There are three sections where the PI is especially bad: the first few hundreds yards of trail, the grassy knoll at ~0.5 miles and the area around the crater at ~1.0 miles. Unfortunately, there are a number of climbing vines on trees on the inside corners. Take care to avoid them until we can get out to RHP for a trail maintenance day. If you have some snippers with you on your rides, it would be much appreciated if you could trim off the vines (cut at ground level and pull the whole vine off the tree).

The perimeter 'trail' around the SE meadow has grown up ridiculously quickly to the point that it's impassable except for the Bemis Connector part. I'll aim to mow the trail again this week. RHP maintenance crew will mow the whole meadow by mid-June and again in late summer/early fall.

I also saw that the paved path extension in the NW corner had been started into the NW meadows. With that begun, we will have a chance to better configure the new NW area trails and merge the new MTB trail with several new disc golf holes. Hopefully, we can start that trail expansion by mid/late summer.

I'm tentatively planning a trail maintenance day for Sat., June 11. Watch this space and the Poto Yahoo!Group for details.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » June 2nd, 2011, 8:15 am

The SE meadow loop and Bemis Connector have now been mowed and should be clear for riding. There remains some overhanging grasses in some areas. The worst hazard may be a few thistle plants, but no thorns to tear up your arms or legs.

Thanks to the few adventurous riders who appear to have ridden the trail through the tall grasses. With all the rain and the recent warm, sunny days, the meadow grasses have grown extremely fast. It will be a challenge to keep the SE meadow clear until we rototill the surface. Originally, I wanted to keep the rotilling to a narrow 16-18" tread surface, but I'm now thinking that I'll take RHP management up on the offer to use their 36" wide tiller for their large tractor. I'm going to try planning a trail day with RHP staff help for Sat. June 11 to work on the rototilling and subsequent raking to make a nice, rideable surface. I'll post details here when I have a plan in place.

If you haven't been out to the SE meadow, I recommend doing so soon especially in the evening. It's really quite beautiful and the meadow flowers will be popping within a few days. Go out and walk or ride it before the mowing scheduled for mid-June.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » June 3rd, 2011, 7:10 am

Rode the whole trail last night including the SE meadow which is beautiful, albeit bumpy, in the evening light...a total of 4.2 miles by my bike. The trail is in great shape and completely dry including the normally muddy section about 200 yds before the back gate and the new section along the west fence line. There are a few face slappers and several low hanging vines and branches, however. Also, watch yourself on the inside of some corners as the poison ivy vines are climbing the trees like crazy and are easily brushed into on turn-in of the corners. And watch where you stop (or fall) as the poison ivy is just a blanket on the ground in some areas. It will take a good trail work day to clear the face slappers and PI vines...as I noted earlier that may occur on 6/11.

Let me know if you see any other issues.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » June 6th, 2011, 12:04 pm

It's official...there will be a Rolling Hills Trail Work Day on Saturday 6/11 9 AM to 1 PM.

We will be working on general trail maintenance...mowing grassy sections, trimming overhanging branches and shrubs, weed-wacking and removing some climbing poision ivy vines. I plan to bring a weed-wacker with safety glasses, a push mower, a grass rake, pruner shears, hedge shears and a lopper. If you have any of the same (except the push mower), please bring them along. Please come compared for heat, bugs and poison ivy. It's recommended that you wear a long sleeved shirt, long pants & good work shoes, use work gloves and bring plenty of water or other drink for the heat/humidity.

RHP is part of the Washtenaw County Parks. As such, there is normally an entrance fee ($5 for Washtenaw residents, $8 otherwise). However, RHP management is waiving the entry fee for trail workers this week. Just let the gate attendee know that you are at RHP for MTB trail maintenance work.

Look forward to seeing you at RHP this coming weekend. Look for the Saturn Vue with the MMBA Trail Crew sign in the trail head parking lot.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby dnale » June 6th, 2011, 12:11 pm

wish I could be there to help as I enjoy this trail as often as I can. However I'll be in Ohio. Thanks to all for thier hard work and efforts to make this a great trail!
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » June 10th, 2011, 3:42 pm

The weather may be questionable for tomorrow's trail work day. Keep an eye out here and on the Yahoo!Group for cancellation if necessary.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby ChrisInYpsi » June 12th, 2011, 9:38 pm

Rode this trail for the first time today and had a blast. Thanks for keeping it up. I'm close enough to ride there from my house, so I plan to be back often.

Now I need to check out Hewens Creek.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » June 13th, 2011, 1:39 pm

A crew of three and I spent almost 5 hours at RHP on Saturday morning trimming, mowing and pruning the trail. We were able to do quite a thorough job on the first mile and then skipped forward to the bluff above the pond and several grassy sections afterwards. I think these sections had the most undergrowth and needed the most attention. I'll try to get RHP staff to mow the small meadow on the west side and one or two other grassy areas.

My personal and work schedule will keep me from getting back to RHP again until after July 4. If anyone has a chance to trim some the face slappers and overhanging vines, please do so whenever you have the opportunity. Don't be shy about hacking back any branches or vines as it will certainly grow back at a rapid rate. Thanks in advance.

Let me know if there any areas needing prompt attention.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby ChrisInYpsi » June 13th, 2011, 8:54 pm

I rode RHP again tonight after a loop thru most of Hewens Creek. Fun stuff.

Is there a way to get into RHP other than the main gate? I noticed a chain link fence gate down on Bemis but it was locked. Riding up Stoney Creek Rd to get to the main gate isn't a huge deal, but if I can avoid that road (no shoulder, a good bit of fast traffic, poor asphalt in spots) I will.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » June 14th, 2011, 6:52 am

Chris,

If you scroll back one or two pages in this forum, you will see the most recent map of RHP. There is a connector trail right at the corner of Bemis and Stony Creek to directly reach the MTB trail through the RHP SE meadow. Also, the "SE Meadow Concept" trail has now been mowed and is open for riding, adding ~1 mile to the total trail length. The meadow is still grass covered and bumpy, but will smooth out with some riding traffic and eventually with a rototiller (when I have time to arrange it). Last time I mowed the trail was ~10 days ago so it may be getting a bit long, however.

BTW, the RHP gate along Bemis is only open during park hours (8 AM to 9 PM) in the summer, but closed most of the rest of the year.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby ChrisInYpsi » June 14th, 2011, 1:02 pm

Ah, ok. Didn't check back that far in this thread. Thanks for pointing it out. I was going by the jpg map linked from the trail home page.

I didn't see the connector entrance on the corner of Stony Creek & Bemis last night but I wasn't looking there either (it looked like private farm property on that corner). I'll check it again tonight if I get out; I'm sure I'll find it now that I know where to look.

So to be sure I understand: if you take the Bemis Rd Connector to the trail you don't start at the trailhead? Instead you start near the bridge at about mile 0.8ish?
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