mkow1234 wrote:I rode River Bends last week. Although I DO like the new singletrack at the far south end, I found it confusing to find my exit trail.
I ride in to the north end of River Bends from Dodge park, via Auburn Road, and I exit the south end of River Bends via the connector trail to the backof the Utica High School baseball diamonds.
I got turned around enough in the south end that I could not find my usual overlook spot with the giant tree. I always stop there for a beverage/snack at the mid-point of my ride.
I hope that access to this south exit trail will be kept clearly marked. Thanks.
Please remember that any south-end access you have been using is unofficial stuff that just happens to be there and just happened to work out for you. We are also trying to close down some of these same side trails that persist in making the south end of the park confusing. Going forward -- once it's built -- the paved connector to downtown Utica which will be the official, marked route route.
Until that exists, I'd like to ask that you take the ITC-cleared corridor that links up the south end of River Bends and the old slaughterhouse lot at the west end of Chapoton. For the direction you are going you'll cross the tracks where they are extremely visible (about 30' next to the start of the Lazy River section) and follow it to the old slaughterhouse. It's very easy to find, open, firm, and ends at a large concrete lot which connects to Chapoton, which you can take to downtown Utica. With that you aren't cutting through the school grounds (I believe they don't allow bikes) and aren't perpetuating a spiderweb of casual trails that is confusing to many riders.
Also, if I'm understanding your rest point, that overlook spot with a large tree and a trail split is still there. There just aren't any trails connecting to it except the Lazy River section. The one you would have taken up from the floodplane (the reason why we don't route the new trail all the way down there) was destroyed by the ITC work. The work we have been doing there lately is to reconnect the existing pieces of trail, replace what was lost, and eliminate the confusing double-figure-eight that was there before. Zoom in to this and you can see most of what the Lazy River route will be. (There's another yet-to-be-built part just northwest of the S turn berms which'll hopefully be done by the end of the month.)