We are canceling the Heritage Park trail day set for tomorrow, April 26th. Due to the efforts of a couple local riders, the trail has been almost entirely cleaned off and it is in the best shape I have ever seen it. So we are are making the event a ride instead. If you want to come down and get a tour of the park, we will meet at the Heritage Park's Stubniz Center Parking lot. Take the paved drive past the softball fields (left at the farm) all the way to the back of the park. We will still use the 10:00 a.m. start time.
There are a couple of project on the horizon, but nothing that is ready for Sunday. First, the Eagle-Heritage section of trail remains wet, soggy and muddy. On Thursday, I met with Robert Gentry, the City of Adrian's Park Forrester. The flow of the drainage has shifted over the years, making this section of trail even more problematic. We determined that although a re-route would be the best option, there is no good way to do so. It would require a lengthy re-route with significant bench cutting and we would still have some of the issues with the trail being too low to dry out until early summer. Other options include a boardwalk (my dream choice) but there is no funding for it. With the way the drainage has shifted, we are talking about 50-60 yards of boardwalk. The City also has some Parkco pads that came from Railroad crossings which we could use. While they are ugly, they would probably work and are free. However, they are way too heavy for us to move. We would need a Bobcat or other mechanical means to move them. Finally, we will probably try another fix with geo-fabric and limestone gravel. We did this in the past and it sunk or got washed away. Robert feels that is we include some sock-drains under it in several of the worst areas, we should be able to avoid this problem in the future. We would also make the pad much thicker than we did last time. Again, that is a lot of rock to move and we would be better served to move it with equipment rather than the hard labor of MMBA volunteers. In any event, we will need to do more to prepare for this project and are not ready to proceed on Sunday as I had hoped. The final project and long-term goal is signage. Regretably, through the loss of some staff, the City has been unable to GPS the park boundaries so there is still a significant amount of trail that is (or may not be) off of the park property. We will want to address this issue before proceeding with an all out attemp to sign and map out a loop throughout the park.
So, it is good news and bad news. The good news is that the trail looks great and is ready to ride. The bad news is NO TRAIL DAY ON SUNDAY and we will have to schedule another one once we get the details worked out with the city. I'd be glad to show anyone the problem area and welcome any additional thoughts as to how we should proceed which will now be later in the summer. We could walk the proposed re-route area and get some ideas on that, too, but I think that will be a big project.
Sorry about the last minute cancellation. I still hope to see some of you tomorrow and welcome your ideas on correcting this long-term problem, and taking a ride to enjoy the fruits of Jeff, Todd and Mike's labor.
MMBA Mid-State Heritage Park Trail Coordinator