Poto: Rolling Hills Park

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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby ChrisInYpsi » June 26th, 2013, 9:24 pm

Sorry to hear this. That section has become my favorite in the park and I'll hate to see it closed.

If there's anything we can do to help please let us know. We built that section in a day and could probably do a reroute in that time as well.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » June 29th, 2013, 2:23 pm

I met with Steve Wyatt today for about an hour. We walked out to the Munger Mounds to recon possible reroutes. After the trail turns E away from Munger Road, it takes a jog to the left just after the first mound. The problem with this trail section is after that left turn until the bottom of the hill. So what we will do is go straight and go down the hill along an engineered benchcut. That will require a lot of work including a small culvert. And we will merge back with the lower trail just before the dirt skinny. So for now the trail section on the mound ridge is CLOSED. Steve will make some signs and I placed some debris across the trail. Please do not remove it. I'll put together a plan for the trail day to reroute it, but that is not likely to happen until September. Nobody likes this situation, but it's part of what we need to do as good citizens.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » June 30th, 2013, 8:11 am

BTW, on a more positive note, Steve and I reviewed my tentative trail layout for the northern loop and he gave his full approval. So we could add approximately 1.5 miles of trail around the perimeter of the park this fall if we put together the resources to do so. Also Steve said we could use the concrete debris pile near the Bemis gate for more advanced rock garden if we like. The challenge will be if they're too large for the equipment that Rolling Hills has on hand. And there is a large stone pile along the construction road near the paved road north of the new waterslide. There are some very large stones there. We can use them if we like but again the challenge will be moving them. If someone wants to lead a project to design and construct in advanced rock garden let me know. Then we can figure out where to put it and how to make it happen.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby john_galt » June 30th, 2013, 8:21 am

Just rode and the trail is better than I thought it would be. Mostly damp hardpack. It's really overgrown though. There's a nice leaner just before the west fence and a huge tree down in the west fence. Gonna need a chainsaw for that guy.


michael48197 wrote:large stone pile along the construction road near the paved road


Yes!

A good spot for a rock garden would be the right mound of the valley in the Munger mounds. There's already a nice bench and it would re-connect to the trail nicely at the "skinny mounds." Plus it's near the boulder pile site compared to the rest of the trail.

What are the chances we could barrow one of the park's Gaters for transporting the rocks?

I know a long shot, but what about renting a Bobcat?
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby ChrisInYpsi » June 30th, 2013, 8:47 pm

I rode the paved paths w my daughter today, and from what I could see of the trail it looked ok. I'd guess it'd be fine tomorrow if it doesn't rain tonight as forecasted.

I should have some time this week to help trim. Last I rode the trail was early last week, and at the time there were many sections with very high grass. Not sure if a mower would be able to cut some of it easily or if it's already been cut since then. Michael, is there a brush hog or something similar that I can borrow for trimming? Not sure if that's something the chapter owns or rents or.....
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » July 1st, 2013, 2:53 pm

John_Galt,
I'll see if we can get RHP staff to clear those trees on the west fence. Where are they relative to the large log pile and the entrance or exit to that section? Also, did you see any signs out either at the trail head or the Munger Mounds about the section closure? Steve was supposed to place some signs on Saturday or Sunday. As for moving the stones and concrete, Steve is willing to donate some RHP staff time, the small 2 yard front end loader and the Gator. However, Steve thought a lot of the stones/concrete might be too large to lift with the loader (and that rules out a Bobcat too). Put together a plan, take some photos of the stones/concrete you want to use and where to put them and then we can discuss with Steve. Maybe Washtenaw County Parks has some larger equipment we can use somehow. Originally he wanted to put together a skills park in the flat meadow just beyond the north treeline of the west meadow (to the rider's left on exiting the woods by the mounds section). So, I would guess that he would be OK with moving stones out there. Sounds like a good fall project.

ChrisInYpsi,
We don't have a brush hog available within the MMBA. Buying one or more has been discussed and there is probably enough money in the coffers for it. However, it doesn't pay to buy one with all the maintenance and it's better to rent. We usually use Carpenter Bros. up on Plymouth Road. The brush hogs are pretty big so you either need a trailer or a large pickup with ramps to haul one around. If you have either and the the time/inclination to mow, please go ahead and rent the brush hog and then we can send you the Poto MBA Treasurer's Email address for reimbursement. Parttime has a trailer to get the mower and has already mowed the west meadows once this year, but it is now quite overgrown with all the rain. I have a Stihl brush trimmer (http://www.stihlusa.com/products/trimme ... 5hedgetrm/) that would easily cut through the heavy grass and wild flowers in the west meadow, but using it to cut ~1 mile of trail would be exceedingly tiring. I wouldn't even bother trying it with a string trimmer.

Parttime,
When do you think you might be able to get the mower to take care of the west meadows?
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby ChrisInYpsi » July 1st, 2013, 3:50 pm

michael48197 wrote:ChrisInYpsi,
We don't have a brush hog available within the MMBA. Buying one or more has been discussed and there is probably enough money in the coffers for it. However, it doesn't pay to buy one with all the maintenance and it's better to rent. We usually use Carpenter Bros. up on Plymouth Road. The brush hogs are pretty big so you either need a trailer or a large pickup with ramps to haul one around. If you have either and the the time/inclination to mow, please go ahead and rent the brush hog and then we can send you the Poto MBA Treasurer's Email address for reimbursement. Parttime has a trailer to get the mower and has already mowed the west meadows once this year, but it is now quite overgrown with all the rain. I have a Stihl brush trimmer (http://www.stihlusa.com/products/trimme ... 5hedgetrm/) that would easily cut through the heavy grass and wild flowers in the west meadow, but using it to cut ~1 mile of trail would be exceedingly tiring. I wouldn't even bother trying it with a string trimmer.

Ok, maybe I'll put in some time with the Stihl if it ever stops raining. I'll start by the back gate and work down thru the golf course as best I can. I'll shoot you an email when the weather and my availability align.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby john_galt » July 1st, 2013, 4:56 pm

Didn't see any signs or blockers.

The leaner gets my vote to keep. Its easy to ride under and very stable. Otherwise it and the big tree at the west fence are accessible from the grass road (going forward) or from the log pile (going backward).

I agree that the rock garden would be a good fall project after all the trimming is completed. I'll do some thinking & planning and we can talk about it at a later time.

Anyone who has suggestions, PM me or call me if you have my number.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby ChrisInYpsi » July 4th, 2013, 1:34 pm

Spent a few hours this morning clearing undergrowth with the Stihl hedge trimmer. Started at the back gate and worked thru the switchbacks before I ran out of time. The trimmer works great on woody stuff but gets bogged down in the tall grass, so I skipped the meadow sections and saved them for whenever a brush hog is rented. I'll try to get back out later this weekend and work up thru the lower golf course to the west fence if possible.

I'll be holding onto the trimmer for a few days, so if anyone wants to do some work with it let me know.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby ChrisInYpsi » July 5th, 2013, 4:51 pm

Trimmed for a few more hours today. Got up to the intersection just past the small log pile in the golf course.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » July 6th, 2013, 9:53 am

That's awesome Chris. Thanks a lot. That just leaves the west fence section to be done by hand with the trimmer. Hopefully we can get the brush hog out there soon to do the denser west and southeast meadows. Except for a few small areas to be done with the push mower, then we should be pretty well done trimming at RHP. Thanks again.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » July 10th, 2013, 6:02 pm

I haven't been out to RHP in about 10 days as I was out of town. Has the staff put up any signs out indicating temporary closure out in the Munger Mounds? Are the west meadows totally over grown now?

Unfortunately, Parttime tells me that he has a lot on his plate right now and won't have the time in the few weeks to get the brush hog and mow out at RHP. The push mower is still in the shop, but it would be nearly impossible to mow the west meadows with it any way. And it doesn't make much sense to try cutting a mile of thick meadows with the Stihl trimmer. Does anyone have a pick-up truck with ramps or a small flatbed trailer to transport the brush hog from Carpenter Brothers Hardware up on Plymouth Road? Or maybe Parttime will let us use his flatbed trailer to pull behind a SUV or pick up? If not, mowing the west meadows may have to wait for a few more weeks. Can anyone help out? Have friend with a trailer or truck with ramps?
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby john_galt » July 11th, 2013, 7:19 am

Has the staff put up any signs

Didn't see any but I haven't been out since Sunday. The big tree was still down too.

michael48197 wrote:Are the west meadows totally over grown now?

Yes, most of the trail in the NW property is overgrown. Some other riders have told me that they've been skipping the NW trails.

I feel it's unlikely, but I can ask around about the flatbead. I will, however try my best to get out this Saturday and finish trimming the Lake Bluffs and if I have time the grassy Bemis section and grassy west fence section with my mower.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby ChrisInYpsi » July 11th, 2013, 7:43 am

I have a small folding 4'x8' trailer that I assume is large enough for the brush hog rental. I will likely be working this weekend, but I might be able to find enough time to help deliver/return the brush hog if someone is available to help and run the thing through the park. Sat preferred.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » July 11th, 2013, 8:30 am

John_Galt,
I forgot to ask RHP staff to clear the large tree...my bad. Can you remind me of its location? On the west fence? I know there is a leaner at the top of the first climbing S-bends on the west fence section, but if it's only leaning I want to keep it...gives the section some character as does the "low bridge" branch in the middle of those S-bends. Before or after the large log pile? On the part parallel to the fence? Please clarify. Also, I appreciate your efforts in mowing. ChrisInYpsi has the Stihl trimmer. You might find it easier on the uneven and sloped terrain of the Bluff than a push mower.

ChrisInYpsi,
I'd be happy to do the mowing with the brush hog, but I'm not available this weekend. How about next weekend? Sat. the 20th? Maybe you can send me and Parttime a photo of your trailer and we can determine if it's big enough for the brush hog.
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