Western: Other trails

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Re: Western: Other trails

Postby raymears » September 4th, 2013, 10:57 pm

Is there any information about the Ken-O-Sha trail? I see where it is on the trail list, but is there a map of the trails? The Facebook page doesn't seem to have any useful information (at least that I can find).
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Re: Western: Other trails

Postby lampenj » September 5th, 2013, 12:06 pm

RickPlite wrote:
bikerector wrote:Anyone aware of anything new happening at Riley Trails in the near future? I rode the trails yesterday and there were spots blatantly being blocked by dead trees and logs while some other parts of the trail remained Completely clear. Is this the work of an organization (logging company, DNR?) or is someone being a dingous? Not sure who managaes this park, WMMBA or the county/city/state.


It is managed by Ottawa County Parks. There was not enough local interest to create a recommended signed mtb route. Locals were fine with just riding the spider web of trails as is. Not sure who is blocking trails.


There is now a clearly defined, mapped, and marked mountain bike loop at Riley Trails FWIW. It brings some sort of 'trail' legitimacy to the area, though it does restrict bike access to some sections and may not be organized in a general direction that all riders are used to (I've been with groups who typically ride in the general direction of the newly organized loop, but I typically rode the opposite way). There are some sections that are REALLY sandy and I would love to be a part of a conversation and effort to find some acceptable alternatives, but for now it is a loop that should be followed when you're out there.
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Re: Western: Other trails

Postby bikerector » September 5th, 2013, 12:32 pm

I've found a route that allows about a 20 minute lap and avoids the rear sand pit stretch, it does require a little back tracking as there's not a spot that loops well on the far East side of the trails. The West side is easy to make a nice loop though to miss that back sandy section.

Have they closed off some of the trails to limit access then or is it just marked a lot better?
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Re: Western: Other trails

Postby lampenj » September 6th, 2013, 11:58 am

It is a clearly marked loop that does not utilize all of the trail sections. I didn't read close enough to see if the other trails that aren't on the loop are explicitly off limits, but I'm willing to bet money that they are. The parking lot trail map has been updated, so you can look at that for a summary (the website trail map was not updated as of a day or so ago). The loop begins at the Southeast corner of the parking lot and is marked with 4 ft plastic slats with mountain biker pictures on the top (they're used other places as well).

I had developed a loop that never crossed over itself, never used the same section twice, and was just under 6 miles long as well. The trail is within biking distance of my house, so I plan on spending just as much time out there as before, I just will miss some of the sections not in the loop anymore.
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Re: Western: Other trails

Postby bikerector » September 6th, 2013, 12:27 pm

lampenj wrote:I had developed a loop that never crossed over itself, never used the same section twice, and was just under 6 miles long as well. The trail is within biking distance of my house, so I plan on spending just as much time out there as before, I just will miss some of the sections not in the loop anymore.


This is why I'm especially curious, I've been able to add some of the less traveled parts of the rout e to make it more challenging and add a little variety. I use it pretty frequently for CX training. I about stopped in yesterday since I rode by the area. I'll have to check out the situation, hopefully it will still be good for my use, depends on what route they "force" me to take.

Adding a ride direction would be a good idea though, that's something that has caused some surprises in the past.
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Re: Western: Other trails

Postby lampenj » September 10th, 2013, 8:09 am

Here's a video of the new complete loop. I grabbed it at dusk, so there's a few dark spots but not bad: http://youtu.be/Q_HjcxncozA
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Re: Western: Other trails

Postby spartan_msu » September 10th, 2013, 9:42 am

Thanks for the video, how much (%) do you think is sandy? Is it marked well enough that you can ride it correctly the first time? I recognize a lot of the trail, but not all of it.
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Re: Western: Other trails

Postby lampenj » September 10th, 2013, 3:18 pm

It's definitely marked well once you're out there. There are many forks in the trail but there's always a marker with the little mountain biker obviously placed on the fork you need to take. There are also several markers with direction arrows on it helping you anticipate turns. I would say that approximately 15% of it is sandy right now. This sand usually becomes less of an issue after damp and/or cold weather. I haven't read the rules recently to see if they've changed, but in the past the trail has only been closed when there's snow (or obviously mud but that's a VERY rare occasion) as it's used for cross country skiing then.
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Re: Western: Other trails

Postby bikerector » September 10th, 2013, 4:15 pm

Looks like they made a lot of changes. I'll be out there tomorrow for some "hot" CX laps so I guess I'll see what they're done. It looks like they may have taken out some of the more fun sections, though maybe they can be added in by detouring from the main trail assuming that is "allowed".

Any separation between walkers/runners and bike routes or does it appear like they're just trying to give it direction. I know quite a few people that visit it for the first time get lost and turned back on themselves pretty easy. I wonder if they just ball-parked what seemed like a good choice of the spiderweb system or did they consult anyone for "the best" routes?

One reason I like the trail was the ability to choose different sections to ride, the area just isn't big enough to get much variation using just one loop like bigger trails are. Maybe they just wanted it to be really, really beginner level? The sand is the only "difficult part" usually.
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Re: Western: Other trails

Postby bikerector » September 12th, 2013, 6:42 am

I was skeptical thinking they would have "ruined" the trail experience I was used to at Riley Trails but they did a pretty solid job at maximizing the area to get a longer lap in. I think there's a lot of loose stuff there and Not how I would have set it up (mostly would have run it in reverse on the West loop) but it's a pretty good compromise to include most of the features of the trail that are fun, and there's not a lot since it's such a small area.

I was able to clear all but two section on my cross bike so I would expect a mtb would handle the sand a lot better and you could ride all of it.

I think how some of the trail was blocked is odd but hopefully over time it will look more "natural" as things decay and it becomes part of the landscape. I think giving it a direction will help a lot with preventing the unexpected meetings with mtb'er traveling in opposite directions. It should really help those that haven't ridden the trails before.
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