The trails are in great shape and I hope everyone has been enjoying them frequently. I was especially pleased with how quickly the trails dried out after the heavy rains we had a few weeks back. All the work we did over the winter allowed us to open the trails sooner and not have lots of soft, muddy areas. Thanks again to everyone who helped out over the winter.
IMBA’s Trail Solutions has been building the blue gravity trail. It will be a bike-optimized, bike-only, one-way trail like The Bug. It’s looking really, really good. It should be completed and open in late June. Until then, please help us by continuing to stay off.
FlowMotion out of Anniston is building the green trails and is currently working on turning Primary Goods into a loop. It’s looking great as well. Preston and crew did an especially good job of dealing with a tricky creek crossing. Again, please help us by staying off until we can open it.
As soon as Primary Goods is a loop, we’ll start running Primary Goods and Bimini directionally. To clear up any confusion, right now the only trail that’s directional is Lonely Hunter. Eventually, there will be an inner blue XC, shared-use loop that follows the ridge and forms a horseshoe around the lake. Once this is completed, the current plan is to have Primary Goods, Bimini, and the inner blue XC loop be directional. Everything else (other than the gravity trails) will be whichever way you want to hike, run, or ride it. The theory here is that making the most heavily used trails directional will give everyone a better user experience.
I’ve got a draft master plan map in my inbox on which I need to get back with Trail Solutions. We should have our revised master plan soon. Environmental surveys on all the new trail we flagged are ongoing. Hopefully by this fall we will have a fully-revised master plan for 35 miles and clearance on almost all of the trail corridors.
We will hopefully get started in the coming weeks, depending on contractor availability (which is tough right now given the season and the amount of construction going on). Many thanks to Jack Hughston for lots of help on this. The new lot will add 70 spaces and solve our parking problem.
Once we have all that parking, we’ll start having group hikes, runs, and rides. Right now we can’t concentrate a lot of users to a specific time (especially on weekend mornings) or we run the risk of running out of parking. (I have, however, encouraged the bike shops to start having some weeknight beginner rides to help people that are new to riding)
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
We still need about $20,000 to complete Bimini. If you have not given, please do so. If you have given, please consider giving again. You can use the Donate page on the website or give via Facebook. We need everyone who is using the trails to contribute.
After storms, please take the time to stop and remove some downed branches. If everyone will move a few, then they’ll all get cleared quick.
We also need help with keeping the trail corridor clear. If people would hike, run, or ride with a small pair of clippers and/or a small folding saw in their pack and take the time to stop and cut back a few branches growing into the trails, we’d get this taken care of quick. If you do this, make sure to cut them back all the way to the tree. (Pro Tip: if you are are a rider and have younger kids, this is really easy to do on the green trails when you’re taking your kids to ride. You can stop, cut, and catch back up quick).
Finally, please help keep the parking lot free of trash. I’ve got a roll of small trash bags in my car and try to pick up anything I see in the lot from time to time. Please consider doing the same. The cleaner we keep it, the less tempted people will be to leave trash.
All of these maintenance activities are great ways to contribute for people who have physical limitations that prevent them from helping with rock armoring and some of the other more physical maintenance activities or work weekends and cannot attend the workdays.
Thanks for everyone’s help making the trails a success!