My apologies for not doing more updates. I keep thinking: once this next thing happens, it will be a good time to post. And then six months go by with me saying that to myself and not posting.
One of the two hiking-only loops is mostly complete and signed. It’s Segments 32 and 33 on the Master Plan map and signed as Kinard’s North and South. It is not on the kiosk or trail map quite yet. You’ll use Lonely Hunter to connect the two. It begins at Palmetto Crossing, and it’s probably about a 3.5 mile hike or run from there.
For the duration of hunting season, you will be able to park at the clearing just to north of Palmetto Crossing. In the midterm, we are working on getting a small gravel lot in that clearing (the “hiking trailhead”) and moving the gate back to just beyond the new parking area. Hopefully that will get done in the first or second quarter of 2023.
Construction on the second hiking-only loop will begin in late February. It will be located on the ridge to the north of Bimini North.
As you will see if you hike Kinard’s, we are going to need some volunteer labor to fully finish some sections of that trail. The Southeaster Conservation Corps did a great job, but we weren’t able to get everything fully finished in the time we had allotted. Stay tuned for workdays over the coming few months as the ground softens.
Multi-Use and Gravity
Valerie Naylor is here finishing Hissy Fit and building segment 20. Pinnacle Trail Design and Construction will start on Segment 26 on November 28th. We are hopeful all of those segments will be completed by the end of the year. But be warned that opening new trails right before winter can be tough, and they may be closed more than the other trails until spring.
We are working on contracts for Segments 19 and 21 and some more jumps near the trailhead (including a green jump line) for the spring. We’ll provide updates on those once we nail them down.
We’re also finally going to get that corner on Bimini West opened up and do a few other fixes and tweaks.
Gravity Trail Closures*
As we move into winter, please be sure to respect the closure of the Gravity Trails even when other trails are open. It is important to keep them in good condition. If you see others riding them when they are closed, please nicely explain that they are closed and why.
A couple of other notes:
- We are trying to spread out responsibilities and flubbed the opening of the Gravity Trails a couple of Sundays ago. Sorry.
- Those signs and chains at the top are intended for January and February when the gravity trails may be closed for weeks at a time, and we may even blow a bunch of leaves onto them and close them down until early March – especially Swavey’s. Please let us be the ones to put them up.
Website and Future Updates
We are working on a significant website update and have set up a Constant Contact account. Very soon, you’ll be able to sign up for text and email alerts about trail closures and opening, group hikes/runs/rides, trail workdays, news alerts, and more. That will be critical to creating more community and getting more volunteer involvement, because social media has become fairly ineffective for a few reasons.
Our long-term management plan is slated for final approval in early December and I’ll do a big post on that when it happens. We (especially me) are hopeful that we will at least begin the search for a (paid) executive director in 2023. More details coming soon!
Thanks for your support and hope to see you on the trails!