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Rode Fletcher Creek yesterday and right near the very bottom where it shoots you back to the road we came across a group of horse riders who were going along and clipping low hanging branches and leaving them in the trail. Until we caught up and realized what they were doing we were wondering out loud why there were suddenly so many downed branches on that part of the trail when Spencer and upper fletcher had been so clean.

They looked like they might be sort of official, lots of gear, blaze orange, a few hard hats, etc. I certainly appreciate anyone who wants to do a little trail cleanup while they’re out, but leaving a bunch of small to medium sized branches in the middle of the trail could be a pretty serious crash for a biker on that part of Fletcher where you can get going pretty fast. My buddy took the sharp end of one of them to a shin that left him with a decent sized scrape.

Just wondering if anyone knows whether this might be a sanctioned trail work group or not, and if so would it be worth contacting the FS and asking that they have their trail work groups throw the branches they’re cutting into the woods rather than just leaving them on the trail as they go?
 

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The Backcountry Horsemen of Pisgah often do sanctioned trail work in PNF. I bet this was them, and they probably cleaned up what they cut after. You can still call the USFS office, because if that was the case, there will be no issues, but if not, the USFS should know about it.

They've been doing a lot of work lately, especially clearing downed trees in the lower Turkeypen Gap area.
 

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They did not clean it up. I was out there yesterday, too (saw them riding down the gravel road on their way out), and all the lower trails had a LOT of clippings just laying in the trail. Mostly nothing big. Just small, annoying stuff.
 

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I saw some on Lower Trace doing same. Was surprised to see them - can that little bench cut trail sustain horse traffic? Also suffered through what is the total destruction of the Big Creek runout due to horse traffic...sad.
 

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I saw some on Lower Trace doing same. Was surprised to see them - can that little bench cut trail sustain horse traffic? Also suffered through what is the total destruction of the Big Creek runout due to horse traffic...sad.
There are a couple segments of the lower trails that prohibit horses, but they go there all the same. Take the very bottom of Spencer right by the reservoir for example. I've seen horse tracks and feces on the flowy, rerouted portion of Spencer, too, where they're supposedly prohibited.

For that matter, I know there's some bike traffic on trails where they're prohibited, too. And all sorts of trails that aren't supposed to be there in the first place that get traffic from everybody.
 
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