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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Based on the number of folks we have seen riding KT every weekend I know someone on here besides ourselves have been hit up for the KT Parking “Fee” at the Inn at Mountain View, I figured I would see if other people are thinking along the same lines as we are.

I like what the Inn does from an animal sanctuary and obviously appreciate them as a landowner involved in KT, however the now weekly/daily fee for parking up there kind of surprised the folks we have talked to. Not that $5 is a ton or anything, however we ride every weekend twice a weekend and prefer to park on Darling Hill so we can ride both sides and climb back up the hill at the end, it just is our preferred starting point most times. So busting out close to $200 for the season to park anywhere in the NEK is a little nutty to me and frankly I rarely carry cash.

I spoke quickly to the landowner on the way out and made the polite suggestion that he may consider a season pass type of fee for $50-75 or something like that for folks that ride a ton up there and keep the daily $5 fee as well for the once a season type of folks.

Obviously the easy suggestion and response is “park in town at the overflow”……yeah no chit, but that means the guy doesn’t get even a little coin to help the animal sanctuary out and they have been good to us for years, so……….

What are others thoughts on the season pass/fee?
 

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I talked to the guy about it myself and it is just a "suggested" donation. He said if youre up there all the time then give some money when youve got it and dont worry about it when you dont. Right now I am at about 50% paid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
snowdrifter said:
Just ride up the hill, problem solved.
Dude, as I said, it isn't about just riding up the hill............we prefer to ride up the hill to the car at the end of the ride.........it's personal preference.

I don't know wbout you guys but with a "suggested" donation, I feel like I should always help the guy out with some coin. So I would feel guilty rolling out of there without giving something.......
 

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River19 said:
I don't know wbout you guys but with a "suggested" donation, I feel like I should always help the guy out with some coin. So I would feel guilty rolling out of there without giving something.......
Next time you park up there hand in a fifty dollar bill for your "season's pass". Problem solved.
 

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River19 said:
Dude, as I said, it isn't about just riding up the hill............we prefer to ride up the hill to the car at the end of the ride.........it's personal preference.

QUOTE]

It's a $5 personal preference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
snowdrifter said:
River19 said:
Dude, as I said, it isn't about just riding up the hill............we prefer to ride up the hill to the car at the end of the ride.........it's personal preference.

QUOTE]

It's a $5 personal preference.
Cool, I guess that is your choice then, park in town and avoid the $5 donation/fee etc.

I was thinking more people would possibly support a season pass structure for the guy, but hey to each his own.
 

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Is this the grass parking lot at the top of the hill? As of two months ago it was free, just like the last 7 years I have been parking there.

Or are we talking about the actual paved parking lot for the Inn's visitors?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
yarsec said:
Is this the grass parking lot at the top of the hill? As of two months ago it was free, just like the last 7 years I have been parking there.

Or are we talking about the actual paved parking lot for the Inn's visitors?
Yes the grass one we have all been using for the better part of a decade. It belongs to the Inn and as of July 4th weekend there has been a nice guy or group sitting at the entrance asking for the suggested $5 fee in a yellow envelope. This has nothing to do directly with KT from what I can tell, it is the landowner asking for a donation to the sanctuary in return for using the parking lot.

The actual Inn parking lot is separate.

Frankly, my personal opinion is that with the current approach will eventually result in less people using the parking lot at the top/ridge of Darling Hill, which in all honesty doesn't do anyone any good as the riders like to ride from there and the owner would like some donations for the animal sanctuary. Less people in the lot means neither party gets what they want. Sure it is only $5, for the twice a year folks but for folks that use that lot on 40-50 days per year, that crap adds up.

So I was thinking that an option for the folks that are up there on a regular basis would be to offer a season pass/donation level that would allow free passage as well as get the guy some coin.

But hey if I'm way off base, I'll go back in my hole and everyone can just remember to bring 5-10 clams up, no skin off my back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Toddski said:
Do the animals like Cliff Bars?
I believe they prefer cliff blocks and Sport Legs..........just remember they need twice the dosage, with twice the legs and all..........
 

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Do you get a free tour to see these animals with you donation or is that extra? If it is just suggested then I think you pay what you want. As noted $5 is just a suggestion. If you are up there every weekend and throw the guy a $20 one day you should be set for the season. Hell next thing you know the big church near old webs will be asking for $5 every time you want to go take a look at it...weekend at Burke will cost you $50 for riding, parking and sight seeing...not including food and a place to stay.
 

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Almost every time I go by this lot it has a huge number of cars and hordes of people. Maybe the suggested fee is an attempt to cut down on the crowd there as much as it is to support the sanctuary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm guessin the tour is free.....they just want some love.......

As for the huge crowds, have you seen where the bulk of the license plates are from? From what I understand some of the folks from the most common locale fail to even pay for the trail pass which is just plain wrong and pathetic. I'm sure the $5 fee will drive some of them back into town to park.

It isn't like there is anything wrong with parking in town, they always have the overflow lot open.
 

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I guess I am more disappointed with KT and their hands off approach sometimes. The utter lack of facilities is appalling.

Six or seven years ago was not a big deal, but now on a busy weekend with literally 1,000 people there mountain biking they really need to cover the basics (toilets, changing area, parking, etc). One or two porta-potties, and those two pathetic changing closets don't really cut it for the crowds they draw.

I don't think just parking in town is the answer, it discourages use from less strong riders and concentrates impact.

Believe me I love KT, I have been riding there for years and years, and I have nothing against the land owner asking for donations. I just believe the board of KT needs to take action to better manage the crowds their great trails draw.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That’s an interesting discussion……….about the facilities.

I think most locals would prefer to keep the impact minimal and the lack of formal facilities fits with the NEK vibe.

From what I can tell, most people that ride KT are staying somewhere in the area, and most change at the place they are staying, of course post-ride is another story. I can’t imagine any river destinations in the area that people frequently kayak have formal facilities to change either. It isn’t like Millstone etc. has any facilities. Sure some ski areas do, but that is because they use the existing ski infrastructure while mountain biking. Perhaps with the lift service opening etc. on Burke they will have some of the lodge facilities open.

I think the KT staff does a great job doing what they do best, working with landowners to get access and building great trails. This year they added (or increased the visibility to) bike patrols to enforce the few rules they have.

Frankly, people in general there think they can do whatever they want without regard to any rules or guidelines, we see huge groups clogging trails every weekend, dogs on trails, groups with dogs, groups that think “single file” up Darling Hill is way too complicated to comply with etc. I think the KT staff is doing all it can, let’s be clear, it isn’t like they charge a heck of a lot, so it isn’t like they can afford a staff of 50 people.
 

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I think better bathrooms and changing areas would go a long way. I don't think KT officials are lacking other rule enforcement efforts, they do a fine job with that.

Comparing it to local hiking or kayaking is not even in the same universe. The volume of people at KT is 100x times a local trail head or put-in. To properly manage this volume they need facilities. Where do they think all those riders are going to the bathroom? In the woods, surely not something good for private landowners and the environment.
 
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