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Should trails be leaf blown?

  • Blow those leaves off

    Votes: 11 17.2%
  • let them lay

    Votes: 35 54.7%
  • depending on trail(explain in comments)

    Votes: 18 28.1%
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· Banned
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With fall here and trails experiencing leaves fallings, and being covered. Should trails maintainers let them lay? or should they be removed at all cost? or the answer somewhere in between?

Why do you like trails that not leave blown? or why do you like trails that are blown back down to dirt?
 

· psycho cyclo addict
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It leaves the leaves on the trail so they can look cool in a heavy frost and accumulate snow faster :)
 

· Registered
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I did a complete 180 on this issue after I saw what years of blowing did to one of our local trail systems. Before I go any further, let me say that there probably isn't a blanket answer to this question. It depends on the type of trail and the soil. The trail I'm referring to is an old-school rake-and-ride trail in an old-growth hardwood forest. After 10 years of blowing the trails multiple times a year, the mineral layer was blow away leaving thousands of roots sitting above the soil. The trail became almost unbearable, even on a 130 travel 29er. I joined the volunteer group that is trying to salvage the trails and we instituted a strict no-blow policy. It's only been a year, but you can already tell a difference. I love the trails after all of the leaves have fallen and there's this line of pulverized leaves from the traffic.

Now, if the trails are machine-cut, built on IMBA standards, sure, I don't see the harm in it unless it's (again) done habitually.
 

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In my area the trails are all clay based, so leaf removal helps them dry faster. That said, there are too many trails to blow in some trail systems so the most that usually gets done is a foot-clearing of drainage areas to keep them open. In rockier regions or places where the dirt can handle wet riding, other than just making the trail easier to see and a bit less slidey, time is likely better spent doing other types of maintenance.
 

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I like when leaves litter the trail. Changes characteristics (visually and technically) to add change to frequented trails. Although, it does make it harder to spot copperheads on the trail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Depends on the trail. Most trails I ride I'm not worried about leaf cover. I usually have a knobby enough tire on the front to not worry about it. But there are a few trails where blowing is needed due to how the lines are on the trail.
can you explain more in-depth on how the lines affect leaf blowing or not?
 

· Never trust a fart
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can you explain more in-depth on how the lines affect leaf blowing or not?
My hometown trails I'm not worried about leaf cover except for a couple of spots where the trail is off camber, rooty and on a sharp right hand turn. Thats where I like leaf cover to be blow there. And there is a place where I love to go called Raystown. It's part of the Allegripis rage near State College,PA. Most of the trails are fine when it comes to leaves, but the lower portion of the trails are more natural with some gravel mixed it. A little sketchy when it's mid fall in this area. Leaf cover just makes the lines harder to see when moving at a faster clip for me. Like I said, not too often, just a few select spots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
My hometown trails I'm not worried about leaf cover except for a couple of spots where the trail is off camber, rooty and on a sharp right hand turn. Thats where I like leaf cover to be blow there. And there is a place where I love to go called Raystown. It's part of the Allegripis rage near State College,PA. Most of the trails are fine when it comes to leaves, but the lower portion of the trails are more natural with some gravel mixed it. A little sketchy when it's mid fall in this area. Leaf cover just makes the lines harder to see when moving at a faster clip for me. Like I said, not too often, just a few select spots.
I have rode Raystown(I am from pittsburgh), and honestly that is one place where I wish they would leave the leaves, and its get so dusty and blown out.
 

· Never trust a fart
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I have rode Raystown(I am from pittsburgh), and honestly that is one place where I wish they would leave the leaves, and its get so dusty and blown out.
I agree for the most part and it's fine to have leaf cover. But the lower section, Sidewinder, heading down to hydro, is where leaf cover can be a little sketchy. Same for up near the camp sites when doing the far western stand along loop (I forget what it's called).

To be honest, I'd like to get back out there again and go ride all day.
 

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can you explain more in-depth on how the lines affect leaf blowing or not?
I know you were asking frdfandc, but for me, although I like to leave leaves on the trail, there are some trails I ride that are made up of non stop rock gardens. Those trails do require a clear view of line choice to avoid significant consequences. I wait for leaves to naturally dissipate on those trails. Sooo... leaves don't affect the lines, per say, they affect the ability of seeing the lines.
 
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