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sunnyside up
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So, it looks like the new Napa Parks and Open Space District is interested in doing some maintenance on the Oat Hill Mine Trail. I know a bunch of you folks in the area are really passionate about it, and might have some opinions on what is needed. So, what are your thoughts? If we brought a bunch of people out to work on the trail, what would you have them do? It's a multi-use trail and they are planning on putting in a staging area at the bottom which is going to increase usage. Any thoughts on helping prevent user conflicts?

Patty
 

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Coors, the american beer.
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where are they gonna put the staging area? Cause from what i understand the trail starts in someones private driveway .... so i usually parked across intersection.

Basically the trail needs SERIOUS work in a couple of key sections, there are spots where it has washed down the hill .... so either they are gonna need to cut more into the hillside .... or somehow build back up what slid down the hill.

User conflicts do not happen often, i think the same rules apply that always apply .... but i do think we should NOT allow equestrians on this very technical narrow trail because there is no place for people to pass. As of right now i dont think the horses ride here, but once word gets out that the trail is here i garuntee more horses might come out.
 

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Feeling a little taller
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knobbyknees said:
So, it looks like the new Napa Parks and Open Space District is interested in doing some maintenance on the Oat Hill Mine Trail. I know a bunch of you folks in the area are really passionate about it, and might have some opinions on what is needed. So, what are your thoughts? If we brought a bunch of people out to work on the trail, what would you have them do? It's a multi-use trail and they are planning on putting in a staging area at the bottom which is going to increase usage. Any thoughts on helping prevent user conflicts?

Patty
Only rode it 1x on New Years Day. There was alot of foot traffic but no conflict.

Also, I did not see anything that required maintenance in regard to the trailbed. The technical rock faces are the reason that people ride there. To challenge themselves against nature.

Perhaps the bushes could be trimmed back in certain places to keep from tearing your arms up.
 

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Hey Patty!

The only thing I can think of (like Dan'ger) would be to trim back some of the bushes along the trail. I'm not sure what Melt is talking about in terms of the trail sliding out. I haven't really noticed anything of that nature, but I haven't ridden there in a few months.

A staging area would be cool. There aren't really many user conflicts. In my experience, hikers have been really friendly towards bikes and vice versa.

Let me know when this trail work will be happening. I'd love to help out if I could.

-Matt
 

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I second the motion to trim the manzanita. Most of my scars are from those damn plants!

Also I would put somes signs at the top. First time I went there I kept on going and ended up not having much fun as a result.

I hear a lot of people talking about side trails in reference to Oathill, but I have never seen what they are talking about. If these are legal, could you also make big signs for them as well with mileage? Maybe a big map at the trailhead?
 

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The first trail maintenance day should address the erosion in a few key places. The first area is at the very beginning of the trail, just after the gate, always gets worse and worse every year with ruts. It is also right along the edge of the hillside.

Another spot is about 2 miles up the trail, a sinkhole/mini-landslide has taken out a 3' section of the trail on the downward side. You can currently eek by on the high side of the trail, but this should be resolved before this section of trail is completely gone.

The side trails are not official, and should not be maintained or recognized until the main trail is completed.

I agree, another issue is overgrowth. There are two sections in particular; one a few miles up before "Bald Hill", and another section just after Bald Hill. What about controlling the growth of Poison Oak?

I would like someone to survey the trail beyond the "camp" Are these trails going to be part of Oat Hill? Can we get a map of them?

What I DON'T want to see happen is the sanitizing of the trail's natrual technical challenges. Yes, much of the trail is very rough and technical, and rather difficult on bike or for a hiker. But it is this unique aspect that makes the trail what it is, and enjoyable for our use.

What about an official parking area? I'd like to see cross-walks at that intersection too.

When are you doing trail work? Can I come out and help?

You can have your soapbox back now!

-Brad
 

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Too Much Fun
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Leave ALL the natural tech!

Octane said:
What I DON'T want to see happen is the sanitizing of the trail's natrual technical challenges. Yes, much of the trail is very rough and technical, and rather difficult on bike or for a hiker. But it is this unique aspect that makes the trail what it is, and enjoyable for our use.
Agreed. Thats the essence of Oat Hill. Its all hike-able so I don't see why any of it should be altered.

Also agreed on trimmed the plants where it starts to sort of tunnel in around the trail. I've had a couple of close calls where I got snagged on branches while heading down. Sketchy.
 

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Octane said:
The first trail maintenance day should address the erosion in a few key places. The first area is at the very beginning of the trail, just after the gate, always gets worse and worse every year with ruts. It is also right along the edge of the hillside.
I agree. I had completely forgotten about those eroded sections. I also seem to remember one part of the trail, very, very close to the beginning where there is a low tree, with a hole on the downhill side, through a fence. I'm not sure what could be done about it, but I have seen people fall off right there.
 

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sunnyside up
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the feedback

Octane said:
When are you doing trail work? Can I come out and help?
I'm meeting with John Woodbury tomorrow with a few others from the VOCal planning team http://www.v-o-cal.org . I'm interested in hearing from John on what he thinks the needs are for that trail. I suspect he may have similar thoughts to all yours but we will see.

I'm sure you can help, and I will let you know if we set a date for the project. I will be holding a crew leader training class up in the Napa/Sonoma area this spring, so hopefully you can attend that and get on board during the planning phase.

Later this week, I'll post info on what I learn at our meeting.

Patty
 

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matt said:
I agree. I had completely forgotten about those eroded sections. I also seem to remember one part of the trail, very, very close to the beginning where there is a low tree, with a hole on the downhill side, through a fence. I'm not sure what could be done about it, but I have seen people fall off right there.
Me too. A couple of spots within 1/2 mile of the trailhead that have slumped/eroded. They're fenced off now but who knows how long that will last. It will probably take some significant amount of work to fix.
 

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Keep Oat wild!

The best improvement would be to build a nice, smooth, baby stroller-, hiker-, horsey-friendly trail on the other side of the valley and call it Oat Hill.

Seriously, Oat is one of NorCal's last great riding areas, IMO. It should be left sketchy, eroded, and tech. The hard-core's who've made it their playground for years know what maintenance needs to be done, and tend to it when necessary. In my experience, organized 'maintenance' turns into 'sanitize' all too easily. Seeing Oat get dumbed-down would be a crime; likewise, added exposure to the unwashed masses puts the hidden treasure of Oat's backcountry at serious risk.

Call me a crumudgeon (I've been called worse), but I'm not hip to this whole 'improvement' thing, at least not in this particular case. Oat should remain untamed, and intimate knowledge of it should be earned. No trailhead, no kiosks, no his & hers handicap accessible faux wood shiitehouses.

Focker out.
 

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Sheers

Eric. said:
The best improvement would be to build a nice, smooth, baby stroller-, hiker-, horsey-friendly trail on the other side of the valley and call it Oat Hill.

Seriously, Oat is one of NorCal's last great riding areas, IMO. It should be left sketchy, eroded, and tech. The hard-core's who've made it their playground for years know what maintenance needs to be done, and tend to it when necessary. In my experience, organized 'maintenance' turns into 'sanitize' all too easily. Seeing Oat get dumbed-down would be a crime; likewise, added exposure to the unwashed masses puts the hidden treasure of Oat's backcountry at serious risk.

Call me a crumudgeon (I've been called worse), but I'm not hip to this whole 'improvement' thing, at least not in this particular case. Oat should remain untamed, and intimate knowledge of it should be earned. No trailhead, no kiosks, no his & hers handicap accessible faux wood shiitehouses.

Focker out.
I totally agree with Eric here. Trim some brush back were it may be needed at best. There is no need for a McCloud, a Madick or a Pick axe any were on this trail. The water has been draining naturally for many years. There is absolute no need to alter it now.

I need to be scared once in a while.

You need to earne the right to find and ride this trail. When your number is up you will get called to the stage.

I would take the energy that is in this post and the power of this board and go to another trail that really needs some work done to it elsewhere. Leave Oat Hill, Oat Hill.

I would still come tho:)
 

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Mixed blessing.

I dread the idea of more trails users/ publicity of this trail and in particular "maintanance" where it becomes sanitizing. True, there are a couple of erosion areas that could be addressed and then just leave the trail alone... Howabout building some trails at Boothe State Park?

Trim the manzanita? come on guys... if you can't handle a few scratches, take up golf!

Of course as this trail becomes an official trail... the secret sauce will become known and closed, the jumps levelled and the horsies will come.

I'm glad Oat Hill has been "saved" and that the open space district is planning on opening up Wild Lake, but I dread the consequences.
 

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velocipus said:
Trim the manzanita? come on guys... if you can't handle a few scratches, take up golf!

Of course as this trail becomes an official trail... the secret sauce will become known and closed, the jumps levelled and the horsies will come.

I'm glad Oat Hill has been "saved" and that the open space district is planning on opening up Wild Lake, but I dread the consequences.
Dude, when you are going like 30 MPH and get snagged on a bush.. You will end up with more than a few scratches.:nono:

I don't think much should be done to Oat Hill besides that. I can't think of anyway to fix the erosion issues without a ton of work.
 

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word.

the truth has been spoken here:

Perhaps some work can be done to the trail near its very beginning, where dirt portions of trail have washed out. But 99% of Oat Hill mining road needs zero application of pick, mccloud, shovel, etc. If you've been there in the rain and watched the water flow down the rock surface like a river, you know this truth. You know this trail is solid rock and a rock solid technical joy. Leave it alone and it will continue to rock.

Jim of imba has organized some trailwork up there (burley f*er, pulling a trailer with a gas powered trimmer up Oat!). He knew what maintenance Oat needs: a rare trimming back of overgrowth. That is all.
 

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agreed. oat hill's charm is its near-unrideability. there are plenty of short, steep, featureless fireroads to ride, but oat hill's terra makes it unique. it doesn't offer something for every skill level of rider, but rather serves up one heaping plateful of technical challenges from bottom to top. to attempt to change that would be against the very nature of the trail. so please, tread lightly with the pulaski. decades of neglect is what turned oat hill from a (semi) navigable road into the gem it is today, after all.
 

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One more for leaving it alone

ahb said:
agreed. oat hill's charm is its near-unrideability. there are plenty of short, steep, featureless fireroads to ride, but oat hill's terra makes it unique. it doesn't offer something for every skill level of rider, but rather serves up one heaping plateful of technical challenges from bottom to top. to attempt to change that would be against the very nature of the trail. so please, tread lightly with the pulaski. decades of neglect is what turned oat hill from a (semi) navigable road into the gem it is today, after all.
Agree, too. It's fine. Please just let it be.
 

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I'm also going to have to put in my two cents for pretty much leaving it as it is. I've been riding there for 20 years and it remains one of my very favorite technical challenges. Yes, I have also gotten my share of poison oak and scratches from the brush, so a bit of trimming along side would be nice. But please, no sanitizing its best qualities.:nono:
 

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matt said:
Dude, when you are going like 30 MPH and get snagged on a bush.. You will end up with more than a few scratches.:nono:

I don't think much should be done to Oat Hill besides that. I can't think of anyway to fix the erosion issues without a ton of work.
If you can handle 30mph on Oathill, you can handle more than a few scratches!
I feel sorry for any sight-seeing families that get in your way :rolleyes:
 
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