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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i just got back from riding at Ninham this am. We were finishing off on Deer's Ear when we camew upon some 8foot tall netting . It closes off the trail about an acre in size. Has anyone gotten a heads up on this?:confused: :confused:
 

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Dear Ear = #7?

Dear Ear: This is the trail from the far end of the carriage road that's marked with a #7 at the enterance, right? I know the equestrian club has marked some of these trails with these numbers and that the NYC water dept. was pretty active in marking their property up but I thought much of this trail rested squarely on state land? What's the beef? There's usually a ranger in the station there, I'm sure they'd have some answers.

I've been itching like crazy to get a ride in over there since it used to be home turf up until a little over a year ago. This trail, Deer's Ear/7 was always the best way I could think of ending any ride there, it would really STINK if this was being cordoned off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
deer ear closed?

Where is the ranger station of which you speak? i want to find out what's going on. It would be such a looss to lose deer ear and even greater to lose other parts also.
 

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I am pretty sure that it is on private property of the equestrian club. Also there are tons of trails on the DEP land that are not legal either.

Tom
 

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You're right Tom, they do own a good deal of land that most people ride back there, however, there must have been some sort of extreme issue that drove them to put that fence up. The way I remember it from a couple years back, there was a collaborative effort betw. the club and local bikers who'd work on trail maintenance and so long as no one acted obnoxiously when they saw a horse or did something nasty to one of the trails there wasn't any problem.
 

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scblt said:
Where is the ranger station of which you speak? i want to find out what's going on. It would be such a loss to lose deer ear and even greater to lose other parts also.
The ranger station is up from the parking lot, past the yellow gate and on the left as you head into the woods. Big wood sided "cabin"...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Rangers and closed land

Do you know when the ranger station is manned? Also, If Deer Ear is such an issue why did they not close it at the entrance off the carriage road?\
 

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It's not just Deer Ear that is closed,DEP is closing down all trails that run through watershed property apparently. No one should be going around any fences or bushwacking to get around any obstruction put up to close the trails.You will get ticketed and have a court appearance.And you'll just get them more pissed off.
Unfortunatly most trails on the East side run through either private property or watershed land at some point, Some major rerouting needs to be done but not before they all figure out where the property lines are and come to some kind of resolution.The main problem is there has been no supervision of trail building-it's all been a huge free for all for years with no regard for property lines and no real co-operation with DEC or the Parks Dept. Hopefully in the near future this will all get resolved and we can all enjoy these trails again soon.
 

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In the meantime, riding on the firetower side of Ninham is legal, as none of those trails cross into DEP (NYC Watershed) land.

As for the private property that Deer Ear crosses, the explanation I heard was that some of the property was sold, and the new owners were not happy about the bike trails crossing their land. Hence the fence. Respect it, or we could have problems with the DEC (NY State) land that's still legal to ride.

There will not be fences blocking off the DEP land from the DEC land, as hiking is legal on the DEP land with a permit. So heed the no trespassing signs. Failure to do so could result in a ticket, and apparently they have the legal right to impound your bike until your court date, so if they do stop you, it pays to be nice.

Unfortunately, the issue with trails on DEP land is not one that is going to be quickly resolved, as the DEP's policy on all the land it manages is to exclude biking. They've ticketed sporadically for the last few years, but apparently have grown more active about enforcement thanks to the increased presence of ATV's. Some of us are working on ways to change that DEP policy, but it will likely take a couple years of lobbying...
 

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I am a Land Surveyor and I'm hoping to have the boundary info worked up next week, I just have to get to the Putnam County Clerks office to get the maps I need. From there we can load the coords into a handheld GPS and markout some of the lines at about 30-40' accuracy (not bad considering we are only using tax maps and handheld GPS). In the winter I could use the GPS we have here at work which will get us down to about 10-20' only because we are using tax maps instead of doing a full boundary survey (our GPS is centimeter accurate).

I do know that the Gypsy Trail Club (the private owner) is not happy. We are doing some work of them in the area (not a full boundary survey though...) and they have told me that they are pretty ticked off and have sent letters to the DEC.

Trail access at Ninham is hanging on by a thread right now so I would certinly stay off the DEP and private land.

Tom
 

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Bikers need to be counted and one way is to pay $25 annual dues to IMBA. http://www.imba.comTheyre not the be all end all saviors, but they're working for trails all over. Or form a local club. Pitch in somehow with sweat and or $. Just up the road at Fahnestock notice how the NY/NJ trail conference was able to come in 6 years ago and put up the "closed to bikes" signs on singletrack. While unfair to off road cyclists and exclusionary with no basis, they're representative of an organized group with clout.
 

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Agreed...support IMBA and your local mountain bike club.

Whoever is doing trail maintenance in there needs to step up and contact the DEC and identify themselves as a responsible user group. Then establish yourselves as a partner with DEC to help conserve and protect the land.

Our club has had a positive relationship with the DEC in our area for over 12 years. We currently maintain over 35 miles of trails within DEC managed lands.

JB and I have already discussed a plan and would love to hear from people with first hand knowledge of the area. I'll offer whatever help I can...I haven't ridden there yet and would like to be able to.

The DEP is another story and will take time to get access since there is no precedence for bike use. Being that you have to deal with two different land managers makes it all the more difficult.

PS We have run into the problem where a new owner of land would fence off the trails for fear of liability if someone hurts themselves on their land. It's just that they are not familiar with the NY State Recreational Statute or General Obligations law that states (simplified version) that a land owner will not be held liable if someone hurts themselves while participating in certain sports such as mountain biking, hunting, hiking etc. Most of the catskills for instance is private land but your allowed to hike and hunt etc.

Later,

Michael Vitti
CLIMB President
IMBA NY Rep
NY State Trails Council Delegate
 
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