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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

my wife did the Round Valley loop yesterday and reported a tragic sight: the single-track at the beginning of the Cushetunk trail (the nine-mile trail that partially circles the reservoir) has been bulldozerized and there are apparently plans to lay gravel on it.

The portions affected are from the very beginning up until the first service road crossing, then it starts again after the dam, after the little flight of stairs and until where you see the youth center pavilion (the little straight climb with roots on top for those in the know... well that's no more, just a big trench in the forest...).

I am wondering what the heck motivated the land managers to turn the smoothest and nicest portions of single-track in the park into the trans-amazonian. What's next ? McD's and parking lots along the trail ?

For now the rest of the trail is still untouched, but I believe it's mostly because only hard-core hikers and bikers take it. Still, that single-track with those switchbacks added such a sweet finishing touch to a guaranteed rough ride...

What a shame...

Maurice
 

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Seems Strange

That part of the trail is a mess during the spring, so I wonder if that was the motivation behind putting down gravel. Is the whole length of that section torn up? Don't really know how smart that is from a safety perspective on a multi-use trail. I went fast enough down that on the way back as it was. Imagine how fast that will be as gravel for some idiot who dosen't understand trail etiquette (some horses will certainly be spooked). Swicthbacks gone too? This is a shame indeed. Guess I'll be going in through the Cushetunk lot more often now.

I have also noticed that many of the long-standing trail obstacles (logs, etc.) were removed during the spring. Not that there were many of them and there were trails around them. Hoepfully they don't take this any further.
 

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It's been like that for at least a week. I rode there late last week and it looked like they dozed it and filled the washed out areas with more dirt. At the top of that short, rooted climb that you referenced (near the pavillion), they diverted the trail around the roots. That whole section drains poorly & gets pretty bad in the winter/spring. I didn't ask a ranger what they intended to do with it, but even if they gravel/cinder it over, I'm not concerned. That's really just fire road/double-track. For me, with the exception of the switchback area, Round Valley doesn't really start until you bang that left near the pavillion and start the climb to the top. Nowadays, I usually start at the back Cushetunk lot and avoid the front 2-3 miles entirely. Now that's singletrack! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, it still blows big time to me... the Cushetunk parking lot is where I usually turn around, because I like to leave the impossible climb in the middle of the ride, so I used to enjoy the first few miles as a warm-up/cool-down area (well, actually that area is the road from my house to the park).

It always seemed to me that the park drained pretty well, even that muddy spot before the pavilion. I ride the trail year-long, even rode there when it was almost completely covered in snow-ice. And while they may think that they took care of a poor drainage area, there are more "seamless" ways to do it. Also, as Mike pointed out, going down that part was fun but still technical enough to keep a reasonable speed. Now once it's graveled, who knows...

That still doesn't excuse the butchering of the very beginning of the trail. And also sort of defeats the purpose of a "natural" park.

As you said there's still plenty of gnarly trails back there, given the challenge they represent they may leave them alone, hopefully...

Maurice
 
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