Trails due for undesignation in the Sheep

MORE TUG NEWS In case you haven’t been following along with management plans: the following trails will be demoted: Junction Mountain Trail South, Phone Line, Wolf Creek, Missinglink,  two sections of Link Trail. This doesn’t mean they will be closed. They just won’t be maintained or signed in any way.  In their stead will be  some terrific new trails that are definitely more hiker friendly— exact routes have yet  to be worked out with the help of the user groups. Until such time as the new trails are built (whenever that may be) signposts and red markers will remain on the trails due for undesignation.

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  • Gillean Daffern Dec 20, 2008, 6:19 pm

    You raise a lot of issues Steve. First, because of limited resources there is a pecking order for maintaining trails. As you may have gathered, backcountry trails come last. Lately, all monies have gone into paying for and installing new bridges after washouts, in clearing interpretive and front country trails of windfall in the Elbow and Jumpingpound areas mainly, and in fixing up muddy sections of horse trails.
    The forthcoming trails can be seen on the Sheep management plan (Go to the K Country web site and click on Management plans). Many of them follow higher drier ground along ridges so will require less maintenance. As far as I know they will be open to all users— should they ever get built! The only trail we want to keep the equestrians away from is a connector between Bluerock interpretive trail and Bluerock Creek trail. I can’t wait for this one!
    By “we” I mean members of the TUG who are finally having a say with K Country on where the new trails should go after kicking up a fuss over the closure of Volcano Ridge trailhead and with it easy access to the trails that left that trailhead. The idea of turning the closed portion of Gorge Creek Trail/Road into a trail does not sit well with hikers who hate walking along roads (even old fire roads like the Elbow and Little Elbow “trails ” ), though I suspect it won’t matter as much to bikers?

  • Steve Riggs Dec 17, 2008, 9:02 pm

    I did get bit involved in the comment phase, but haven’t heard much since. Not sure there will be much change, really- I have biked the Junction Mtn. N-S, Phone Line etc, loop a number of times over the years, and can’t ever recall seeing any evidence of maintenance, nor much in the way of signs, when these trails did have official status. It’s a good loop for strong riders, but sees very little use by the MTB crowd. If these trails are replaced with superior routes that are hiker AND biker friendly, then it could well be a step forward. I haven’t been aware of any consultation with the MTB community at this point, how about with hikers?
    It does seem a little absurd to be talking about building new trails, when access to existing routes has been made more difficult by the location of the closure on the Gorge Creek road.
    Of course, I am preaching to the choir here…

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