Greensfelder Trail Design Progress

We're busily weighing all our options as we keep walking the hillsides of Greensfelder to reroute and lengthen the DeClue trail from the tower lot to the Roundhouse loop lot. Everything is still preliminary but it's shaping up to be yet another amazing addition to an already top notch St. Louis County park. Stay tuned to the blog for additional information and updates.

Hope to see you at the first Greensfelder workday at the end of March.

Bikes and Horses: A Case for Sharing

IMBA has an interesting article on their site about bikes and horses coexisting on the same trails. While we've seen through our efforts at Greensfelder that properly designed trail can withstand normal use from bikers and equestrians, there are still a lot of people out there on both sides who would like to see the others off the trail. The article basically sums it up as: These trails belong to all users, hikers, bikers, and equestrians. Work together and deal with it.

Broemmelsiek Park Workday- Saturday Jan. 27th

Haven't heard of Broemmelsiek Park? Probably for good reason, since it's St. Charles County's newest park, and it's not open yet. Mike Dunston has been working hard along with SCCP to get ready for the park opening in the not-too-distant future.

If you want to see for yourself what it's like, then come on out to the workday this Saturday January 27th. More details and directions can be found here. As usual, lunch will be provided afterward. Here's his description of the park:

2 miles currently have been completed. Approx. 10-12 more miles in the future. Trail surface includes rocky creek crossings, hard packed dirt trails, restored prairie crossings, and several rock gardens. The trails in the park will be made of multiple loops as it is developed. Broemmelsiek will also be open to equestrians and hikers, so please follow trail etiquette while riding there.

The first trail loop built in this 500+ acre park is accessed via the concrete bridge that is just off the first parking lot. It's a mix of wooded single track and open meadow, with several short but steep climbs. Rocky in the beginning, it switches to a dirt base as you start up the ridge. A combination of meadows, flowing trail, and small ravines are experienced while on top of the ridge, then a quick descent with a very rocky creek crossing, leads back to follow the creek and on to the opposing ridgeline. This ridgeline trail loops around giving an excellent view of the park’s amenities as it brings you back to the bridge where your adventure began.

Back Section (under construction)

While following several tree lines to the Back section of the park, the trail crosses a large meadow then follows the power line alley to another ridge line. A winding hillside dirt trail mixed with rocks leads to a creek crossing, then a rocky ascent to the next meadow crossing which was terraced for water control. The trail follows the high banked terrace through several small thickets then dives into a wooded area which features an area filled with memorable items from past times on the Broemmelsiek Farm. The trail meanders along another ridge line which leads to a picturesque view of a local equestrian farm and pond; this section features a wide swooping turn which leads back to the power line alley which divides this section of trail.

SIUE Trail 4 Work Continues

Pete shows off some of his handiwork near the southern end of Trail 4

Work continues on Kirby's master plan for a perimeter loop at SIUE which will allow you to ride what will end up being nearly 8 miles of singletrack and a couple of hundred feet of bike path. Considering the small area and the difficulty of finding sufficient terrain because of the large drainages, soil type, and flat nature of the area, this trail system is pretty amazing.
Over 30 volunteers showed up Saturday on a cold, damp day to work towards the completion of Trail 4. Come out on Sat. Feb. 24th if you can and help finish this trail. We'll have an updated map up on the Trails page soon, plus there will finally be some signs out there marking the trails to go along with the new kiosks.

SIUE Trail Site- Then and Now

Recently, JohnnyD posted a link to some pictures of the old Mississippi River Festival site on which the current mtb trails at SIUE are located. I took one of the pictures and overlaid it on a shot from a similar angle in Google Earth to illustrate how the site looked then, and what it looks like now. Because the altitude I picked was off slightly, and so was the viewing angle, it doesn't match exactly, but it's good enough to show how quickly nature reclaimed the area once it fell out of use.

St. Charles County Trail Conditions Hotline

Mike Dunston also tells us that St. Charles County Parks has set up an experimental Trail Closure phone hotline. Since this is experimental, neither he, nor the rangers have worked out all the details of how it's going to function. Those parks which are included are: Matson Hill, Klondike, Indian Camp Creek, Quail Ridge Park, and Broemmelsiek (not open yet). The number is 636-949-7475. Updates will follow both here and on the GORC forum as soon as we find out more information.

Remember, GORC is not here to tell you when you can or can't ride your bike, but part of our mission is to educate trail users about all aspects of developing trails from advocacy and design, to construction and maintenance. If you're interested, come out to some workdays and find out more about trailbuilding and sustainability, and learn how your riding affects the lifespan of a trail. All of our trails our multi-use, so don't forget that there are users other than bikers. A hiker who comes across a section of trail that has been trashed by bikes probably feels the same way about bikes as you might feel about horses after seeing damage done by irresponsible equestrians.

New Park in St. Charles County- Indian Camp Creek

Mike Dunston, the trail steward for a couple of parks in St. Charles County has sent along some photos, and a description, which will eventually make its way to the GORC Trails page, of one of the newest parks there: Indian Camp Creek. ICC is located 7 miles north on US 61 between Wentzville and Troy. Turn left (west) on Dietrich Road, go .7 miles, turn right (North) into Park Entrance.

The trails are multiple use trails passing through cedar thickets, winding through the hillsides and skirting the bluffs along the creeks, through the flood plain of the Big Creek, and across several restored prairies, giving views of the numerous rock outcroppings, small ponds and historical relics ( e.g. flint chippings from Indians, farm homesteads, family cemetery).

The Black Eye Loop meanders along the Big Creek flood plain, giving little if any elevation change. Tight, twisty and wooded, it is primarily dirt with one or two very short stretches of sand. There are a couple dry creek crossings throughout that may require the novice to walk, but everything else is non-technical. The loop within a loop design allows you to ride the trail in both directions giving the rider different views of the Big Creek. A variety of wildlife abounds for the enjoyment of the trail users. To access the Black Eye Loop trail head, park at first parking lot past the bridge. Ride about 500 yards toward the Red Roof Pavilion. Entrance to the trail will be in the field on the right; it is marked with white carsonite signage.

The Cedar Thicket Hill Loop starts off with some small undulations in and out of the cedars that gradually grow into a short but semi-steep climb. At the top of the climb, the dirt tread transitions into a bed of (cedar needle type stuff) as the trail width is narrowed by the closely spaced cedar trees.

A large Park map showing the trails is located at kiosk near the equestrian parking lot (first gravel road to the right). These trails are shared with equestrians and hikers so please use appropriate etiquette. More trails are being developed on a continuing basis.