Some of the participants
This past Sunday, we got a group of interested people out to review the new section of trail at Greensfelder which will be built on Saturday, Feb. 23rd. See here for details. The Greensfelder Trail Crew- Matt, Bryan, Ron & Scott had scouted the area previously with clinometers, and taped a rough line signifying the approximate trail layout. This was then used this to pin flag a more detailed route, which would typically be used on the day the trail gets built to mark where to dig. Usually, prior to the build day the crew will then get together and review the pin flags, and make sure there aren't any areas that would cause problems.
For this review, we posted a message on the GORC Message Board, and invited anyone who was interested to come out and participate.
What existing trail looked like around noon
Back in the old days, when GORC had a lot fewer members, this was the way we used to do things. Every scouting session was posted, and anyone who was interested was welcome to come along. This functioned pretty well when we only had a few trails to deal with- Castlewood, Lost Valley, Chubb, Quail Ridge, a small bit at Greensfelder, and the original section of Matson were about it. As GORC built more trail and grew-- currently 14 trails and counting that we have a hand in either building or maintenance, it became harder to coordinate on getting together for design work, and we sort of got away from general invites. Also, the number of people who took us up on the offer to come out kept going down.
Top layer thawing
Greensfelder is always interesting; because the trails are used by hikers, runners and equestrians, some design concessions have to be made. Yes, we'd love to have some steeper grades, and more rocky elements, but sometimes we have to rule things out. One interesting sideline to note about this current trail- working name Clementine, is that it will feature some alternate lines that will emphasize some of Greensfelder's great rocky character.
While the flag line that we examined here would have passed a review based on IMBA specs, once you start getting more eyes on it, someone always manages to spot a way to make the trail a little better. We moved the trail in a few different places in ways that will make it even more fun, as well as limiting any potential maintenance problems.
With so many miles of trail to deal with, it is becoming more and more important to train the next generation of trailbuilders, so hopefully, there will be many more of these scouting and review days posted. This will also give you an opportunity to help shape area trails, or at least understand why certain decisions are made. If you're interested, please contact the steward of your favorite trail, and see what you can do to help. The contact information for each trail is listed on the message board.