Received reports of wet trail conditions on Saturday and there was more rain on Sunday. Overcast skies today and drizzly all morning long will continue to keep the trails too wet to ride.
Trails will need a few days once the rain stops to dry out. This time of year trails take longer than usual to dry out with cooler temps, overcast skies and foliage in dormant stage so not absorbing the excess water.
Do not ride the wet trails, it causes damage and contributes to trail erosion. Please pass the word along as well.
It can be hard enough to keep mountain bikers off the wet trails, but when an ATB or other similar vehicle hits the wet trails, the damage is much more intense. This post from our FaceBook page:
Within the last 24 hours, an atv, or similar vehicle, did significant damage to the Skinny loop at FATS. If you saw this activity or have any information please contact: Glen Kansanback Natural Resource Specialist Forest Service Sumter National Forest, Long Cane Ranger District p: 803-637-0246 email: firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you for your support.
FATS received more rain as the front moved through yesterday. Trails are going to need 2 to 3 days to dry out. Thank you for not riding wet trails. By the weekend most of our outlying trails should be okay to ride, come join us for the Explore the Trail Ride at Mistletoe State Park on Sunday (see details under Explore the Trail Rides above)!
Post by bobsimmons on Mar 10, 2015 20:32:25 GMT -5
After 3 warm dry days I figured FATS should be ok to ride. Well I was wrong Skinny is still pretty muddy in a lot of areas I would not recommend riding it Brown wave was OK much better than skinny. It still looks like a 4 wheeler is riding Skinny and Brown wave. It also looks like a lot more bikers were heading to the trail head to ride. I wish the call before you hall was updated more often because I really wish I knew it would have been so sloppy.
Thanks for the update Bob. Unfortunately once those aquifers get filled it this time of year it can take a while for them to drop and that is what is feeding those seeps. As a rule for the FATS they tend to be from driest to wettest in this order (things can occur that can change things - for example if we don't get a work party moving early in the year, the build up of leaves and material in the dips can add to the problem of water retention which is what happened with Deep Step this year):
Tower Big Rock Brown Wave Deep Step Great Wall Skinny
Great Wall and lower Skinny tend to have the most seeps and stay wetter longer but they have flip flopped as to which one is worse in any given year. So best to opt for the trails at the top of the list when in doubt.
Not good news about the four wheeler, unfortunately because of the width of the vehicle it can cause permanent erosion damage if it is ridden along bench cut areas. I suspect it is entering from along the Forest Service road near the intersection of BW and Skinny. More than likely it is located close enough to be ridden to the trails.
The call before you haul line is really not going to give you the information you need if you are a responsible trail user and don't want to ride the trails when they are too wet. The gates will only be closed under extreme conditions and right now if you call it will only tell you if the gates are opened or closed. Much better to rely on our homepage, Twitter, Facebook or the forum. Although that is also not perfect because you have human beings trying to monitor the trail conditions on an ongoing basis and I too would have thought after 3 days without rain the trails would be okay. Unfortunately more rain is headed our way.
Post by bobsimmons on Mar 11, 2015 20:14:00 GMT -5
Thanks for the positive feedback Angela I do try to rely on the Homepage twitter ect. Just have not seen any feed back on sorba web site that's one of the reasons I posted my update. With all of us working together we will have better trails to ride.
As of Wednesday Big Rock and Tower are good. I think only one mud spot on the two of them. Deep Step has several really muddy spots Got a splash of rain last night so conditions don't look to be improving.
It rained off and on all day Friday and into the morning today. Trails will be too wet to ride and will need at least 48 to 72 hours to dry out. As a reminder Skinny and Great Wall tend to remain wet the longest. Please don't ride these trails until things dry out. Tomorrow will be a high of 81 and there should be some sun, our outlying trails (with the possible exception of Long Cane Horse Trail) should be good to ride by tomorrow.
I don't know if there is a policy or procedure for this: in several locations there are solitary chunks of concrete, that I assume were originally intended for stabilization, but have now become hazards and contribute to trail widening. These are on Deep Step:
I also found these boards, which I didn't know existed, buried in the muck:
Not really sure what this is accomplishing:
And these two scenarios are common throughout the system: The reinforcement in the last pic isn't bad, but for some reason isn't ridden. Anyway, I think some of these should be considered for removal/re-work.
Trail assessment needs to be done and problem areas identified and flagged. Pics one and two probably just need to be removed. Three and four are something someone has done more recently not part of any scheduled work I'm aware of. And those last ones are where people began to ride around the armoring and the trail has shifted. The armoring looks pretty good so not sure if riders were just scared rising up over the edge or what.
Wow those look rough, the trails sure are mucky.
If you are willing to help, I will work with you and we'll set up a two or three work parties to start working on these issues. One to assess and flag what needs to be done and then it will likely take at least two to get the work done (if we can round up some of our more experienced trail maintenance volunteers and then some good workers woll to learn).
Email me at email@example.com and I'll start getting some things pulled together!
Had rain come across last night between 9:30 and midnight. Report from a scout an hour or so ago indicates that BIg Rock, Tower and Deep Step are too wet to ride. If those trails are too wet to ride then Brown Wave, Skinny and Great Wall will also be too wet to ride.