Tuesday, November 16, 2010

TRAIL TIPS - Camo that Ghost Route

Pre Camo of Ghost Trail

Post Camo of Ghost Trail

Trail riders often ask HQ what are some simple trail tasks that I can do while out on a trail ride?

Being a responsible rider is really no different than being a responsible hiker or camper. Just as we pick up trash around our campsite or pick up an empty can while on a hike, off-roaders can look for simple ways to protect the resource when they are on the trail.

One issue that can impact trails during the fall season is when leaves are covering the system trail and new ghost routes are developed because riders cannot see the system trail.

In the above photos, you will see a ghost trail treated by The General recently while on a trail ride. Actually, TG accidentally ended up on the ghost route and found out it dead ended at the top of a 10 foot cut bank above the road. It looked like a number of other riders had blown by the system trail and took the ghost trail only to find out it was a dead end. This was both a resource and safety issue.

When you find a situation like this you have several choices. One, you can ignore the issue and let somebody else deal with it. Two, you can tell one of the rangers about it (this is a good idea particularly when there is a big tree down or other large issue to deal with), but it may take the agency a number of days to deal with it. Or three, you can stop for a few minutes and work on the simple issue yourself.

The simplest way to address this ghost route was to drag some down branches across the route and also scatter some leaves and woody debris over the tracks.

As you can see in the above pre and post photos, the camo treatment worked pretty well.

The Recreation HQ encourages you that while out on the trail; you should be looking for simple resource issues that you can address. Don’t pawn it off on somebody else. Be part of the solution.

Thanks for your service!


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