Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pioneer Musings

Today, I had the privilege of riding the entire length of the Pioneer Trail as part of a Grouse Ridge-to-Nevada-City epic. During the 4+ hours on this ride, I spent some time thinking about this trail and its importance to our community.

If you are like me, you tend to take Pioneer for granted, at least occasionally. It is such a common thoroughfare for our rides that its familiarity can diminish its specialness. Thing is, it is a very special trail and it is becoming even more exceptional.

In recent years, volunteers have joined forces with the USFS to build an entirely new singletrack portion of this trail as it descends down to Bear Valley. With recent rains, newly constructed sections have begun to settle in nicely. Eventually, the reroute will feature singletrack that will be the finest anywhere around here.

Pioneer is also the backbone of all Highway 20 corridor trails. Trails at Scott Flat, Burlington Ridge, Washington Conservation Camp, Spaulding Lake, Grouse Ridge and more are all accessible from Pioneer. We are all in debt to the Gold Country Trails Council, who made the Pioneer Trail happen over the past few decades.

Who knows what the future holds for Pioneer. After the Bear Valley re-route, I would love to see wider sections of Lower Pioneer converted to singletrack. And of course, Bill Haire dreams of Pioneer descending closer to Nevada City. One thing is for certain, the success of all such improvements will be dependent on volunteers like you.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Trimming Our Trails

This post is nearly identical to one from last year, but heck, it bears repeating.

As the windy, wet season returns, please consider carrying small trimming tools during rides/hikes. A few minutes clipping and sawing here and there collectively makes a big difference. For example, I've taken out lots of overgrowth on Osborne Hill over the years during hikes with my dogs. My tools of choice are hand clippers, a folding saw and these incredibly light, powerful loppers that fit in my Camelbak.

Then again, if you dig the camaraderie, fun and free food/beer offered by group trail work days, join us at Round Mountain on Saturday November 7th.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Unified Trail Day and Round Mountain

BONC had a very successful Unified Trail Day, pairing up with the Nevada County Woods Riders, Sierra Express, Gold Country Trails Council, mtb race teams and others to make short work of big trail improvements at Burlington Ridge. Thanks to everyone who participated. Mountain bikers were able to make a significant showing of manpower on this day, which bodes well for our reputation. Events this large require careful planning and infrastructure. Special thanks to Fred Bergman who orchestrated BONC's involvement. It was a great day!

Yesterday, Rob Heller and I took a look at the rough trail cut in by the BLM above the Coyote Point overlook. Though the bench cut looks something like a fireroad now, given some solid trail work, a season's worth of rain and time to re-vegetate, this section will be solid singletrack. It will be key for us to put finishing work on it before the long winter, so please join us on November 7th as we work on this trail and ride Round Mountain.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Good News for Empire Mine

Great news regarding trails at Empire Mine SHP. According to Ron Munson, "this is a very encouraging signal that the Osborn Hill Trail Network Project is poised to start possibly in November, so hopefully we can look forward to reopening much of the Osborn Hill area in the not-too-distant future." In other words, trails that have been fenced off for years now may
be re-opened soon and we will see new trails as well :-)


For Immediate Release: Contact: Sheryl Watson, Information Officer
October 10, 2009 (916) 997-7898

Empire Mine State Historic Park
Temporary Trail Closure

WHO: Trail User Alert at Empire Mine State Historic Park
WHAT: A California State Parks crew will be installing a temporary stream crossing, with culverts, at Empire Mine State Historic Park in preparation for the Osborn Hill Trail Network Project. This first step in the project implementation will enable crews and equipment to access the trails being rehabilitated and redesigned, due to begin this Fall. The stream crossing is
being completed in keeping with the California Department of Fish and Game and the US Army Corps of Engineers permit specifications.
WHEN: Tuesday through Thursday, October 13 – 15, 2009
WHERE: Where the Hardrock Trail crosses Little Wolf Creek, 100 feet east of
the intersection with the Osborn Hill Loop Trail.

PLEASE NOTE: Extra caution is advised for all trail users at Empire Mine State Historic Park where heavy equipment hauling materials will be working and visibility may be limited. Please pay attention to all warning signs and directions from park staff. Thank you for helping us move forward with
this exciting trail project, and stay safe.

Ron Munson
California State Park Superintendent
Sierra Gold Sector
(530) 273 - 3212