Sunday, June 15, 2014

Can a trail be rehabilitated?  That bad boy Left Mill Run Trail got a new chance today when J, G. & L found a way to connect its nicest section to a wide logging road built through a massive clear-cut off the bigger pipeline.  Now Left Mill Run Clearcut Trail makes an excellent 3 1/2 hour loop trail ride from Camp SMOGR.   We also saw many deer families grazing and frolicking on the vast pipeline before we re-entered the forest for its deep shade on the creekside trail at the Left Mill Run.  Coming out of the forest onto the small pipeline, the horses insisted on feasting on the lush grass.  Well rewarded for their work, they took us back to camp where they had a hosing off and a nice roll in their paddocks with a bag of hay.  Lunch in the cabin for us was especially tasty:  Hard-boiled Farm eggs,  cut up mango, pears, nectarines and grapes topped with Greek yogurt and granola bar, slices of banana bread and frozen Italian Ice sticks !  Another perfect day of trail  and soul restoration in the forest. 

Wed., June 4, 2014

May 31, 2014

Rode most of a loop planned for a club ride  (Twin Tiers Trail Riders) coming up on June 21st.  E, R,  J & L started out on the small pipeline to Log Slide Trail, which is one of my favorites,  crossed Sand Road to Left Straight Run Trail which is one of the trails the mountain bike race participants have named Green Monster Trail System.  It's actually a lovely trail for horseback riding following along side the creek for the last half or so.  After the final creek crossing, we rode Straight Run Road for a short ways in order to pick up the lower end of Darling Trail at the edge of a cluster of seasonal camps.  Quite a few were occupied and the fellows there got to watch my big mule Boston take a whiz before we started up the trail.  I remember riding down Darling Trail many years ago - probably in the 80's - and am glad to find it still open.  The mountain bicyclists are using these trails in the State Forests, but I have not yet to see one except for the tell-tale tracks.  At the end of Darling Trail,  Scotch Pine Trail crosses going left down to Asaph Road and right to Hessel Gesser.  We took the left trail and found it quite difficult in one section with plate-size flat rocks thick throughout a 50 yard stretch downhill.  The rest of the trail was good.  Asaph Road had been recently cleared of a massive mud slide of two weeks ago.   A vote was proposed to choose riding the rest of the way on the Left Asaph Road, or jump on the Old Supply Trail.  They are equal length on the map and the footing on Old Supply is grassy, but we went on the road and the horses seemed to enjoy not having to watch out for their feet.  Then the last section along the State Forest boundary to the camp was narrow but cleared and well marked.  The horses stood very quietly to be hosed off and had a nice roll in their paddocks.  An ice cold beer tasted mighty good to us in soft lounge chairs in the cabin.   Data from R's trail GPS showed we went 18.5 miles and were out 6.25 hours including 2 hours of rest stops.


Saturday,  June 21, 2014

Successful TTTR club ride and camping at Camp SMOGR today.  Ten riders went out this morning and enjoyed perfect temps and new trails for the members from out of the area.  Starting out on the small pipeline, we rode to the northeast highest point with its grand view of New York.  At the so-called "wet area" which looked like quite a large  Lake earlier this spring and now is a bog growing thick clumps of grasses, two of the riders bushwhacked a drier way around which was excellent and we all were most grateful.  Leaving the pipeline, we found good old Log Slide Trail where everyone marveled at the beauty and cool greenery of the forest along this mostly level trail.  Sand Road, at the end of Log Slide, was where the five half-day riders turned southwest for a new trail towards camp, and the five all-day riders headed southeast down Left Straight Run Trail and their lunch stop along the creek.  That's where they met up with two late-comers who pretty much knew where they could find the lunch stop group.  The half-day riders had a short stretch to ride along Sand Road and then back in the forest on an old logging road we've named Beaver Dam Road for its vast cleared area part of the drainage of Black Ash Swamp.  There was only one difficult obstacle along that trail - a tree had fallen across and totally blocked a huge area.                                                      ...continued on next page ....

"Uncovered" an old trail off Old Supply Trail today.  The beginning had been rearranged by a recently developed gravel pit.  J and I scouted around behind the pit and found a marked (!) 2-track trail which is on the maps as Right Mill Run Trail, but unused since the new logging road now known as the McCarthy Trail was developed.  Right Mill Run Trail will be a nice shady part of a loop joining McCarthy.  We followed it down as it went alongside a creek, but didn't go to the bottom where it joined Left Mill Run Trail - a trail that is in impossible condition which we had struggled with earlier this spring.  We'll connect the two good trails at the bottom and end up with a nice loop.  I have no idea how long we were out - such a beautiful cool day in the forest makes me just enjoy the moment.