Saturday, November 28, 2015

Trail Building @ River Highlands State Park

Saturday 11/28: Trail building at River Highlands State Park Cromwell

Join us at 10AM to work on the new trail. We'll be building features- berms and skinnies (fun stuff). Wear sturdy shoes, bring water and a snack. Meet in the park lot at 109 Field Rd Cromwell.

Photos from 11/7/2015 trail day: 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Turkey Burner 2015

The 2015 Turkey Burner will be on Friday November 27 at the Case Pond parking area at 68 Birch Mountain Rd. in Manchester, weather permitting. Led rides for intermediate and advanced riders on the Case Mountain trails, starting at 10 AM.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Larkin State Bridle Trail

Date: 11/21/2015
Report Type: TA Report
Trail Name: Larkin State Bridle Trail
Town: Southbury/Oxford
Trail Conditions: Leafy

Observations/Information: Okay, it was a ride so trivial as not to be worth making a TA report... except it was my first time on two wheels since the crash in August, so it's cause for celebration.

I took the Wo on the Larkin from Southford to Christian Street and back (a whopping four miles round trip). Line was wobbly, legs and lungs working more than I expected. No speed records were broken, and the most "technical" thing I had to do was dodge "road apples" (it IS a bridle trail, after all). No matter - I'm officially back! (That said, I thoroughly expect to get a lecture @ physical therapy on Monday.)
Yes, backwards (I was in front of the bike)
TM = none. One item of note: at least the ones I came to, the road crossings now feature little stop signs (which weren't there my last trip through a few months ago).

Many joggers in evidence but no other bikes while I was there.

Trail Ambassador Name: John Joy
Trail Ambassador E-mail: jmj [at] savagejoy [dot] com
How did you use the trail? MT Biking
Time of day: Morning
Time/Duration (hours): 0:30
Approximate Distance (Miles): 4

Sunday, November 15, 2015

TM Report: Naugatuck State Forest

Date: Nov. 15, 2015
Report Type: TM Report
Trail Name: Naugatuck State Forest
Town: Beacon Falls, Oxford, Naugatuck
Trail Conditions: Clearly blazed!

Observations/Information: I have just about finished my work of blazing the trails in the Naugatuck State Forest, West Block. There are now about 15 miles of trails blazed and pruned back, work that took me 53 hours to accomplish with another 9 hours of help from others. I took the state map, enlarged that section, and added colors on top. Where two colors are shown side-by-side, that means a trail is blazed in two colors, such as Red-White. A copy of this map is available on the webpage I created on my West Rock Ridge State Park website at The state will publish an updated version of the map with colors, but that could take a year. The official map without the colors is at The trail along the west side of Reservoir 3 is not blazed. I thought about doing that, but the trail has many blowdowns due to the storm of several years ago, is overgrown with pricker bushers, and has soft, uneven ground, so it is not a good place for a trail. I recommend using the trail on the east side of the Reservoir. I am grateful to the state forester for granting this permission. The trails northeast of Spruce Brook Road have been marked by the state with metal disks. I have not visited that area recently, so I do not know how easy those trails are to follow. In addition to blazing and clearing, I also removed about 10 buckets' worth of litter.

Trail Ambassador Name: Tom Ebersold
Trail Ambassador E-mail: bikehikekayak123 [at] sbcglobal [dot] net
How did you use the trail? Hiking/Walking
Trails Ridden: Multiple colors
Time of day: Morning
Time/Duration (hours): 53
Approximate Distance (Miles): 15
Image 1: NSF, Red Tr. at powerlines, 11-15.jpg
Image 2: NSF, Orange Tr. at Green Tr., 11-15.jpg
Image Description(s)/Instructions: The gravel under the powerlines has been replenished, making for much easier biking and walking where the Red Trail passes under the powerlines. The Orange and Green Trails take different paths in the center of the forest.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

TM Report: Naugatuck State Forest

Date: Oct. 25, 2015
Report Type: TM Report
Trail Name: Naugatuck State Forest
Town: Beacon Falls, Oxford, Naugatuck
Trail Conditions: Blazed and cleared

Observations/Information: Blazing trails is like eating potato chips: you can't stop at just one. I received permission from the state forester to reblaze the White Trail from near the flag overlook crossing over High Rock/Toby's Mountain to clarify an important and confusing trail. With that finished, I set my sights on other trails. Thirty hours of work later over multiple days, I have blazed 8 miles of trails with another 3 miles to blaze.

Using the forest map from the state website, this is what is completed so far. The Purple Trail has been blazed from the steep rocky road coming up from the big rock parking lot off Cold Spring Road and follows the outer, easternmost trail in the forest for 3.2 miles, extending to the property boundary. This trail was challenging to blaze because it passes through some open areas with too few trees to blaze. I created rock piles at two key turns near the top of the hill where there are woods roads going in multiple directions. When I went back a few days later, someone turned over one of the rocks with a blaze (why, I don't know). Someone had blazed parts of this trail in Yellow, using a flaky paint that will not last long, and did not get permission to do this. The yellow blazes are scattered in their location. I recognize that yellow is more visible than purple, and I need to apply a lighter shade of purple as a second coat in the spring. I found an existing, overgrown trail that was fortunately blazed in Red because that was the color I was using to connect the Purple Trail to the existing woods roads on the west side of Reservoirs 1 and 2, and the east side of Reservoirs 3 and 4. The existing woods road south of Reservoir 1 is heavily overgrown, in part because it crosses private properties, one of which has a "No Trespassing" sign posted. This Red Trail has been blazed so far for 1.4 miles, from the Purple Trail until midway up the east side of Reservoir 4. If weather conditions are favorable, I will hopefully blaze this trail this fall up to the junction with the woods road north of the reservoir.

Using the main through set of woods roads as the Red Trail creates a "spine" from which I blazed the existing woods roads as loop trails. The 1.1 mile trail on the east side of Reservoirs 1 and 2 are blazed Red-White. I am also using Red-White on the trail that roughly parallels the Oxford-Beacon Falls town line on the map. The 1.2 mile trail connecting the west side of Reservoir 2 and crossing the dam of Reservoir 3 and intersecting the Red Trail on the west side of Reservoir 4 is blazed Red-Green. The last stretch of this is known as the Camaro trail, due to the abandoned car on the trail. I put a blaze on the car as a whimsical touch to the trail. Finally, the 0.3 mile short connecting trail from the left shoulder of Reservoir 2 to the Red-Green Trail at the base of Reservoir 3 is Red-Yellow. I used Purple-White to mark the 0.3 mile trail connecting the Purple Trail to the Red-White Trail. Someone had blazed one of the woods roads (again without permission), extending north from the Purple Trail. On the map, this is the third of three woods roads in the center of the forest. It is marked with a north facing arrow and the mileage 0.6. I did not have time to follow it to see how far Green was blazed. Other trails to blaze include the gorge trail in Blue, which is not suitable for mountain biking, the steep trail from the big rock parking lot, and the woods road that runs from near the big rock parking lot to the Red Trail. If all this seems too confusing, the state forester plans to add these colors to the map and update the map for the website.

Trail Ambassador Name: Tom Ebersold
Trail Ambassador E-mail: bikehikekayak123 [at]
How did you use the trail? Hiking/Walking
Trails Ridden: Red, Purple, White, etc.
Time of day: Morning
Time/Duration (hours): 30
Approximate Distance (Miles): 8

Image 1: NSF, Purple Tr. at WP 159.JPG
Image 2: NSF, Purple Tr., SW of White Tr., 10-15.JPG
Image 3: NSF, Purple Trail rocks at turn, 10-15.JPG
Image 4: NSF, Red-White end at top of Res. 2, 10-15.JPG

Image Description(s)/Instructions: Three pictures show various locations along the Purple Trail, including bootleg blazing of Yellow and Green. One picture shows the junction of the Red-White Trail with the Red Trail by the top of Reservoir 2.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

TM Report: West Rock Ridge SP

Date: Red-White Trail
Report Type: TM Report
Trail Name: West Rock Ridge SP
Town: Hamden
Trail Conditions: Good

Observations/Information: Over three days, I spent about 10 hours hauling a load of process (a gravel/stone dust mixture) onto the Red-White Trail. I used it to raise the level of process at both ends of a bridge built by Boy Scouts, so there is no surprise drop off for mountain bikes. I also used it to cover a set of stepping stones that had been put in by others. I rearranged some of the stones as best I could, but the stones were so uneven, no one was using them, and were instead trampling through the low ground along the stepping stones, allowing nothing to grow. During the spring, this area is very muddy. Even with the recent rains, Farm Brook is still totally dry. I cut up an invasive autumn olive shrub and placed it on the area to keep people out. If you see the wood there, please leave it, so the area can restore itself. I also cut down some dead trees and used them to define the path. I also removed some of the barbed wire along the Red-White Trail, so now there is none near the trail, although there is still some further back into the woods. The state has installed a new fence at the Hill Street parking lot and put down a fresh layer of process. At my request, they also plan to install a sign board. From the Red-White Trail, it is a short ride to the newly relocated section of the Red Trail that I described in a previous post. As always, there is plenty of park and trail information on my website at

Trail Ambassador Name: Tom Ebersold
Trail Ambassador E-mail: bikehikekayak123 [at] sbcglobal [dot] net
How did you use the trail? Hiking/Walking
Trails Ridden: Red-White
Time of day: Morning
Time/Duration (hours): 10
Approximate Distance (Miles): 0.5
Image 1: Red-White Tr. bridge w. full process, 10-15.jpg
Image 2: Red-White rocks w. process, and brush, 10-15.jpg
Image 3: Red-White top rocks w. process, 10-15.jpg
Image 4: Hill St. parking area2, 9-15.jpg

Image Description(s)/Instructions: The photos show the Boy Scout bridge with full ramps, the stepping stones covered with process and the trail defined with brush, and the new fence and process at the Hill Street parking lot.

Monday, October 5, 2015


We're having out October board meeting on Wednesday 10/7 at CFPA HQ, 16 Meriden Rd (Rt. 66) in Rockfall (Middlefield). We'll ride before at Wadsworth Falls State Park. Meet at 5:15 at the main lot of Rt. 157.