Tuesday, September 1, 2015



We're having our September board meeting on Wednesday 9/2 at CFPA HQ 16 Meriden Rd (Rt. 66) in Rockfall (Middlefield). We're riding before at River Highlands State Park, 109 Field Rd Cromwell. Ride starts at 5 but we'll come back for stragglers at 5:30. Current and future members are welcome to attend.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

West Rock Ridge SP

Date: Aug. 15, 2015
Report Type: TA Report
Trail Name: West Rock Ridge SP
Town: Hamden
Trail Conditions: Dry and rideable

Observations/Information: I rode the Red and White Trails around Lake Wintergreen and then the Red Trail north to the gravel road, then took the left on the Red-White Trail and followed that down to the Hill Street parking lot, and looped back on the road. This summer I reblazed both Red-White Trails at West Rock, plus the Red Trail by Lake Wintergreen, and that included a pruning back of these trails, so they are in good shape. The Red Trail north of Lake Wintergreen definitely needs a haircut and a shave because it has not gotten one in a year. I did stop and clear a few small blowdowns that were blocking the trail. The trail is open to riding, but you may find yourself brushing against leaves and branches here and there. There was a brush fire on Aug. 14 in the open field near Farm Brook Reservoir that made WTNH news. See photo. As Smokey the Bear always warned us, "Only you can prevent forest fires." Fortunately, only grass and weeds were burned and they are already growing back. Needless to say, the trails are dry and firm everywhere. I added a suggested series of loops on the website I created at the park: http://westrocktrails.blogspot.com/p/bicycling-cross-country-skiing-and.html

Trail Ambassador Name: Tom Ebersold
Trail Ambassador E-mail: bikehikekayak123 [at] sbcglobal [dot] net
How did you use the trail? MT Biking
Trails Ridden: Red, White, Red-White
Time of day: Morning
Time/Duration (hours): 2
Approximate Distance (Miles): 8
Image 1: West Rock brush fire, 8-15.jpg
Image Description(s)/Instructions: An area of grasslands in the open field by Farm Brook Reservoir at West Rock Ridge State Park burned on Aug. 14, 2015.

Monday, August 3, 2015


We're having our board meeting on Wednesday 8/5 at 7PM, CFPA HQ 16 Meriden Rd (Rt. 66) in Rockfall (Middlefield). We're riding before at Wadsworth Falls State Park on Rt. 157 in Middletown. We'll depart at 5 and swing back at 5:30 to pick up stragglers. Come, ride, eat pizza, and share your ideas.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Naugatuck State Forest

Date: 7/16/2015
Report Type: TA Report
Trail Name: Naugatuck State Forest
Town: Oxford/Beacon Falls
Trail Conditions: Naugy-good + some brambles

Observations/Information: I got an early start this morning and decided to do the Naugy (West Block) ride. Triple loop this time: my normal double loop (see video below the fold) followed by a trip down the piney mess (and now brambly, as well) trail west of Res 3, around Res 2 (counterclockwise), then back up and out.

From prior ride
The little warmup loop and the trip up the east side of #4 was uneventful. Coming down toward #2, the stream by the power lines was really the only wet spot during the entire ride. On making the (clockwise first) ride around #2 towards #1, I encountered the tree across trail (seen in earlier rides) east side of #2, right near the trail that heads out east through the mucky rock garden then up the hill towards the eastern edge of the state forest property. The tree is too big for my hand saw, so there it sits.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Trail Building at River Highlands


Join us as we work on the new River Highlands trail. We'll be benching and raking. Wear sturdy shoes, bring water and a snack. We'll supply the tools. Meet in the park lot at 109 Field Rd Cromwell.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


I did some emergency TM at River Highlands this morning. One of the bridges on the yellow trail had been moved after the footings were washed away by the rushing stream, and the trail had to be connected to the bridge at the new location. After getting OK from the LM I went in and did it. The job required benching but the rick-free soil is easy to work and I was able to accomplish the job in about an hour. I packed the bench and spread leaves on the edges. The trail almost looks like it was there all along.

The new line is harder than the old because the bridge is now oriented at a right angle to the stream, and one must negotiate a 90 degree turn after riding over the bridge when going downstream, and just before when riding upstream. I was sure to carve out enough room to make the turn and, although it might be unnerving to some, it think it will require more nerve than skill.

This was an emergency situation because the trail was unsafe as it was, so I had to go out and do it myself. I'll be scheduling a TM day soon where we can address some other areas where the existing trails need work.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Save Our Sidewinder!

Have you ridden Sidewinder, West Bench, or any of the others in the West Branch land at Kingdom Trails?  (Sure you have.)

Well, the property is on the market.  KT is trying to buy it to protect it from development.  They need to raise $300,000 by August.

The good news: they have over half two-thirds three quarters ninety percent of it already.  The bad: they don't yet have all of it.

Keep our trails from becoming house lots - give today: vlt.org/sidewinder

More info: http://www.vlt.org/initiatives/kingdom-trails

Update: $90,000 $75,000 $55,000 $30,000 $8,000 to go to make this happen!