Thursday, June 11, 2009

Nassahegon Trail Ambassador Report

Dates covered: May 31 - June 9, 2009
Conditions: Varied due to weather changes.

Location: Nassahegon State Forest, Burlington
Hours spent: TA 12, TM 6
TA: Mark L

Report: Had a chance to ride most of the trail system during the past two weeks. Trails have been in very good condition despite the rains and heavy traffic. A lot of TM going on by local stewards repairing up-and-overs, armoring muddy areas, and cutting back the ever-encroaching canopy . Motorized vehicle damage seems to be held in check by DEP. Roadside and parking area trash is being picked up almost daily.

As in most riding areas, the issue of "trail braids" burns brightly. Braids, as we know, are new "cheater" trails created (usually) around difficult trail objects, curves or stunts that some riders find too difficult. The braids allow the rider to negotiate the trail without having to stop or learn how to ride the difficult area. Too many braids and the original trail design becomes obscured or lost forever.

In the Nassahegon, a battle of wills rages daily as the stewards attempt to block the braids only to have their work destroyed each night by those who prefer the easier route. Oddly, the night gnomes have been moving the logs used for braid blockage from the braid onto the original trail thus obscuring it and forcing riders to use the braid. A problem similar to those reported by other TA's earlier this year.

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