When I read Vin Lore's TA Report about Trout Brook and the magenta trail closure I contacted the land manager to find out why and this is their answer:
This winter TBV has seen a large surge in bikers who insisted upon using the TBV trails even though the sign was & is prominent in the parking lot stating biking is prohibited from Jan 1- April 30. Identical signs were put at every entrance into TBV & one was even removed after installation! All of the Trail Stewards voiced this violation as a major concern at our bi-annual meeting a few weeks ago. In addition, the Trail Steward responsible for the magenta trail asked me to take a look, along with an ecologist, to determine the state of the trail. We were not pleased with the conditions of the bike tire rutted trail in many spots, which is what precipitated closing the trail to bikers - permanently.
Please click the Read More ... link to see what else has precipitated this event. It's a shame that such a wonderful place to ride is slowly being cut off due to a few selfish individuals.
On the first day of biking - May 1 - we had trail stewards on duty all day in the Bradley Lot to hand out the biking do's & don'ts, along with dog do's & don'ts, & in this way we hoped to make it clear why the magenta trail was closed. In addition, there is a posted laminated copy as well, with all of the reasons. clearly stated. We also asked - on our information sheet & the posted sheet - for bikers to NOT ride the day after a rain & also to not ride if it is raining when they arrive. This is just common sense, but not employed. Thus, the trails suffer even more greatly.
For the bikers who are accompanied by dogs, leashes must be employed where signage dictates & also carried everywhere in TBV as the rule of the trail states all dogs MUST be leashed when approaching horses on the trails. FYI - blue & green are the permitted horse trails.
Most of us are tired of forever having to chase bikers out of there - I personally had more than my share - with the resulting arguments, which is aggravating, to say the least. And, seeing tire tracks on the no biking trails infuriates us even more as we are responsible for conserving the property. The bottom line is that unless there is more cooperation from the biking community, TBV will be closed to all bikers, period.To give you a small example of what happens in there, I am copying beneath the report from one of our most experienced trail stewards & you can see how the few - or maybe more, are ruining it for you all.Lisa BrodlieALT Land ManagementDuring my hike yesterday (Sunday, May 2nd) in Trout Brook Valley, I had a couple of encounters with bikers on the Red and Yellow trails. As detailed below, I found this experience troubling from a number of perspectives.I arrived at TBV around 7:15 am, and decided to take a long hike going up the Red and returning on the Yellow. I was only accompanied by my faithful furry friend Luke. Since it was so early and quiet, I was lost in thought and quite surprised when two bikers and their dogs approached me on the Red trail. My trail steward badge was easily visible when I told them that they were on a trail which is closed to bikes. They pleaded ignorance, and I informed them that the trails are well marked and environmentally sensitive. I also let them know that a biker had been seriously injured on that trail in the past, and it is off limits to bicycles. I hadn't really been paying attention to where I was on the trail, so I did not tell them to turn around. About 5 minutes later, I came to the intersection with the Green trail. I checked for no biking signs at that intersection, and there were two very visible ones.I continued up the Red Trail until it ends at Jump Hill, checking for "no biking" postings at every intersection (they were all very well marked). All the way along the trail, there were tire tread markings evidencing that the bikers had ridden the entire Red trail. Many places along their ride, there were clearly posted signs notifying the bikers that the trails were closed. By way of the White, I connected to the Yellow checking for "no biking" signs as I started back on that trail. About halfway down the Yellow, I was approached by the same two bikers and their dogs AGAIN! The bikers were two men in their mid to late 30's with a Rhodesian Ridgeback and a Black Labrador.When they tried to claim ignorance again, I made the following points:The Red and Yellow trails are closed to bikers and are very clearly marked as such.Almost all of the other trails in TBV are open to bikers from May 1st to December 31st.Part of the Magenta trail was just closed due to trail damage by bikers during the winter months (when access in not permitted).If bikers lose the privilege of riding in TBV, it will be due to actions such as theirs.Did they want to give me their names? That way, if bikers lose the right to ride on the TBV trails - the anger can be directed at them rather than Aspetuck Land Trust.They declined to give me their names, but acknowledged that they will have no one to blame but themselves if biking access is taken away.In addition to the blatant disregard for the Aspetuck Land Trust rules and lack of consideration for hikers who may not want to encounter bikers, this situation is further troubling because:Their actions indicate an absolute effort to not cooperate. Two examples of this are their failure to turn around on the Red trail (they knew that an intersection was close-by) and their decision to ride on the Yellow trail after our encounter on the Red.If the mindset of these two is typical, the individual bikers do not seem to relate their behavior to the mountain biking community in TBV as a whole. While individual responsibility for possible loss biking privileges was acknowledged, the entire biking community could suffer from the consequences of their actions - not just the two of them!