Saturday, September 4, 2010

TA Report: West Rock Ridge

Subject: TA Report: West Rock Ridge State Park
Date of Activity: Sept. 4, 2010
Condition of Trail: Bone dry
Trail Ambassador Name: Tom Ebersold
Encounters and Observations: I took a group of road cyclists to West Rock who were interested in trying out mountain biking at a tame level with some instruction in how to ride. We rode the Red and White Trails to give a mixture of experiences from wide easy double track to narrow, twisty, technical single track. After the ride along the trails, these roadies were more than happy to spend some time on pavement so we rode the length of Baldwin Drive from the northern end to the South Overlook. As is the normal experience for West Rock, once you get away from Lake Wintergreen and the South Overlook, you pretty much have the place to yourself. The park is bone dry. The canal along the Red Trail was mostly dried up. The streams everywhere have completely stopped running. The portions of the White Trail where there are bypasses due to perennially wet low-lying areas were dry enough to ride through without a hint of mud. Although Tropical Storm Earl missed this part of Connecticut, it would have been a benefit if he dropped some rain in Hamden. We saw a dirt biker motoring north on Baldwin Drive. While he shouldn't be anywhere in the park, at least he wasn't tearing up the dirt trails. There are a couple of large patches of glass along the northern end of Baldwin Drive, so be aware when riding through this area. Even if someone had a broom, it is difficult to sweep off the pavement because it is so rough. In preparing for this posting, I took the time to clean up my blog about West Rock, so the blog is much easier to navigate. View the blog at

Work Performed: One biker stayed with me after everyone else left to help me with some trail work for about an hour. We cleared a couple of small trees that were partially blocking the trail, plus cut back some overhanging branches. I need to get out along the Red Trail with a pair of clippers because there is multi-flora rose hanging over the trail in far too many places. It is particularly bad in the field near Farm Brook Reservoir.

Town: Hamden
Location: West Rock Ridge State Park
Trail(s) Ridden: Red, White, and Baldwin Drive
How did you use the trail: Ride
What was the time of day: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Hours: 6
Distance: 18 miles

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