Monday, November 22, 2010

TA Report, West Rock

Date of Activity: Nov. 22, 2010
Location: West Rock Ridge State Park
Condition of Trails(s): Good
Observations: The trails at West Rock are dry and solid for riding, although the White Trail is potentially slippery with a carpet of leaves. There were no leaves on the Red Trail. The recent rains have started to replenish some watercourses in the park, but others are still dry. There is one chronically low muddy spot just north of the Purple Trail, a problem to address some time in the future. I saw three people walking dogs, but no bikers. There are various by-passes along the White Trail designed to by-pass areas that are wet most of the year. One of these by-pass trails rejoins the White Trail about half a mile south of the Purple Trail, near an unauthorized trail. I have blocked off this unauthorized trail several times and return only to find the brush tossed aside and the trail reopened. Please respect the park by riding only on the White and Red Trails. In this general area, I hope someday to relocate substantial portions of the White Trail, potentially one-third to one-half mile in length to get the trail out of an area at the bottom of the ridge that tends to collect water and becomes a sea of mud in the spring. The relocation would place the trail about 100 to 300 feet upslope of the current trail. I would need to identify the potential new trail location and get state authorization for the work to proceed.

Work Performed: I walked the Red Trail from Mountain Road to the White Trail and back on the Red. I did some minor pruning along the White Trail, and took care of invasives along the Red Trail, focusing in particular on removing the berries of a barberry bush. West Rock does NOT have a barberry problem, unlike other places where barberries grow as far as the eye can see, so I wanted to take out the berries on the one bush I saw, that I also cut to the ground. I was not happy to see some baby autumn olive shrubs growing along the Red Trail, as I have not previously seen them in this area. Left unchecked they will choke out ever other plant species. I cut them and hope they will not resprout. There are many multi-flora rose bushes to cut down in this area. I took out the ones that were hanging over the trail, which is a potentially nasty encounter in bike shorts.
As a reminder, the updated state park map may be downloaded at
The phone number for the park office (based at Sleeping Giant State Park) has changed. The new number is 203-287-5658

Trail Ambassador Name: Tom Ebersold
Trail Ambassador Email: bikehikekayak {at} sbcglobal {dot} net
Town: Hamden
Trail(s) Walked: White and Red, between Mountain Road and the Purple Trail
How did you use the trail: Trail maintenance
What was the time of day: 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Duration (Hours): 2 hours
Distance (Miles): 2 miles

No comments: