Saturday, November 13, 2010

TM Report: West Rock

Trail Ambassador Name: Tom Ebersold
Observations: Except for some low spots, the trails at West Rock are dry and solid for riding. I saw a group of three mountain bikers, a solo mountain biker on his first trip to the park, and a father with his 10-year old son on bikes. All thanked me for doing trail work as they rode by, and the solo biker stopped to chat for a minute. He was a Yalie relocated from upstate New York and heard about West Rock from a local bike shop. I gave directions to a family on foot looking to walk up to Baldwin Drive, but unsure of the way to go. I also saw a couple of people with dogs.

Work Performed: In the morning, I helped the West Rock Ridge Association crew with its annual maintenance of the Blue-blazed Regicides Trail, which is always closed to mountain bikes. To help with the message, I put up a Connecticut Forest and Parks-supplied blue triangle at the South Overlook where the trail starts (see picture), and at Judges Cave where it comes out. The sign makes it clear that the Blue Trail is closed to bikes. After the crew finished with brush clearing and blazing, I headed down to the White Trail and donned my orange Trail Ambassador jersey. Using my handtruck and two buckets, I hauled 10 loads of gravel to the intersection of the White and Purple Trails. Along the sides of the seasonal watercourse, the trail can get quite muddy in the spring and the gravel will help to create a solid surface for travel. I moved about half of the pile the state left me. I will return on a future trip to fill in a permanent muddy low spot on the Red Trail about 1/3 mile south of the Purple Trail, plus adding some additional gravel to the White Trail near the seasonal watercourse.

Date of Activity: Nov. 13, 2010
Location: West Rock Ridge State Park
Condition of Trails(s): Good

Trail Ambassador Email: bikehikekayak {at} sbcglobal {dot} net
Town: Hamden
Trail(s) Walked: White
How did you use the trail: Trail maintenance
What was the time of day: 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Duration (Hours): 2 hours
Distance (Miles): 0.5 miles
The state has published an updated trails map on the website, which reflects much of the blazing and reblazing I did over the past three years. The new map makes it clear that mountain bikes are limited to the Red and White Trails, rules also stated on the signboards (see picture). Although Purple and Yellow (in particular) are traditionally popular with mountain bikers, they are officially closed to bikes. Biking on these and other hiking-only trails can only serve to mar the reputation of mountain bikers. The 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.
I added a page to my blog on West Rock that I called my "West Rock Wish List." The blog may be read at

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