Saturday, December 18, 2010

TA Report: West Rock

Date of Activity: Dec. 18, 2010
Location: West Rock Ridge State Park
Condition of Trails(s): Mostly solid, some icy spots and some frost heaved places

Observations: The White Trail from the Purple Trail continuing for a distance to about one-third of a mile north of this location has lots of ice on it. I plan to focus on this area for an extensive rerouting that I will put into motion next spring, working with the park supervisor. I figure that flagging a route is best done when the trails are soggiest. Water is flowing along all the seasonal watercourses and the boggy area has about 2 inches of water throughout, but trail users stay dry thanks to an extensive trail project I did with the help of others about two years ago. The Red Trail has a few icy spots, but is mostly dry. There are many large piles of leaves, which are the result of heavy water flows from recent rains. Complete trail info is available on my blog at
Encounters: Surprisingly almost no one until I was headed out, and then I saw three trail runners on the Red Trail.

Trail Ambassador Name: Tom Ebersold
Trail Ambassador Email: bikehikekayak {at} sbcglobal {dot} net
Town: Hamden
Trail(s) Walked: White, between Purple and its end at Red near Mountain Road, and Red from Mountain Road to the Purple Trail; also the Purple-White Dot Trail (which is closed to mountain biking).
How did you use the trail: Trail maintenance
What was the time of day: 1 to 4 p.m.
Duration (Hours): 3 hours
Distance (Miles): 2 miles
Work Performed: The main focus of my trip was clearing away a downed tree on the Purple-White Dot Trail, which has been there for about three months. I had asked the state to remove it, but no action was taken. Using a handsaw, I cut it into two sections. I had hoped to be able to drop it on the trail to act as a waterbar, but the curve of the tree did not match the curve of the trail. I blocked off the trail that people created around the downed tree. I cut some vines and multi-flora rose along the Red Trail. This visit finishes addressing much of the concerns that were raised in a TA report of 10/2/10. I had previously taken care of the tree blocking the White Trail on Oct. 17. The water is flowing freely, showing the benefit of the various bridges. For the runners I encountered, it is especially important to provide them with a dry trail because they are wearing decidedly non-waterproof sneakers. Thanks to Mike Ceruzzi, a hiker friend who has helped me previously, who hauled a number of wheelbarrowfuls of gravel to a low section on the White Trail about two weeks ago.

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