Date: April 17, 2012
Trail Name: West Rock Ridge SP
Trail Conditions: Mostly dry
Observations/Information: I started at West Rock in 2007 by reblazing and clearing back overhanging brush on the Red Trail. As I reach 500 hours of volunteer service to the park, I return to where I started, reblazing and clearing brush on the Red Trail. So far, I have reblazed from the trailhead at the South Overlook to the main entrance on Wintergreen Avenue.
I have not heard back from the state regarding my proposed updates to the biking regs at West Rock. I am suggesting a number of changes. One of them would be to post "No Biking" signs on the Red Trail between the South Overlook and the base of the climb. The trail is extremely steep and heavily eroded in this area. It's not suited for biking and and biking would only serve to accelerate the erosion.
I did propose an expansion related to the work I did today. With permission from the West Rock park supervisor, and New Haven Parks, I reblazed an old carriage road that extends from the ballfield in Westville to the Red Trail. The new color is Teal, which is like the color of the ocean in the Caribbean. There were some faint dark blue circles on portions of the trees along this trail, which is about one mile long, and connects to the Red Trail about a half-mile south of the main entrance. Part of the Teal Trail overlaps the White-Red Diamond Trail maintained by Common Ground High School.
When officially approved, this creates a useful loop for bikers south of the main entrance. I recommend cycling south on the Red Trail, then looking left on the Teal Trail. There are a few moderately steep eroded sections that offer some technical challenge. Before reaching the ballfield, turn right onto the unmarked trail where I painted a Red arrow on the tree, and in 100 yards, you will come to the Red Trail. Turn right onto the Red Trail to head back north. The Red Trail has three sets of stairs that are in poor condition, and people have created a path around them. Once you get past the stairs, the trail levels off into double track. I recommend going in this direction because the Teal Trail is a moderate descent heading south, and it's easier to negotiate the stair areas on the Red Trail heading north.
There is a muddy section near where the Red Trail meets the Teal Trail. The culverts, and drainage ditches have filled in, and the water sits on the trail. I will get to this project eventually. It took me five years to wade through over projects to get to blazing the Teal Trail.
The photo shows the Teal Trail heading into Westville, just past the turn off to reach the Red Trail.
Trail Ambassador Name: Tom Ebersold
Trail Ambassador E-mail: bikehikekayak123 [at] sbcglobal [dot] net
How did you use the trail? Hiking/Walking
Trails Ridden: Red and Teal
Time of day: Afternoon
Time/Duration (hours): 4.5
Approximate Distance (Miles): 2.5 miles