Friday, August 3, 2012

West Rock Ridge SP

Date: Aug. 3, 2012
Report Type: TM Report:
Trail Name: West Rock Ridge SP
Town: Hamden
Trail Conditions: Still dry
Observations/Information: Despite the dry conditions, the mosquitos are flying in squadrons, so be sure to wear bug spray. Even trail sections that are normally muddy are firm and dry. I managed to walk 3 miles, despite the fact that I was never more than half a mile from my car.

I finished reblazing the Red Trail from the Purple Trail north to where I left off two weeks ago. This means the Red Trail has been reblazed from the South Overlook to the lower loop on Mountain Road. My next area to reblaze will be Red between the lower and upper loop of Mountain Road. This is the section where blazing is the most critical because of all the twists and turns. The lack of blazing in this area caused me to end up in someone's backyard on a bootleg trail in 2007, prompting me to start my volunteer efforts at West Rock.

I spent most of my time walking back and forth a section of White Trail from the Purple Trail north for 0.2 miles to where a bypass briefly climbs the ridge. I was looking for a place to relocate the White Trail out of the low ground and up onto the ridge, paralleling the existing trail, but further west by anywhere from 100 to 300 feet. I have a general idea in mind of where I want to relocate it, but I need to get back there when the weather is cooler. I was overheating in the 85 degree heat and high humidity. I also would like to go when there has been some rain, so I can make sure I pick a place where it stays dry after a rain.

Once I pick a route, I need state permission to perform the actual relocation. I did not reblaze White in this area, as I want to old trail to be covered over and allow it to heal, once the bypass is established. The trail is obvious and the existing blazes are adequate. There are two obviously bad sections. In one area, the trail twists down a short hill that has some gully-like erosion. A little further north, there are three branches to the trail as people try to get out of the mud when it is wet.

I picked up two buckets worth of old cans and bottles at the Purple Trail trailhead at Main Street.
There is good news outside the park. New Haven has mostly repaved Springside Ave., tranforming the moon craters into a fresh, but bouncy surface, since they just overlaid a thin layer of pavement, without attempting to smooth out what was underneath. For those driving from Westville, this was welcome news.
Trail Ambassador Name: Tom Ebersold

Trail Ambassador E-mail: bikehikekayak123 [at] sbcglobal [dot] net
How did you use the trail? Other Trail use
Trails Ridden: Red and White
Time of day: Afternoon
Time/Duration (hours): 2.5 hours
Approximate Distance (Miles): 3 miles
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