I've been waiting for the dust to settle on all the changes to the trails this summer before updating everyone. A lot has happened.
A. The new Bearbottom and Rootbear Trails in Greenbelt Central are open for all except equestrians. MSB asks that horses stay off those new trails until after breakup 2014. This worked well with the 1-yr old Bearberry Bluff trail. It's reasonably hardened by bike and foot traffic the first year, and the tread was in good shape the other day. Trail crew and volunteers repaired some damage this spring where some horses, feet, and wheels got on too early.
Details of changes at end of email.
B. Map Changes. I think I've got most of the updates on our interactive map, which you can find embedded on our website
It's easiest for me to update that map than the .pdf version, so that will have the most recent changes.
C. Next up is drafting the signs (probably 1 wk or so), having them made (usually 2 wks or more), and installing them. I'd be surprised if they're installed before end of October. (I've been out of town the last two weekends and catching up on gpsing, have meetings, etc)
D. Then update the .pdf map. That's going to happen after all this other stuff is taken care of so I'm sure we have everything.
E. Reminder about maps, signs, and maintenance on trail system. All trails on the map have signs for them, and *may* be maintained by land managers or volunteer groups with permit - as budgets allow. All signed trails are on the map. IF you wander off a trail with signs, you have left our trail system and are on your own. There will be no signs, and the "trail" is not maintained. People have been lost in the area for hours, which is why we've (volunteers and land managers) worked together for almost 5 yrs to map and sign the system.
While our maps may not be perfect, you shouldn't end up on Taxiway B using our maps. :)
F. If you haven't gotten out on the trails recently, try out the new Bearbottom Trail and view the fall colors. I uploaded a few pictures to our FB page yesterday.
Map Changes Details
1. CMT has new trailhead with a single track leading to the top of the sledding hill and a single track Stadium Trail winding down into the Stadium and connecting with Outer Trail.
2. Upper part of the Landfill Loop has been closed for safety reasons as the Landfill started construction there. We knew this was coming for several years. Lower part is still available. (I'm just doing the mapping and signing of MGT stuff. If you have questions about the Landfill, ask the Landfill manager. I know the last one had some ideas he was trying to implement, including keeping the trash off the trails. If you have questions about the trail closure, contact MSB Parks and Rec.)
3. New Bearbottom Trail and Rootbear Trail connect with one-year old Bearberry Bluff in Greenbelt Central. MSB asks that horses stay off those new trails until after breakup 2014. This worked well with the Bearberry Bluff trail. It's reasonably hardened, and the tread was in good shape the other day. Apparently the horses have either been not pooping or the poop is being picked up - at least most of the time. Other users really appreciate this.
4. State Parks has a couple bypasses toward the east end of Long Lake Loop. (Only one is shown right now. I need to gps the other yet)
5. Mat-Su College has some major construction and lost much of their main parking lot where the main trailhead is. There was also some construction on Cottrell Campus Drive which affected access from the neighborhood. I have not been there in awhile, but the map reflects conditions in June, iirc. At that time, the Hilly Loop no longer fed directly into the parking lot because of construction. Cottrell Campus Drive became a trailhead as reflected by where we located the trailhead structure a year ago. The College had informed us of the construction, and that's where we agreed to locate the trailhead. The Hilly Loop may eventually reconnect with something, but waiting for dust to settle on their construction. Snodgrass Hall Trailhead is probably the main trailhead for now.
6. Farm. We removed some of the farm roads shown between their storage buildings on the map. This clarifies how they would like people to access the trails. No changes in any trails, just the map.