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sketchleft
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Caution status?
11/16/20 at 6:19pm
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Stupid question... what does the "caution" trail status indicate?
  
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Re: Caution status?
Reply #1 - 11/16/20 at 8:46pm
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I'm pretty sure for ASC it means....closed to non-members on weekends.

For LNSP, not sure.  Maybe it hasn't been adequately leaf blown and therefore not fit for human occupation.  Or maybe it still has scary spiderwebs.
  
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IntheBush
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Re: Caution status?
Reply #2 - 11/16/20 at 9:04pm
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sketchleft wrote on 11/16/20 at 6:19pm:
Stupid question... what does the "caution" trail status indicate?


Just a wild guess here..
Exercise caution on the trail.. Huh
  

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Re: Caution status?
Reply #3 - 11/17/20 at 8:34am
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sketchleft wrote on 11/16/20 at 6:19pm:
Stupid question... what does the "caution" trail status indicate?

My experience at LNSP has been usually that Laurel is closed &/or Wildlife trails.
Just generally that most trails are probably open to ride while some still remain wet enough to stay closed.
  

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TrillWill
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Re: Caution status?
Reply #4 - 11/17/20 at 10:32am
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As mentioned above it means different things at different trails.  At Lake Norman, the Rangers will use the caution status to indicate when there is a partial opening of the trail system.

It's been refreshing that Park staff are managing the trails in a new way at the State Park.  With 8 different loops that make up the ~30 miles of trail conditions can vary greatly over the entire park.  Some loops are ready to ride, while others are still soggy and susceptible to trail damage.

Generally, Monbo and the other loops on that side of the park (Hawk, Hicks, Norwood) will open first if there is a partial opening/caution status.  It will likely be used more frequently during the winter months when drying takes longer due to lower temperatures.
  

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Robert C.
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Re: Caution status?
Reply #5 - 11/17/20 at 9:49pm
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TrillWill wrote on 11/17/20 at 10:32am:
As mentioned above it means different things at different trails.  At Lake Norman, the Rangers will use the caution status to indicate when there is a partial opening of the trail system.

It's been refreshing that Park staff are managing the trails in a new way at the State Park.  With 8 different loops that make up the ~30 miles of trail conditions can vary greatly over the entire park.  Some loops are ready to ride, while others are still soggy and susceptible to trail damage.

Generally, Monbo and the other loops on that side of the park (Hawk, Hicks, Norwood) will open first if there is a partial opening/caution status.  It will likely be used more frequently during the winter months when drying takes longer due to lower temperatures.


Can you point them to the WWC staff please?
  
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Re: Caution status?
Reply #6 - 11/18/20 at 8:49am
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TrillWill wrote on 11/17/20 at 10:32am:
As mentioned above it means different things at different trails.  At Lake Norman, the Rangers will use the caution status to indicate when there is a partial opening of the trail system.

It's been refreshing that Park staff are managing the trails in a new way at the State Park.  With 8 different loops that make up the ~30 miles of trail conditions can vary greatly over the entire park.  Some loops are ready to ride, while others are still soggy and susceptible to trail damage.

Generally, Monbo and the other loops on that side of the park (Hawk, Hicks, Norwood) will open first if there is a partial opening/caution status.  It will likely be used more frequently during the winter months when drying takes longer due to lower temperatures.

Did not know they were doing that now. Seems like a couple of years since I last rode there. Maybe I will check it out sometime
  
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Re: Caution status?
Reply #7 - 11/18/20 at 9:22am
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TrillWill wrote on 11/17/20 at 10:32am:
Some loops are ready to ride, while others are still soggy and susceptible to trail damage.

Generally, Monbo and the other loops on that side of the park (Hawk, Hicks, Norwood) will open first if there is a partial opening/caution status.  It will likely be used more frequently during the winter months when drying takes longer due to lower temperatures.


Good in theory, but I'm not sure how well practiced.

The back loops get less water and are as a rule less wet than the front loops.  When I ride the front loops (as I did yesterday) I can generally tell conditions on the back loops by how the front loops look.  As of yesterday noon, it has been five days since the last rain.  If the rangers close the trails five days every time it rains, guess how much riding happens?

I will tell you right now the back loops are bone dry.  Perhaps they are doing trail work or taking down trees or doing something else that requires those trails to be closed for safety reasons.  They are definitely NOT closed due to water.  Maybe they feel they need to blow the trails due to leaf fall and don't have the manpower(?)  They blew most of the front loops two weeks ago, but last week's storm blew all the leaves back Smiley
« Last Edit: 11/18/20 at 9:27am by Bonsai Nut »  

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Re: Caution status?
Reply #8 - 11/19/20 at 4:05pm
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Bonsai, who are you?  I don't want that to come off in a rude way, lol, I'm genuinely  curious to see if we know each other.  I ride out at LKN all the time and have coordinated most THTB trail work activities since out there Big Bike Mike left (outside of what Kevin S and Brian H do on their own). Will Washam here.

I'm curious what you mean by the back loops get less water than the front loops?  By back loops do you mean the south/east side loops (Laurel and Wildlife)?  Are you saying the drainage area feeding into the area where those loops are located is smaller, therefore carries less water?

I'd beg to differ a little on what trails dry out first.  Monbo is hands down the first loop to get in rideable shape after a rain (in large part due to the attention Kevin has paid it over the last few years).

The south/east side loops are the newer loops and are still in good shape drainage wise.  Wildlife especially, so I do appreciate the Rangers being a little more conservative on that side so all of the outsloped turns and grade dips don't get rutted out and turn to mud holes.  It's crazy how we're just one really wet and heavy bike traffic day from having every fun dip and turn on Wildlife and Laurel turn into a mud hole.  I spent a good bit of time on Laurel two days and three days after the huge rain last week.  It was very surprising that the trail was wetter on day three than day two.  There was a ton of water slowly seeping downhill and out of the sides of the trail.

-Will
« Last Edit: 11/19/20 at 4:43pm by TrillWill »  

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Re: Caution status?
Reply #9 - 11/19/20 at 4:07pm
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Bonsai Nut wrote on 11/18/20 at 9:22am:


Perhaps they are doing trail work or taking down trees or doing something else that requires those trails to be closed for safety reasons. 


Yep the rangers will use the Caution status if there is an abundance of downed trees in the system that haven't been cleared yet but the trails are open.
  

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Re: Caution status?
Reply #10 - 11/19/20 at 8:20pm
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TrillWill wrote on 11/19/20 at 4:05pm:
Bonsai, who are you?  I don't want that to come off in a rude way, lol, I'm genuinely  curious to see if we know each other.  


Newish to the area, and given the joys of coronavirus, have not met many folks this year, so no we have never met.  I live two miles from the park, so I ride it regularly.

Just rode Laurel, Wildlife, Fallstown and Fox loops today with my buddies Steve and Bob.  Glad to see the trails were in great shape, and nice and dry.  Can't say I have ever ridden Monbo by itself without also riding Norwood Creek, Hawk and Hicks Creek loops.  I guess it is personal opinion how many wet crossing and soft bottoms there are on each series of loops.  But it's somewhat irrelevant what I think because it isn't going to change anything Smiley
« Last Edit: 11/19/20 at 8:26pm by Bonsai Nut »  

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Re: Caution status?
Reply #11 - 11/20/20 at 12:53pm
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Bonsai Nut wrote on 11/19/20 at 8:20pm:


Newish to the area, and given the joys of coronavirus, have not met many folks this year, so no we have never met.  I live two miles from the park, so I ride it regularly.



Welcome to the area!   

Given that you're new you may not know that all trail maintenance outside of using chainsaws to cut out large trees is the responsibility of the THTB at the LKN State Park Trails (Since the opening of the first loop in 2003).  It's the only trail system where we do the maintenance but the land manager makes the opening and closing decisions.  So from my view as the volunteer coordinator it's an interesting balance between wanting to ride as much as possible and not wanting the trails to get hit hard with bike traffic when they are wet (as I'm sure you've noticed the place gets tons of traffic).  If you pass me your name I can invite you to our facebook group for LKN trail work.

I will say the Rangers have constantly improved on being more and more in tune with the trails and their conditions over the years.  I've personally encouraged them to consider the partial openings as they have 8 individual loops and conditions can vary widely across the park.  Again, as you're new, the colder temperatures will increase the time the trails close after a significant rain.  And if the temps get much below freezing after a rain the freeze thaw will keep them closed even longer.  I don't know where you moved from but in the piedmont of NC we tend to get moisture that moves through in the winter followed by a cold front on the backside which can mean freeze thaw purgatory.

Anyways, probably more than you wanted to know, lol.  Hopefully other folks reading get some info out of the post too.
  

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Re: Caution status?
Reply #12 - 11/20/20 at 4:51pm
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New to the area, certainly not new to mountain biking.  I'm used to riding mountain trails in the rain and the snow.  I'm not used to riding forest trails that are closed for five days after every rain.  This is not being critical - just frank.  The trails here are pristine.  They are in better shape than most commercial downhill parks I've seen.  First mountain bike trails I've ever ridden that have leaves blown off them.  But at what cost?  NC sees a ton of rain.  There is always going to be a balance - trail condition versus trail availability.

I won't be the first to question when a trail is rideable and when it isn't Smiley  I think the discussion has been on-going for as long as there has been mountain biking.  And as far as my opinion of which of those loops are drier following a rain... it is simply my experience from riding them immediately after they open.  But it's not worth getting into an argument over.  As I said before - my opinion on the subject doesn't really matter.  When you ride in the mountains, freeze/thaw cycle is how you ride Smiley

Will certainly take you up on your offer for trailwork when I have free time.  Sadly I am in a one-year spiral of time suck called "new home construction".  I have some experience in trail work... as a manual laborer... though usually beer and good Mexican food is also involved Smiley

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« Last Edit: 11/20/20 at 6:22pm by Bonsai Nut »  

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Re: Caution status?
Reply #13 - 11/20/20 at 9:23pm
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Don't sweat it Bonsai. I moved over in 2006 after riding VT, CO and HI for 30yrs.  Very comfortable riding in the slop and came to miss that type of riding after a few years over here. 

The THTB gnomes really bust ass to keep these CLT systems as sweet as they are.  Just have to roll with it and ride the areas that open (1 day) after rain.  Kerr Scott trails are awesome and the guys who maintain them open (generally) after the rain stops.

I used to go off on the trail closures but eventually had to agree with the gnomes.  There are just soooo many riders here and the silty clay loam soil does take a beating.  In the Mtn towns I've lived in and the jungle of HI there was way more area to cover and that keeps congestion down. 

As far as the Wildlife loops go, could we plz build some sturdy bridges across the 2-3 WICKED dips? I feel sorry for the newbie on a hard tail that comes into them at speed! It would be great to make a couple of proper gap jumps (with chicken lines, of course, and maybe the "sturdy bridges" I mentioned).

In closing...Thx to the gnomes and Rangers at LNSP, etc...CLT has great trail systems fo' sho'!
  
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Re: Caution status?
Reply #14 - 11/21/20 at 8:23am
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808golden wrote on 11/20/20 at 9:23pm:
Don't sweat it Bonsai. I moved over in 2006 after riding VT, CO and HI for 30yrs.  Very comfortable riding in the slop and came to miss that type of riding after a few years over here.


Yeah, I rode a ton of trails that got brushed once per year and that was it.  And by brushed, I mean people with loppers would ride the trail and chop any branches that extended into the trail.  If you moved a single loose rock out of a rock garden section you'd have people raging at you for days Smiley

My version of "too wet to ride" usually means there is physically too much water to be able to see the trail or ride through it Smiley  But I want to be careful that I don't come off as a jerk - when in Rome follow the local bike rules.  I just think five or six days of dry after a rain is excessive.  But I don't make the rules.

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« Last Edit: 11/21/20 at 8:25am by Bonsai Nut »  

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Re: Caution status?
Reply #15 - 11/21/20 at 7:32pm
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That's a great point..
Locals know local area trails the best.

Due to the soil conditions, topography, rainfall, shading and short dry cycles this time of year in this area, if trails weren't allowed to dry and settle after heavy rains, there would quickly turn to chronically muddy and waterlogged slop in no time. 

This isn't mountain terrain, with its fast run off, and the amount of rock on most trails in this area is much less.

I'm not aware of any trail in the area that has ever been closed for 5 or 6 days after a rain.
But as I've said before, this year has not been normal and has been one of the wettest I can remember.

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Re: Caution status?
Reply #16 - 11/22/20 at 8:04am
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IntheBush wrote on 11/21/20 at 7:32pm:

I'm not aware of any trail in the area that has ever been closed for 5 or 6 days after a rain.


Last week Laurel, Wildlife, Fallstown and Fox loops were closed in Lake Norman State Park for 5.5 days after the rain ended.  That's what this thread is about Smiley  The rain ended at noon on the 12th.  The trails did not open until the 18th.
  

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Re: Caution status?
Reply #17 - 11/22/20 at 9:50am
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Wow..
I think that was after the tropical storm dumped 9" of rain..
That's not common. 
A general rule of thumb from my experience around here is 24 hours after a rainy day, most trails are going to be open. 

And yes, I have also made the trip before only to be disappointed the decision hasn't been made yet. So now I call ahead if there's any question in my mind.

I'm sure these guys are checking the trail daily before making the decision to reopen it.
I wont second guess them, I rarely venture that far north.

One thing you might keep in mind and that you may have already noticed. This is the land of heavy thunderstorms.. Sometimes one trail will get drenched and 10 miles down the road 'nothing'.. I know many of the rainy day riders like RRT, which rarely closes unless its underwater. If you haven't been there, check it out. 
It is, what it is.  Wink




« Last Edit: 11/22/20 at 9:55am by IntheBush »  

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Re: Caution status?
Reply #18 - 11/22/20 at 11:23am
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TrillWill wrote on 11/20/20 at 12:53pm:

If you pass me your name I can invite you to our facebook group for LKN trail work.

Not OP but I sent a join request to your group.
  

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Re: Caution status?
Reply #19 - 11/23/20 at 1:20pm
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StevenA wrote on 11/22/20 at 11:23am:

Not OP but I sent a join request to your group.


Nice!
  

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