This morning some of the PASA crew met out at the South Fork River Trail (SFRT) which runs from McAdenville to Lowell to do our end of summer trail clearing. For those of you who have not been to the SFRT it is a two mile long greenway trail and the first piece of the Carolina Thread Trail in Gaston County to grow from a concept to an actual thread. PASA helped make that happen and we also set aside some of our volunteer time to help maintain it. Of course if we’re involved you know bikes are allowed. The SFRT can be added to your Poston ride with just a little bit of pavement pedaling to get to there from the park. If anyone wants directions on how to ride there from Poston just let us know and we will explain. It’s a nice out-and-back…nothing technical but it does add another 4 miles of primitive riding to a Poston session (scenic riverside trail at that)! It’s also a great place to just ride if you want to take children or newbies on an off-road bicycle ride that is SUPER beginner friendly. A big thanks goes out to Kevin B and Scott P for joining me for a nice hot and humid vegetation clearing session this morning. Okay I'm serious this time…NO MORE TRAIL WORK UNTIL THE LEAVES FALL! It’s hard to type with my fingers crossed.  ;)

Trail work on the SFRT...

With the 2011 building season behind us at Poston I thought everyone might enjoy checking out what we have planned for 2012. The number one item is to move the trailhead back to the front of the park. We will tie the trail back into the original Michaux Loop using what is still there and building new trail for what was lost to the lake construction. Also at the trailhead we will have a kids trail and a pump track! We will also extend the Spencer Mountain Loop onto the actual mountain. The park property has a good 30 acres or so on the edge of the mountain and we plan on using it! Finally there is a nice untapped piece of land on the south side of the park property that we can use to do a loop or two. Altogether these three sections of trail should add bare minimum another 4 miles of trail putting us over the 10 mile mark! In the images below the blue lines are the existing trail and the yellow is proposed trail.

Trail

ABOVE – A good portion of the yellow trail in this image is Michaux Loop and already exist but isn’t currently being used. Rebuilding should go fast however there are two bridges that need to be built, Parks & Rec will be helping us with both of those.

Trails

ABOVE – This Spencer Mountain Loop will finally get its grand finale as we move it onto the edge of Spencer Mountain!

Trails

ABOVE – The Southern Loop…a nice long run with typical crazy Poston terrain.

If there’s one thing that makes trail work even more fun than it already is I’d have to say it would have to be a heat wave. At least now we’re certified at building trail on the face of the sun or the gates of Hell. Surely that kind of experience is good for something? No? Oh well at least we’re dumb enough to not realize it. The good news, we are done working on the trail at Poston until the leaves fall and it turns cool again. The even better news, all the bridge work is complete!

Saturday morning myself, DaveZ, Scott, and Kevin met out at Poston to build a 8 foot bridge from the ground up and to plank the monster 25 foot bridge we had put the runners in place for a few weeks back. I worked on planking the big boy since that could be done pretty easily with one person; towards the end Scott joined me and helped knock it out! Altogether this bridge was a whole lot of work from a lot of people to get it complete. Lots of sweat for what will be about two seconds of riding but such is bridges.

Bridge

ABOVE - The big bridge, partially built

Bridge

ABOVE - The big bridge complete!

Bridge

ABOVE - Entrance to the new bridge. Right now you use the lumber ramp but come cooler weather we will add a dirt ramp as well.

Dave, Kevin, and Scott built the 8 foot bridge while I was planking the bigger bridge. The 8 foot bridge is on the trail almost immediately before the big bridge. There is a small gully there which we had to get across. Before last weekend we didn’t even know it was there because the woods are so thick, it wasn’t until we got to bushwhacking that we discovered it.

Bridge

ABOVE - Kevin sinking the runners into the ground, did I mention it was like one million degrees outside?

Bridge

ABOVE - Dave, Kevin, and Scott doing work!

Bridge

ABOVE - The 8 foot bridge complete!

These two bridges being complete changes the trail entrance altogether so the entrance by the small pond is now used to exit only, for more information on that go to PASA Projects/Poston Trails on the website menu. So short of Mother Nature dropping a tree on the trail or something like that Saturday mornings are for riding trail for the next few months instead of working trail! I want to thank everybody that came out this last building season, you all helped to get Poston back into not only a real mountain bike loop again but an exceptional trail. I’m going to try to list everyone below but I am doing this off the top of my head so hopefully I don’t leave anyone out. If you aren't listed and helped please hit me up and I'll amend. Thanks again!

2011 Poston Volunteers so far: Ben Cohen(& daughters), Blair Young(& son), Calvin Stiles (& sons), Carlton Knoles, Craig Clough, Dan Gore, Dave Zugelder, Jamie Cameron, John Woodward, Jon Stuhlman, Josh Jarvis, Josh Taylor, Kevin Barker(& children), Russ Sprinkles(and son), Scott Beard, Scott Pagan, Tom Faustus

This morning we took advantage of the unusually cool temperatures as we continue to add more trail back to Poston. First duty of the day was to hike in to the bridge we opened last weekend. A lot of dirt work was still needed at this bridge. We added and packed in additional dirt for the ramps onto the bridge; we also made a ramp off for the immediate left hand turn that occurs your second time coming back over the bridge. The dirt work is pretty solid but will likely need a good rain to really pack in.

Bridge

Bridge

After that we cut in a new trail that runs to the other bridge we are currently working on which should be complete next weekend. This trail will become the new temporary entrance instead of the trail that runs beside the little pond…which will now only be used as the exit. We finished the entire new section of trail today which should add somewhere between a quarter to a half mile to overall length of Poston Trail! This section of trail is still disconnected from the existing trail so if you go out and ride you won’t hit it until we tie it in next weekend (if everything goes as planned). Big thanks to Carlton, Kevin, Russ, and Scott for coming out today working on the trail!

Fresh new trail

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