Wildwood Trail poachers

To whatever yahoo decided to poach the Wildwood trail, your tracks were visible from Germantown to Springville Road.
Not cool.
Don’t create more access issues where there are few.

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Happens all the time. They poach ridge trail and other side trails that are closed to bikes, too. I know the argument is that if there were a few designated mountain bike single track trails, people wouldn’t ride on the walking parts anymore. But I think it would only make the problem worse by drawing more mountain bikes to the park.

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Eh, how could we loose any more than we already have? Would they ban bikes of Leif if people poached firelane-W? I’m tired of just rolling over and acquiescing to entrenched NIMBYs anyway. We tried to play the political game of getting approval for Riverview and FP through the off-road master plan but that is what 10 years out if it ever happens. At this point we need to signal the demand for access by taking that access until facilities are allocated.

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What is the exact definition of “the problem”? For instance, has anyone been injured due to someone biking on those trails?

I can understand that. It’s true that mtb access around here is heinous.

Wildwood and other side trails are single track that are already over used and over crowded with the existing foot traffic. Adding unregulated, bidirectional bike traffic to mix just exacerbates the problem. Even if no hikers have been injured by cyclists, that doesn’t mean that mixing foot traffic with high speed mountain bikes bombing the trail is a good idea.

I’ve also seen areas where cyclists have been riding off trail, creating new informal desire paths down steep hillsides. Those will likely erode away into deep ruts over time.

Furthermore, I’ve seen numerous tire tracks on the Wildwood on days in midwinter when the entire trail surface is mud. Biking in those conditions damages the trail.

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I’d like to think it’s possible to have hardened, high use multi-mode trails here, but that doesn’t seem to be the mindset.
So dealing within these confines, I would think locals would be savvy enough to not give us a collective black eye by poaching something as so high visibility as Wildwood.
There really does need to be more singletrack, but if if it’s not done with a buy in from all stakeholders then nothing meaningful will get done.

That will never, ever happen if we just say “ok we’ll not ride in FP trails if you don’t want us”. Official trails will only happen in the near future if we show a demand for access. And worrying about “black eyes” will just result in exclusion in perpetuity. I don’t see any practical downside to poaching wildwood. We don’t have any appreciable singletrack now, and we won’t ever if we wait for the nimby hiking nerds to deign to gift us some.

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Hmm.

already over used and over crowded with the existing foot traffic” – thus that’s not “the problem” specifically related to biking on those trails.

“riding off trail” – thus that’s not “the problem” specifically related to riding on trail.

“numerous tire tracks … when the entire trail surface is mud” – yep, I’ve seen 'em along with lots of deep, choppy, overlapping hiking-boot tracks, including mine and apparently yours, when hiking on wet days. Strongly implies that hiking in those conditions damages the trail also. If so, then this is a problem with just being on the trail in wet enough conditions, not specifically biking it.

So I gotta ask again: What is the exact definition of “the problem” specific to bikes on Wildwood and similar? For instance, has anyone been injured?

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You’re just deflecting. It is always a problem to mix mountain bikes in with heavily trafficked trails. That’s why most popular bike trails implement single directional flows, to minimize conflicts.

The off trail tracks that I am aware of are caused by people dropping from Wildwood down to Leif, so riding on Wildwood is the problem.

And yes, hiking on muddy trails is something that I always try to avoid. I happened to get out on Wildwood a little early in the season, before it had dried out a few times in the last couple of years. I found it to be highly treacherous under those conditions, and I didn’t return until I was sure that conditions had improved. Shame on me for getting out too early. But the damage caused by a single bike on a muddy trail is much greater than the damage caused by a single hiker. So I don’t follow your point. Bikes are a problem on Wildwood, full stop.

Should there be dedicated single track in Forest Park? Yes. But the lack does not justify the brazen flouting of the rules that you seem to be advocating.

I love mountain biking just as much as I enjoy hiking, running and road biking. I’d be out there riding mountain bike trails in Forest Park if we had them. But it’s not safe to mix mountain bikes with hikers on single track. It just isn’t. At least not in steep trails with long downhill sections. Bikes should not be on Wildwood.

Edit: threading error on my part. I was attempting to respond to Jaydredd

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Thank you for expressing what I don’t have the energy to write.
He’s trolling. No good comes from poaching regardless of my personal feelings about mtb access in Forest Park.
It just creates conflict.
Yes I would love to be able to rip some trails up there but we cannot.
And it’s idiotic to be cutting down the hill from Wildwood to Leif Erickson. Just look at the base of Waterline.
And isn’t Firelane Ten close by anyway?

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Not advocating anything. Just asking for an exact definition of “the problem,” which you have not yet supplied. On this go round, all I see added is “the problem is always the problem,” which is just tautology, and the principle that one-way trails mitigate conflict (So yay!). Also a blind assertion that a single rider does “much greater” damage than a single hiker, with no support offered.

Please take another crack if you have time. Otherwise, all I can surmise is that “the problem” is simply that the behavior conflicts with the dogma you’ve declared.

Agreed, the act of poaching is inherently, intangibly, societally destructive, so I don’t do it. But the people who do, who feel that’s what it’s come to, can rationally point to decades of documented broken promises and pocket-vetoed efforts – which would seem to put them a bit ahead of you at this point.

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All these people on Reddit are complaining about people driving vehicles and hauling boats on the springwater trail. But there aren’t any documented cases cited by the commenters in which people have been hurt by vehicles driving on the trail. They haven’t adequately defined the problem that is caused by vehicles driving on bike and walking paths.

Um, okay. So look who’s “deflecting” now.

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