Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 43 total)
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  • #292729

    Austin
    Participant

    I recently found out that a sign went up stating permanent closure of Dark Branch. I’ve inquired and be assured that a temporary reroute for Dark Branch is in the works until a permanent one is decided. More later as I get more on the plans.

    Austin

    #477673

    Rob Lowe
    Participant

    That sucks, but it’s not surprising. Dark Branch was erroding 2-3 years ago, I’m sure by now it’s a real mess after this fall.

    #477676

    TonyP
    Participant

    Thanks for the Update Austin. Is there a timeframe on when the re-route will be completed? This is certainly prime riding season for Little Bennett. The trail was eroded a bit, but has been the same for quite a while now and did not suffer any damage from the recent storms.

    Do you think the park would consider opening the trail back up until the re-route could be completed?

    #477651

    saxman
    Participant

    I’ll drop the Park Manager a line and see what’s up. I know the section that dropped down to the creek valley was in really bad shape, but the stuff up on the ridgeline was pretty good…better than most of Little Bennett’s trails. Log House north of Clarksburg Road was another good one that has been shut down.

    #477677

    mbonsby
    Participant

    That trail was not damaged or changed at all by the storm! I ride there alot! It was really weird that they put up signs about trail damage all over the park but the only damage was flooding in the low areas?

    #477678

    mbonsby
    Participant

    Any chance they could open it for one day next Sun. the 16th ? If so I would move the logs and brush and put them back myself on Monday! Please!!

    #477652

    saxman
    Participant

    I’m checking with the Park Manager to find out what’s up. Prescott Road makes a good alternate to Dark Branch, other than having to ford Little Bennett Creek, which can get pretty deep at times. It’s one heck of a climb, probably the toughest in the park.

    #477679

    mbonsby
    Participant

    Thanks Saxman! Both Prescott and Western Piedmont are really deep since the flood. Dark branch is the only way to get to that side with dry feet!

    #477675

    Austin
    Participant

    @tonyp 217262 wrote:

    Thanks for the Update Austin. Is there a timeframe on when the re-route will be completed? This is certainly prime riding season for Little Bennett. The trail was eroded a bit, but has been the same for quite a while now and did not suffer any damage from the recent storms.

    Do you think the park would consider opening the trail back up until the re-route could be completed?

    I think that should be one of the options. I will be talking with park folks Wednesday. Either myself or Saxman should have something Wednesday.

    Austin

    #477653

    saxman
    Participant

    Dark Branch is still open along the ridgeline coming in from Prescott Road. It is only the section that decends down to Hyattstown Mill Road. The trail has a turnaround for a nice out-and-back from Prescott Or, you can make a right turn on the return trip at the U-shaped tree and head out across the fields to get back to Prescott.

    I also asked about the status of older closures such as Hard Cider and Loggers Trail north of Clarksburg Road, which were both favored by the mountain bike crowd and to see if these will be reopened anytime in the reasonably near future.

    #477680

    mbonsby
    Participant

    The problem with closing Dark Branch at the bottom is thats the only way to get across the creek with dry feetl. Hard Cider was the best trail in the park to bad they closed that one

    #477654

    saxman
    Participant

    I got an e-mail from Bob Turnbull this morning. Dark Branch was closed due to the erosion issues which made the trail “completely unsafe”. Remember, skilled MTB riders are not the only people who use these trails, and their safety has to be taken into consideration.

    The good news is that a Dark Branch reroute is definitely in the works which will expand the trails in that section of the park (one of the nicest areas of the park, IMHO). Also, re-opening Hard Cider and the section of Loggers north of Clarksburg Road are under consideration. With Austin’s Browning Run reroute almost done, and the other items all on the agenda, things are looking up for Little Bennett, we just ask for a little bit of patience while these plans come to fruition. It will be worth the wait.

    #477682

    sierra11861
    Participant

    Road the re-routed/new (upper) Dark Branch yesterday. Whoever laid out the trail did a great job. Of course it needs some wear on it in order for it to be compacted properly but I loved it anyway. Great job on that (dare I say it) jump coming down from the horse parking area. Well done!! Keep up the good work. Looking forward to having it connect to the bottom someday, can’t wait

    #477674

    Rob Lowe
    Participant

    I’m sure with 49.5% probability that it was Austin, I’m sure he will chime in soon to confirm or deny. 🙂

    #477655

    saxman
    Participant

    If it’s going on at Little Ben…Austin definitely had a hand in it. I’m not sure which part of the Dark Branch you’re describing. As far as I knew, that trail hadn’t been cut yet. Then again, the Windy Ridge Trail suddenly popped up out of nowhere, too.

    With all the new (and much more fun to ride) trails coming on line at Little Bennett, I will be resuming the night rides there this fall. I just put in the request to renew the permit. Where there used to be only one “fun” way around Little Bennett, the new trails have opened up a lot more options for some very fun rides.

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