On Thankgiving day Kenny and I went out to the North Road Nature Preserve and spent two hours in the woods flagging the new trail. It's great that we start to move into a more mature, open woods as we get closer to the creek. There is a pretty good variety of mature deciduous trees back in there.
We also managed to run the trail right beside this ancient apple tree that's growing back in there. This thing is awesome - it looks like some sort of ancient "wizard tree", all twisted and weird. Very cool to be able to bring the trail that way.
We had the usual tough time trying to pick a line between the soft area and the refuse back there, but we did manage to get in what I hope is a decent line. It moves us further towards the creek banks, plus it gives us access to one of the few areas that has a decent supply of rocks. Once we get the trail done another 200 yards from the existing trail we'll be able to move our trail wagon down there and start moving some of the big rocks to the wet areas that really need them.
This is a picture from Mill Creek Park, the metropark for Youngstown, Ohio (where I work).
Look at that beautiful trail beside the creek. Notice the fantastic quality of the stonework, originally done by CCC & WPA workers during the depression. Then notice the "NO BIKES" sign - there are no trails open to bikes in the whole park, which is over 4400 acres. And then look at the creek (the only whitewater in the county) - it's also closed to paddlers. Closed to paddlers despite the fact that state law says that it should be open and that the local parks don't have the authority to ban paddlers from navigable waterways.
For some reason this attitude is big in our area - the parks are being PRESERVED for the PUBLIC, but they can't actually be USED by them. So we have big areas of land (including a 900 + acre part of Mill Creek Park) that are totally closed to everyone. And trails that you aren't allowed to ride a bike on (ask the guys up in Cleveland what they think about that particular position). And creeks that you aren't allowed to boat on. I've complained to these guys for 15 years, and there is no sign of them easing up. There are no places to legally ride a mountain bike in Mahoning County, yet this huge park won't even open up ONE trail. Ridiculous.