Poto: Hewen's Creek

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Re: Poto: Hewens Creek

Postby bhollen666 » May 22nd, 2011, 6:41 pm

Trail completely mowed this weekend. Wooded sections need a little weed whacking to clear them up.
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Re: Poto: Hewens Creek

Postby john_galt » May 25th, 2011, 9:55 am

Anyone know the trail conditions? How about the status of the newer western loop? Thanks
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Re: Poto: Hewens Creek

Postby bhollen666 » May 25th, 2011, 6:42 pm

The new western loop has been really soft and wet in the northern most spots. I think it might have been drying out before this week's rain. There are still some face slappers in the eastern loop, but after the mowing it was nice and open for a good, fast ride. I rode late last night and even the grass sections were soft again after the rain. I can only imagine now after the rain today (2-4 inches in Ann Arbor) that it's a mud bog again. We might be stuck waiting until Sunday or Monday now for it to dry out after all the rain this week.
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Re: Poto: Hewens Creek

Postby jpjones » May 26th, 2011, 9:32 pm

Is Hewens Creek or Rolling Hills a better trail? They both appear to be works in progress. I'm planning on driving down to Cabela's this weekend and wanted to stop at one of those trails.
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Re: Poto: Hewens Creek

Postby michael48197 » May 27th, 2011, 11:52 am

HCP and RHP each have their good and less good qualities. Hewens Creek would be described as a beginner trail...very flat, winding through new growth forest and meadows for about 5.5 miles now. Unfortunately, it doesn't drain well so it's probably a bog in some places. Rolling Hills is more of a novice/intermediate trail...ungulating, twisty, several log piles putting a premium on bike handling in 3.2 miles (4.2 miles if you include the flat 1 mile of the SE meadow which still grassy and needs to be ridden in). RHP drains well and there are likely only a few areas with mud (some of the steep, but short hills) which should be walked. It's easy to combine both trails in a 10-11 mile ride with ~9 miles on single track as they are only ~1/2 mile apart along Bemis Road.

BTW, RHP is part of Washtenaw County Parks. As such, you might need to have a WCP sticker (includes Independence Lake as well) depending on whether there is someone at the gate. You might want to park at the Hewens trail head on Bemis and ride into RHP from the Bemis Connector in the SE meadow of RHP. Hewens is a Ypsi Township park without any sticker requirement.
Last edited by michael48197 on May 27th, 2011, 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Poto: Hewens Creek

Postby jpjones » May 27th, 2011, 12:22 pm

great, thanks for the info Michael! I'll park at Hewens ride over to RHP for a couple laps :)
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Re: Poto: Hewens Creek

Postby dnale » May 27th, 2011, 1:34 pm

That's what I usually do. Park at HC and ride to RHP. HC can be a nice quick ride when it's dry and trimmed. It can be a real meat grinder when the thorn bushes grow in.
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Re: Poto: Hewens Creek

Postby bhollen666 » June 5th, 2011, 6:42 pm

Trail mowed again this weekend, a single-pass low cut down the center. Most of the face-slappers have been trimmed back. I was able to ride through today without any thorn damage to the skin of my arms or legs. Lots of wildflowers blooming this time of year, good time for a ride.
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Re: Poto: Hewens Creek

Postby P_Thomas22 » June 6th, 2011, 11:42 pm

Did the trail for the first time today and I have to say I didn't have much fun... that was until after I had finished. Its very slow and flat as others have mentioned. Thanks for mowing it down as otherwise it would of been even more grueling. Not many technical sections although I did enjoy the few log piles/rocks. I think we should add some trail markers to help with direction as it can get kinda confusing for someone who hasnt studied the out dated maps. Correct me if I am wrong but there is no "terrain park" on the north side (what is the little circle on the map supposed to be) I GPS'd the whole route and go-pro'd it as well. It was in good condition except for a few spots that were squishy in the woods. Did get two nasty thorns stuck in my arm on the NW side and because it has never been rototill-ed on the grassy sections it does make for a very slow ride.

I did find it pretty satisfying after I had finished because it was difficult, not in a technical sense, more in a completion sense. Trying to keep your speed up in the grassy sections is tough and you have to pedal hard and long with no real coasting or breaks to speak of. It is very bumpy as well and my hard tail sure bounced around on some sections. I think i will go back to try and improve my time and it is a very cardio intense trail. Ill post links to the videos when they are uploaded. Ill just put them up as they are without editing. Will be long and boring but at least people can see what the trail is like. Thanks to everyone who maintains the trail.

GPS data http://connect.garmin.com/activity/90635886
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Re: Poto: Hewens Creek

Postby P_Thomas22 » June 7th, 2011, 12:37 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pC65FtInDM this is part 1. like i said it will be long so i at least added some tunes. The rattle in the begining goes away at about 2min. My brake cable was hitting the go-pro.
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Re: Poto: Hewens Creek

Postby deezler » June 7th, 2011, 2:22 pm

Whoa, that is some dense vegetation! I only checked that place out back in April when you could see where you were going. Needs some roto-tilling... riding grass trails is a real slog. Maybe even some bulldozing to create real elevation changes, haha.
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Re: Poto: Hewens Creek

Postby michael48197 » June 7th, 2011, 9:05 pm

To "P_Thomas22"

You are right in that some updated signage would be nice at Hewens. The trail coordinator has repeatedly put up signs, but the local delinquents keep tearing them down. If the signs were up, you would have found that you went the wrong way on the first section you did. The part that empties to the parking lot it the last section. The first single track section starts just over the dam.

As for the grass, well, Hewens is a lowland and, hence, collects a lot of rain. So, the grass and undergrowth grows like mad. The trail coordinator does an awesome job of maintaining the whole thing -- all 5.5 miles - mostly by himself. It's hard to keep up with the growth in the summer. Normally, there is a reasonable dirt tread in the center of the trail, but with all the rain this spring it was too wet to ride and the grass has won out for now. The best time to ride fall and winter. You'll be grateful for the flat terrain in the winter as it's still rideable with some snow cover.
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Re: Poto: Hewens Creek

Postby P_Thomas22 » June 8th, 2011, 1:19 am

So you go up the "road" over the dam and then enter on the right that leads to the big boulder? Then on the way back enter the woods after the dam? What about the far west loop where the fork goes straight or right. I went straight which makes you go counter clockwise. Looking back on it i really did enjoy the trail and it is a great place to strengthen your legs. I've only gotten back into biking in the last 2 weeks and think these trails improve your fitness over a more up/down tech trail. (although they are more fun) The trail is greatly maintained and I really thank everyone who makes riding possible. Here is part 2 if anyone is interested... like I said before i didnt edit them or speed them up so it is long. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XD9btFmhu2Q

Has anyone ever though of possible making a spot on the trail guides to have a link to videos of trails? I have one for rolling hills and island lake as well and will be doing holdridge soon.
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Re: Poto: Hewens Creek

Postby P_Thomas22 » June 8th, 2011, 1:22 am

sorry meant to write i went clockwise on the west loop.
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Re: Poto: Hewens Creek

Postby michael48197 » June 8th, 2011, 7:24 am

Yes, the trail starts straight down the main road, over the dam and then right into the woods and then the "meadow" (at least it used to be a meadow) followed by the old apple orchard where you found the boardwalks and then the east "field", etc. Since HCP opened in 2006 or so, the "meadows" have grown into new forests. As they mature, the trail should transition to a wooded path, reducing the grass.

If you scroll back to pages 13-15 of this forum you will see a GPS trace (minus the new NW out-back loop) and some maps for plans for the west section of the park. I think Bob Hollen - the trail coordinator - has a schematic map at "http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/iWW2XnBTmQMfdmXYPOP1yQ?feat=directlink/lh/photo/iWW2XnBTmQMfdmXYPOP1yQ?feat=directlink"...not sure if this link is the correct one as some web pages don't load on my work computer. I know that you can find some photo galleries at Picasa by searching for "Hewens Creek".

As for linking videos, you should probably contact the trail coordinator and work with the Webmaster to link to YouTube. I'm TC at Rolling Hills and you'll see in the Trail Guide that I've linked GPS file on the RHP page so it should be no problem to add a video link.
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