Erosion control& trail sustainabilty

Trail Building and Design discussion. This was formerly the restricted access MMBA/REI trail school program forum.

Erosion control& trail sustainabilty

Postby wrob » July 21st, 2018, 8:49 am

Our T.C.'s use many methods to reduce erosion & control washouts on the
sandy/ gravelly climbs & descents with varying degrees of's an on-
going battle.i propose another tactic without knowing if it is permissable or
effective:calcium chloride.spread the flake with a fertilizer spreader , wet down
with a pump sprayer ( with water hauled in lidded 5 gal. buckets in a wheelbarrow)
or use brine.until it soaks in the soil it's nasty stuff if contacting skin or bike
parts for sure,i get that.i've been caught up to & passed by the O.C.road com-
mission tank truck while climbing Dutton Rd.anyways , thought i'd put that out
for comments.NOTE: i'm not trying to "dumb down" trails, simply to sustain them.
Posts: 140
Joined: February 1st, 2017, 6:22 pm

Re: Erosion control& trail sustainabilty

Postby c0nsumer » July 21st, 2018, 8:55 am

It's a good idea, but it's terribly corrosive. It's a little more common (and easier) to use Quickrete. There's a bunch of spots at Stony and a few at RB (and lots and lots of other trails) that have been patched up this way. For the most part it's not noticeable.
Steve Vigneau

Unless otherwise stated the content of my posts are my opinion and should not be taken as the official stance of, nor representative of, CRAMBA-IMBA.
User avatar
Posts: 7747
Joined: May 18th, 2008, 11:35 am
Location: Shelby Township, MI

Re: Erosion control& trail sustainabilty

Postby wrob » July 21st, 2018, 9:12 am

I used quick setting concrete at R.B. Thursday on the #2 hillclimb, we'll see how long it lasts,
I did the same last year & we got one season out of that repair, any ideas for a longer lasting
solution would be great.maybe my method could be improved.i'm open to suggestions and
available for any future repairs needed.
Posts: 140
Joined: February 1st, 2017, 6:22 pm

Re: Erosion control& trail sustainabilty

Postby Roy » July 26th, 2018, 8:08 am

Nothing will stop Erosion once it starts.
After all, 99% of trail building is rerouting.

You can Armor, but it only will work if done right.
The armoring done at Stoney of the climb to the scenic lookout is probably the best example.
The broken cement was buried and spanned the full trail width. NO POSSIBLE GO AROUNDS.
Then premix cement was mixed into the soil.
The down hill Armor at Yankee Springs was also great. NO GO AROUNDS.
(I have not been there in years)
Do not Armor if you can not prevent go arounds.

User avatar
Posts: 1445
Joined: August 14th, 2002, 9:04 pm

Re: Erosion control& trail sustainabilty

Postby Loren » July 26th, 2018, 9:49 am

Couple notes on soil-cement...

- It's relatively permanent, but will break down on steep slopes (like the crater at Lakeshore) that see a lot of brake drag and wear and will need maintenance after a couple years.
- It's so much easier to carry 100 lbs of portland cement out on the trail and mix in with existing soil than 700 lbs of quickcrete. Why carry sand and gravel aggregate out to the trail if you can use what's there?
- Best experience seems to be a 1:10 mix of portland and soil. So like 1/2 inch of portland on top and till 5 inches deep until very well mixed. Wet, tamp.
- A 90 lb bag of portland cement will armor about 8' of 16 inch wide singletrack.
- At 1:10, soil-cement is unnoticeable in color or texture to the casual observer. It looks like natural trail

I'd never use calcium chloride on singletrack - it's great for soil compaction, but in any effective quantity it would kill all the adjacent vegetation.
Posts: 2400
Joined: April 12th, 2005, 9:11 pm
Location: Novi, MI

Re: Erosion control& trail sustainabilty

Postby wrob » July 26th, 2018, 1:30 pm

Loren : thx. for the tip, i just read the ingredients on the bag i used, you're right, i'll
use Portland Cement in the future.
Posts: 140
Joined: February 1st, 2017, 6:22 pm

Re: Erosion control& trail sustainabilty

Postby oldkhs » July 26th, 2018, 6:06 pm

I’ve heard from the Ice road guys in Alaska that calcium chloride is terrible on stuff. Also really slick when wet. Realizing most of us ride when it’s still dry, shouldn’t be issue for the most part.
But sometimes trail is damp or there are a few puddles. Could be bad.
I prefer not to splash stuff up on my ride and parts.
Posts: 179
Joined: August 23rd, 2010, 8:49 pm

Erosion control& trail sustainabilty

Postby mtbdudex » September 1st, 2019, 11:40 am

On properly maintained gravel road, the gravel is a mixture of rocks and clay (ground to a spec)
Calcium chloride will form a bond with the rock and clay, that gives the top a semi-hard surface. It’s not permanent, hence the need to re-grade 3-4 times every spring to fall season and spray the calcium chloride the next day.

I learned while being our gravel private road maintenance person

You can learn more here
The guys on that Facebook site wrote the below book

Or read the book on gravel road construction and maintenance

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
User avatar
Posts: 1989
Joined: August 8th, 2002, 12:35 am
Location: Mich

Return to Trail Design, Building, and Maintenance

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests