Trail overgrowth

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Trail overgrowth

Postby DynoDon » June 8th, 2018, 6:13 am

The trails are really growing fast down here in SE Mi, its that time of year, trail days are great where permitted, but the growth is faster than the trail days, and the trail days can't do much with the longer, and bigger trails systems we have in this area, over 30 trails in a 40 mile radius,
Its going to take more time from people that ride, time is our most valuable asset, paying for the ride is one way to look at it, we all enjoy the trails, the trails would be better/safer if more people contributed. Just a little trimming, cleaning up is really appreciated by all trail users. I'm not talking about roots/rocks, or any real maintenance, just trimming the overgrowth down some, any amount you can do is GREAT. You don't have to wait for a trail day, wear some bright colors to be safe.
Thanks for anything you do now, and in the future,
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Re: Trail overgrowth

Postby GHamilton » June 8th, 2018, 7:18 pm

Since I ride for fun and exercise and not time, I try to remove at least five face slappers on every ride. I carry some small electrical cable cutters that walk through up to a 1/2 inch branch with ease. Today I didn't ride but took the loppers and the hand saw out to Tree Farm for some serious trimming. I hate face slappers.
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Re: Trail overgrowth

Postby Exodus » June 8th, 2018, 8:02 pm

Correct me if I am wrong, is there not different rules at different trails about what equipment can/can't be used? I just don't want someone taking out gas/electric tools to a trail where they may not be allowed.
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Re: Trail overgrowth

Postby DynoDon » June 8th, 2018, 9:33 pm

Easier to ask for foregivness than permission sometimes, its a subject that I'm sure is different at each trail, the Massasagaua rattlesnake is endangered/protected so many different rules in each park about trimming, but the deer ticks are here to so, its tough job to make the call one way or the other. I figure the snake likes frogs more then hikers/mountain bikers so they must live in the swamps, I've never seen one on the trails, but I have had ticks on me.

https://www.fws.gov/midwest/Endangered/ ... serve.html
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Re: Trail overgrowth

Postby bikerector » June 9th, 2018, 3:58 pm

Standard hand pruners are probably one of the most used tools due to portability and effectiveness and cleaning up the small stuff which is the Lion's share of the work this time of year. It seems like there's usually a little bit of stuff in a lot of different locations vs a lot of stuff in one location, power tools being good for the latter. Obviously there are exceptions to that like areas with grass or where a lot of sunlight can get in. It seems like there's been a lot of reaching vines lately trying to get out into the sunlight.

I actually like machetes or long knives as you can clear a lot of stuff at once but there's a risk factor there when riding or when others are around. Combine with a hook for maximum effectiveness. Disclaimer: I do not advise the use of this if you are not comfortable with it or if there are other people around who aren't. There are probably some rules about using them in public places also but I'm not sure what those rules are.
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Re: Trail overgrowth

Postby DynoDon » June 9th, 2018, 5:07 pm

I've been told the MMBA has a couple Bush Hogs that we can use, thats what did a lot of the trail at Murray Lake lately, they are big, and look like a real handful to use, I've used my DR Trimmer (string) on Torn Shirt, and on Torn Pants (the 2 mile add on at Appleton). I do a hour or two a day going 2+ miles, I go up onside then back on the other side, It does a good job, I just reach up. and break off all the other stuff that hangs too high for the trimmer, everything seems to break easyily this time of year.
Those vines are fast growing after a rain, I've seen them pull small trees together in 2 day shutting down the trail, they snap easy this time of year, the old ones not so easy.
I used a line trimmer before, and one with a metal 3 prong blade, those wear my old butt out quicker then the DR Trimmer, but the line type trimmers can be raised up to cut higher up things. its all hard on the body, especially when you get my age.
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Re: Trail overgrowth

Postby Roy » June 14th, 2018, 7:37 am

It really does not do much good to just trim the face slappers and in many cases trimming just makes them grow back thicker and faster.
Many of these " slappers" need to be removed at the root.
Tree branches should not be just wacked off. Tree branches should be trimmed back to a tree limb with a clean angled cut.
First check with the Trail Coordinator and ask how he or she wants you to trim.
The T.C. knows the needs of the trail best.
Some trails need to be trimmed close and some wide.
A proper trim job can last for several years.
Again, please first check with your Trail Coordinator before trimming.


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