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Forest Staley Park - Eureka MO


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#1 johnamus

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 09:13 PM

Forest Staley is a tree-filled St Louis County park that offers beautiful bluff-top views into the Meramec valley that compare if not exceed the awesome view at the top of the newly opened Bluff View Trail.  The layout of the land offers great potential for a mountain-bike friendly trail. A trail line to the top of the bluff is possible without tracing fall lines or incorporating any overly steep grades.  

 

The thick green lines in the following image outline the park boundaries, and the thin red line depicts a possible trail route. Areas outside the park boundaries fall within the common ground of the Legends subdivision.

Capture1.JPG

 

Here is a profile view of the trail in a counterclockwise direction:

Capture2.JPG

 

While the park doesn't have a dedicated parking lot, the park is close to dedicated bike lanes on Legends Parkway that currently connect to nearby parking at Geggie Elementary and extend all the way to Route 66 Park (and the Al Foster Trail and Chubb Trail once Great River Greenways gets to work). 

Capture3.JPG

 

http://www.eureka.mo...Plan_081008.pdf

http://www.eureka.mo...ng_Map_2010.pdf



#2 seamonkey

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 08:43 AM

I've wondered about this parcel for several years. Is this your concept or did you find this trail idea somewhere?

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#3 johnamus

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 09:50 AM

The trail layout is my own concept, but I intend to do what I can to make it happen. The trail layout is based mostly on the topography map rather than a hike through the territory.

 

Eureka's 7+ year Trail Plan from 2008 noted a path through the park that would connect Upper Bluffs View Ct to Palisades Ridge Ct.  Also, their 3-7 year Trail Plan noted a path from Legends Parkway into the park.  

 

Items 3a and 2f respectively in the screenshot:

Capture1.PNG

 

 



#4 johnamus

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 11:31 AM

History of Forest Staley Park:

ForestStaley.PNG



#5 johnamus

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 11:36 AM

I have a couple questions for forum readers/GORC members regarding the proper steps toward trail development in a St Louis County park such as Forrest Staley.  

 

The St Louis County trails policy states: 

NEW TRAIL DEVELOPMENT 
New trails may be proposed by the Department staff or citizens through proper channels to the Trails 
Committee and Senior Staff. An initial approval is required by the Director or Assistant Director to 
initiate work on the proposal. All new trail development should meet ADA Guidelines when possible.
 
A temporary task force shall be assembled to complete a preliminary review of the proposal. A short 
report with a recommendation should include data on need, purpose, proposed approved uses, 
proposed classification, likely difficulty rating, proposed trail type, compliance with the Strategic Plan, 
the park master plan and regional plans. The task force should be made up with appropriate 
individuals from the following groups: 
 Trails Committee 
 Design & Planning staff 
 Natural Resources staff 
Staff from park where trail is proposed 
 History staff (if applicable) 
 Citizens 

 

In short, initial approval of a trail requires the creation of a proposal, and the assembly of a task force, which leads to questions:

 

1) How much detail is the initial proposal expected to contain; is the initial report a simple prototype that conveys the general idea to the task force prior to conducting a more detailed survey of the land? The initial proposal stage appears to not require trail route information 

2) Regarding the task force, is the assembly of a task force generally the responsibility of the person proposing the trail?  Or is there a formalized process the County uses for this type of thing.

3) Regarding the design of new trails and the approval process, is this something that is better left to GORC to handle as it sees fit?. Or do individuals typically spearhead the initial stages?



#6 Stl_Greaser

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 07:38 PM

I am no expert but I am trying to learn as much as possible from every trail build and trail review I attend, but if you have not been to a trail build or anything of the likes it would be tough to design a sustainable trail.  It takes a fare bit of knowledge from what I have seen to start into that alone.  Also from what I have been told the further we get into spring and summer the harder it is to design and lay out the trails due to not having a clear sight line through all of the foliage

Brian Barton
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#7 95vtr250

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 06:36 AM

First steps include getting out there and determining if the line drawn along the contours of the map is feasible.  Sometimes there are hidden features that are not shown on the map that make following the exact contours impossible.

 

I do worry a bit about the trail drifting off park property.  Even though you say that it goes on to Legends common ground, St. Louis County will be hesitant to allow a trail on their property to go on someone else's without some sort of agreement.  We have run into this situation down at Cliff Cave.

 

Each County park has it's on park superintendent that takes care of the day to day operation.  We can inquire as to who that is and pass it along to you.  That would be the person to start with and convince him or her that the trail is needed and won't add extra burden to their already stretched budgets.

 

GORC can certainly lend a hand to help you through the whole process of designing, meeting with the county and building.  It just needs a person to champion it!

 

Looks like it would be a sweet little trail.


Bryan Adams, GORC Board Member
Why should I change my name, he's the one that sucks!


#8 johnamus

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 07:07 AM

Thanks for the helpful info.  

 

The park is densely forested, which makes autumn-winter an ideal time to take a tour of the terrain.  Based on what I am hearing from you, now seems like a good time to gauge the interest of the land managers and get an initial approval of a rough prototype in place. Then when autumn comes I should plan to take a 'survey' of the terrain to determine an ideal trail routing.

 

I would be interested in the contact info of the Forrest Staley superintendent.  I'll also seek the contact info for the Legends HOA board.  Should the city of Eureka also be involved in the process?



#9 95vtr250

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 02:56 PM

Not sure, but it's always important to have public support of the project if it's near homes.  I think having the support of the Legends HOA is definitely important.


Bryan Adams, GORC Board Member
Why should I change my name, he's the one that sucks!


#10 johnamus

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 01:42 PM

Autumn is here and I'm expecting to scout the terrain soon.  

 

It looks like the proposed route crosses over privately-owned property that isn't part of the Legends common area.  In order to completely avoid the private property as well as Legends property, a 1.6 mile lollipop configuration could potentially be created within park boundaries.  In addition to a trailhead on Legends Parkway, a trailhead could also be accessed directly off Palisades Ridge Ct.

AltRoute.PNG

 

The grade over the charted path above never exceeds 8%:

AltRouteGrade.PNG



#11 Free Riding Fool

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 03:54 PM

I just moved to the Legends and plan on building a lot this fall once im healed up from a bad clavicle break so any support you need you got it.  I have some contacts at the HOA already so keep me posted! 


-Eric

 

What goes up must BOMB down!


#12 birchfur

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 08:40 PM

I live in Ashton Woods and would be interested in helping scout this terrain also.  



#13 johnamus

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 08:24 PM

I had time for a brief scouting trip and headed to Palisades Ridge Ct. Upon reaching the cul-de-sac that borders the park I noticed two signs. The first states "Resident Parking Only" and the other, which is posted further back from the road states "Park closes 1/2 hour after sunset" and marks the edge of the park boundaries.  Being a resident of the Legends I felt like I wasn't violating the first sign as I parked my car near the cul-de-sac. Also, the sliver of grass between the road and the cul-de-sac is Legends common ground, not owned by either of the two homes flanking it.

Sign.jpg

 

As I crested a small berm next to the park boundary sign I was surprised to see what appeared to be a maintained trail that made a left turn along the tree-line heading south into the park.  I followed the trail a bit deeper into the woods away from the houses and the trail widened even further.  Some topographical maps depict a road along the crest of the hill on which I was walking along with another intersecting road that descends fall line into the valley. This photo looks north with both 'roads' in view:

Fork.jpg

 

The path was relatively flat, but to the west the terrain dropped smoothly into the valley.  After walking a quarter mile the path took a right turn to parallel the bluffside along the Meramec River. 

Valley.jpg

 

The highlight of the trip was an overlook over the Meramec River into the wooded hills and farmland to the south. A photo doesn't do it justice...here's a link to the full resolution: http://www.flickr.co...05/10109081554/

Overlook.jpg

 

The foundation is all that remains of a structure next to the overlook. Could have been used by Troop 98 back in the 1940's:

Ruins.jpg

 

The overlook is located approximately where the green pin is located on this gps screenshot:

MyTracks.png

 

The trail continued further along the bluffside and could possibly terminate at the Bluffs View Ct cul-de-sac.  I had to turn around before finding out, but here's a photo taken where my trip ended. Note the trail continuing West into the distance.

Continued.jpg  



#14 Free Riding Fool

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 12:28 PM

Damn what a view!  Gonna have to check this out this week during our walks.  What says we can't bike there now?  If there is no signage restricting it then we can probably ride it.  Let me know what you want to do next as far as a proposal or anything......


-Eric

 

What goes up must BOMB down!


#15 johnamus

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 09:16 AM

The leaves are off the trees and visibility is prime for scouting Forest Staley.

 

If you're able to help, a good way to do this is to take a stroll through the potential routes listed in post #1 and #10 and determine whether there are any obstacles or terrain that would present hurdles toward the creation of singletrack through the area.  

 

Use a camera and a GPS tracking app on your smartphone to record your trip.  I use google's 'MyTracks', but there are alternatives: http://reviews.cnet....ere-youve-been/  

 

Determining the suitability of the terrain is a primary step in creating singletrack through Forest Staley.



#16 seamonkey

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 10:42 AM

I would be interested in making this happen.

Someday the meramec greenway is supposed to follow the river on that side of the bank all the way to pacific.

I'm sure I will check it out sometime this winter. Having the legends on board is critical and that includes addressing concerns of residents.

Matt h

Matt Hayes
GORC Board Member
Greensfelder Steward


#17 johnamus

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 02:42 PM

I was able to scout the park a bit yesterday.  Mostly good news to report, the topography is mostly smooth with old trees spread far enough apart to permit multiple options for a single track path to be constructed.  

 2013-12-21 19.59.02.png

The image above shows my GPS track in red.  The green-shaded areas appeared to be very agreeable to singletrack construction.  The yellow-shaded area may present a challenge, the issue is that the old growth trees were removed at some point, likely during the construction of the Legends subdivision, and portions of the area are densely packed with small half-inch diameter trees spaced less than a foot apart.  When I return to the park next time I plan to scout the yellow area between the number 1 and the number 2 on the map to see if a possible route exists between the two without needing to descend the hill. Alternatively, if the Legends allowed a few small weed-trees to be cut, then there likely wouldn't be an issue in routing a trail through this area.

 

View looking onto Bluffs View Ct from number 1 on the map:

2013-12-20 14.08.35.jpg

 

Looking down from number 2 onto the reservoir, it doesn't come out in the pic, but its a pretty scenic view. Some of the yellow area is shown in the background; it looks like this portion of yellow isn't problematic:

2013-12-20 14.28.28.jpg

 

Picture didn't turn out well, but there is a cement pipe that allows a small 1-foot deep runoff ravine to be crossed at number 3.

 

 



#18 johnamus

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 03:58 PM

I scouted the park a few more times recently and believe the following route is vetted enough to warrant review.  Along this route there are three areas where subdivision construction over a decade ago moved earth and created drainage and fill issues that will need an experienced eye to pick a good line.  Grainy pictures from each location are attached in the post below.  Another issue is that the park is filled with deadfall. None of these issues look like show stoppers, but it would be good to hear feedback from an experienced designer/builder. The route is uploaded to this site: http://ridewithgps.com/trips/2172847#  let me know if anyone is interested in a GPS track file.  

 

ForestStaley1-19-2014.JPG

 

Site 1:

Site1.jpg

 

Site 2:

Site2.jpg

 

Site 3:

Site3.jpg

 

 
The Legends South subdivision covenants appear to be boilerplate, and grant the HOA board final say on improvement/development of the common ground. The 1/3 of a mile distance and general areas that would extend into the Legends common ground likely won't need to be altered significantly.  I contacted the legends HOA board to introduce the subject of trail construction and am waiting to hear their initial thoughts on granting approval.

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#19 johnamus

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 07:46 PM

Good news, the HOA director contacted me.  She forwarded the idea of the trail to the other board members and the property manager and plans to discuss the trail during the February HOA meeting.  I should be available to attend the meeting in an unofficial GORC liaison/advocate role.  

 

Unless an exerienced GORCer is willing to come out, I'll take notes of any questions to relay back for answers.  I think it would give the board some confidence in the idea of a trail if I had prepared answers to some of the obvious questions.  How do these sound?:

 

Design: GORC will utilize established standards for the construction of singletrack trail. These standards are based on IMBA, Peoria Area Mountain Bike Association (PAMBA), and the North Shore Mountain Bike Association (NSMBA). 

 

Construction: GORC will provide insurance liability insurance of $2 million to cover all volunteers working on the construction of the trail.

 

Maintenance: GORC will practice a reasonable inspection interval, as well as monitoring by trail users who may communicate with the club through our website. This will enable us to monitor and remedy any potential maintenance issues early.

 

Liability: Trail users are accepting a degree of risk by riding bicycles and hiking off-road, the idea behind GORC's risk management plan will be merely to make the level of risk very clear to all users. To do this, signage will be employed.

 

Contact info: Can someone PM me a good contact number for GORC and St Louis County park superintendent?



#20 johnamus

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 09:09 PM

Meeting is Monday February 10th at 7:00. Would appreciate input on the above post.




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