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Who decides to open the trail at Klondike?


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#1 Billy10

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 06:33 PM

Just a preamble, yes I know the drenching that the area got Friday!  We came down to spend the weekend at Klondike and had slim expectations of getting on the trail.  We spent the weekend at Klondike.  Saturday afternoon  I hiked up the western half trail (wouldn't even think about Hogback)  and was "alright!  dry and nice!"  but the trail was closed.  Saturday night I asked the ranger who makes the decision to open the trail and he implied, to the best interpretation I got, was that when maintenance came in the morning that if a decision was made, they would change the sign.  In the morning I talked to the maintenance guy and he said that someone else makes the decision.  We were hoping and waiting till 11, but finally had to bail.  Went and rode Bangert on the way home (we are from Peoria and Champaign/Urbana area) , which surprised me how good shape they were (and OPEN).  Was surprised that Bangert was opened and Klondike wasn't, which is why I'm curious who makes the decision?  Don't want to make this sound like a b*tch session, just a little puzzled and disappointed as we traveled expressly to stay at Klondike, and to leave when the western trails were definitely in good shape was disappointing  (granted I only hiked up to the teeter totters, but I can't imagine the strip mine loop not being dry).   



#2 BrianFalls21

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 07:56 PM

I don't have the answer but had an extremely similar experience where I rode from St Charles on the Katy to find Matson closed (I know, I could have called). As I was turning around the ranger came up the trail, shrugged, and said "Seems dry to me but I don't have the word to open the trails." It's the catch to the privilege of having trails "opened" and "closed." Frankly, I'm impressed you obeyed the signs. Good work, your integredy showed.

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#3 The Krackheads

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 06:20 AM

I don't know how much free time you had during your stay but a lot of other trails in the area were rideable, You just had to drive a little ways....


Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart. ~Elizabeth Andrew

 

 

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#4 Billy10

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 06:45 AM

We had a couple families with us and trying to make the "get in family riding time PLUS mountain biking" situation work, hence the appeal of Klondike, then Bangert as a secondary choice, for the combined Katy/singletrack.  Having a range of kids from 3-13 made the Klondike site a win-win (I thought) for riding and family time.  Considered trying to make a Creve Coeur combo work (I have never ridden there), but Bangert worked out well for an alternate scenario.  Under a 'riding only with the guys' weekend traveling would have been fine ("you just had to drive a little ways - we rode from Peoria and Champaign ;-)), but coming for a three day weekend and watching the trail be dry Saturday afternoon with a closed sign and not being opened by 11 am (is it even open now?) prompted my question.  I'm sure you can imagine how it felt like staying a couple hundred feet away from the closed sign just watching it.  I've done more than my fair share of trail work in central Illinois and I am one of the guys who jump on people riding in crap/thaw/etc, and understand the need in some areas for "open/close" designations for people who can't make a common sense judgement, but on weekends, an efficient open/close judgement would have been nice.



#5 oldiebutnewbie

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 09:20 PM

next time just ride it anyway. if the conditions dictate you can always turn back around. sounds like the klondike people are not exactly on top of things judging from the communication lapse you describe.



#6 Stl_Greaser

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 09:40 PM

That is not good advice at all.  If the trails are closed then you should not ride them no matter what the conditions.  The system SCCP has in place is a blessing and that is why the trails in St. Charles control don't get the damage a lot of the other trails receive.  If the trail is closed to bike traffic stay off the trail period.  It is not up to each trail user to decide if the conditions are ok or not.  If you think a trail should be open but is closed contact the parks department and inquire, but don't ride it anyways.  It could set a bad example for other trail users.  We could end up with a lot of damage to the trials cause people say well I saw other people riding when the trail was closed once.


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Brian Barton
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#7 Craig

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Posted 07 April 2015 - 07:47 AM

next time just ride it anyway  ...

 

For the record, this is NOT GORC policy, and may subject the person/people ignoring the trail closed signage to tresspassing and vandalism tickets*.

 

Unfortunately, trail users with this attitude make the entire group of mountain bikers look like they don't respect the resources of that particular park system, or the years of work that it took to even be ALLOWED to build trails there.

 

I would like to invite the forum user who goes by the handle "oldiebutnewbie" to a scheduled - or non scheduled - trail workday, so they can see the effort involved in building/maintaining trails, and why the trail closure policy was implemented in the first place.  If Saturday's don't work out due to your work or family commitments, I'll gladly work with you to find an alternate time.

 

Please feel free to contact me via PM thru my screen name, or see me at the meeting this evening (I won't get there until close to 7:00).

 

GORC is not, and has no interest in, being the "trail police".  Just passing along info.  If you don't like the trail closure policy, contact the people in charge; St. Charles County Parks Department, @ http://www.sccmo.org...arks-Recreation

 

The above link has Park Survey, email and phone number contact info, and they DO listen to what people have to say.


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#8 Craig

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Posted 07 April 2015 - 08:48 AM

My apologies to the OP for not addressing the initial question.

 

The trail closure decision is mainly up to the Maintenance Staff of each particular park (Moonlight Rides or other planned events are taken on a case-by-case basis, and sometimes no decision is made until hours prior to the activity).  In Klondike's case, they have had a significant amount of staffing turnover in the last 12 months, and it is POSSIBLE that the person working there that day was not/is not comfortable making the decision on the trails.

 

This is purely a guess on my part.

 

Regardless, I've contacted SCCP's to see if there is anything we (GORC) need(s) to do in the way of Park Staff education to prevent this from happening again. 

 

Bangert Island has it's own set of rules, so the Trail Hotline and Trailhead Signage don't mean the same as they do at the other parks.  For more info on this, please read the following link; http://forum.gorctra...closure-policy/.


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Craig Seibert, GORC Board Member

GORC/St. Charles County Parks Liaison


#9 Billy10

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Posted 07 April 2015 - 11:22 AM

Thanks, Craig.  The Maintenance guy definitely said he was not the guy to decide or update the closure status.  Appreciate the check, and I had found that Bangert link yesterday and understand the different situation.  Also appreciate (and so should all locals) the  cascade of trails  from Lost Valley to Matson to Klondike.  Under different circumstances I would not be writing a what-the-heck post about the closure, as I saw a zillion people at Lost Valley it seemed as we drove past.  But trying to keep families happy with a long-planned trip to Klondike (had a soft spot for that place since the Midwest Fest) only to watch the very dry trail just sit there with a closed sign had me wringing my hands ;-)



#10 oldiebutnewbie

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 09:47 PM

Geez. I never said it was GORC policy, Craig. I'm not even a GORC member (only because I don't have the money to spare), just a guy on a forum that obviously has different opinions than you. I happen to believe it is possible to practice good stewardship (I NEVER ride muddy trails, always move branches, report trail conditions every time I go) and still bend a rule now and again AFTER deducing the situation for yourself and using some common sense. Normally, I would not use a trail when it was closed but I would have if in the same situation the out of town gentleman was in.

 

Regarding myself and trail building since it sounds like you think I need some "learning"... Well, due to my work schedule I only see my family on weekends so Saturdays don't work for me. And thanks for the polite offer but I am not currently interested in working by myself at another time during the week. I was at one time, several months back, and posted in the trail building folder asking to do just that. Unfortunately, no one answered my request. And while I don't appreciate the patronization in assuming just because I don't participate in trail work days I don't understand the kind of work it takes to build trail –– I happen to have done my share of digging and sawing and sweating in my life so you're kind of waaaay off base there –– I may take you up on the offer some other time.

 

Also, Brian, while I am actually BEHIND the idea of closing all trails in poor conditions, isn't most of the reason the St. Charles trails stay in better shape because of the fact that most of them don't allow horses unlike St. Louis County?



#11 Stl_Greaser

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Posted 09 April 2015 - 05:11 PM

Indian camp creek, and Broemmelsiek are both trials that allow equestrian use.  They are both also in a lot better shape then the St. Louis county trails including the ones that do not allow equestrian use due to them being closed during poor condition. 

 

You should never ride a closed trial, and in my humble opinion it is not a good stewardship practice to suggest any one else do so either. 


Brian Barton
Broemmelsiek Trail Steward

#12 BrianFalls21

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Posted 09 April 2015 - 06:33 PM

I personally believe that trail damage is reduced in St Charles County for many reasons, including, but not lited to: trail closings, less equestrian use, different soil composition, trail aspect, trail design, volume of traffic, and political involvement re: public lands, beyond the trail user.

To me, the hunt for the best trail conditions in the area is part of the adventure of each ride. And for goodness sake, if my adventure includes illicite and illegal activities, I'm not dense enough to post it, much less recommend it, in the Gorc forum.
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#13 Billy10

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 10:46 AM

Will continue on this topic, as we will be down again.  Everything is frozen, but good, here.  And hoping that everything will be frozen in the general St. Louis area.  We will be near Klondike/Lost Valley and so I have two questions.

1.  Does Klondike actually open/close their trails through the winter?  That area would be ideal to get a short-ish ride in while non-riders would actually be doing other activities.

2.  If Klondike opening is erratic (general experience so far), I was thinking Lost Valley (never ridden there), based on it seemed where people would go during marginal conditions, as in hoping it holds up better to the idiots who ride when it's too muddy.  Riding frozen ruts is a not-so-favorite activity of mine ;-) 

Any thoughts?



#14 BrianFalls21

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 01:29 PM

Can't Speak to Klondike questions but my advice is to plan to ride LV. Safer bet and more trail.

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