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Rock Hollow Trail Location

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#1 RHTGirl

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 02:18 PM

Rock Hollow Trail Location

 

I have wanted to post something here about the Rock Hollow Soft Trail location for a while, but some parts of the topic aren’t easy for me. I live with my grandparents on their property, one of those that the trail encroaches on. Before the leaves were on the trees, we could even see the trail.

 

The first thing I want to say is you need a better method of handling things when you make the mistake of putting a trail on someone’s property. A sign that says ‘Stop, trail ends here for now’ does nothing to deter the bikers. Even when survey tape and a log were put across the path, bikers just went around it. Apparently, they are used to checking out how far a trail has been built so far. So in the future, if a trail ends up unintentionally encroaching on people’s property, use a sign that says ‘Stop: Private Property’ or something similar. The ones who went down there to put up signs were clearly exhausted afterwards.

 

I don’t understand why the trail would be built right next to people’s property in the first place, when the park has plenty of room and there are already numerous trails in the area. (Al Foster, Rockwood Reservations, Babler State Park, Greensfelder County Park) Homeowners don’t appreciate the liability risks that come with having bikers and hikers coming near their property. Bikers and hikers don’t remain on the trail, which means they come further onto our properties.

 

My grandpa spends a couple hours a day on the porch, because he loves nature and enjoys the outdoors. It’s the main reason they purchased this property. Hearing people down there talking, hooting and hollering was annoying and frustrating to him. He was especially angry when he saw people coming further onto the property, and even more so when others were ‘relieving themselves’ in clear view of our porch. He doesn’t need this kind of stress. He was just diagnosed with Stage IV Pancreatic cancer. For one of his favorite things to instead become so distressing is the last thing he needs during such a difficult time.

 

Moving the trail over a few feet to no longer be on our property is not much of a solution. People leave the trail, meaning they will still trespass. And I doubt the bikers and hikers will want to stare at a bunch of ‘No Trespassing’ signs and purple marks on the trees to indicate private property. I never thought I’d have to worry about trespassers from what used to be a peaceful area for wildlife. The trail disturbs the wildlife, and there has been a notable increase in roadkill in the nearby area.

 

Another thing you may want to consider regarding this trail location is that the homeowners in the neighborhood all use septic tanks. Septic systems are far from perfect. If something goes wrong, that means overflow. Overflow can go past property markers. Is that really the sort of mess you want to be biking through?

 

Lastly, one homeowner noticed that an iron property marker that was placed during a survey, something legally indicating private property, was taken down and thrown aside during trail building. Do you realize that removing property markers is illegal in every state? Removing a property marker like that could mean you have to pay for a new survey, replacement marker, and attorney’s fees. Not exactly cheap. It’s your good fortune he hasn’t pursued that matter (at this time anyway.)

 

TL;DR

For those of you too lazy to read the entire thing, allow me to summarize.

 

  1. Rock Hollow Soft Trail goes on private property in several areas. This is illegal.
  2. Putting a sign up that said “Trail Ends Here For Now” did not keep people from using the illegal trail.
  3. There is no reason to put trails against property lines.
  4. The ordeal is extremely distressing for homeowners, one of whom is dying of cancer.
  5. Property owners and visitors can see you leaving the trail and coming further onto our property.
  6. We can see you using our property as a bathroom.
  7. There are trails everywhere in the Wildwood area. How many do you need?
  8. Constantly adding new trails disturbs wildlife, increasing roadkill. Poor Rocket Raccoon.
  9. We have septic tanks. If one overflows, that could easily end up on the trail.
  10. Taking down a private property markers is illegal. You could pay for new survey, replacement marker, and attorney fees. Not cheap.


#2 Kirby

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Posted 09 September 2015 - 06:40 AM

RHT Girl,

 

First, let me say I am sorry for your Grandfathers illness, I wish that disease upon no person.

 

You are barking up the wrong tree here.  We are just the people who build the trails.  Your local Government agencies, someone will  have to reply to fill you in on exactly which agencies, did the survey's and made the final approval of any trail corridors.  You should contact them vs. telling us we are doing things incorrectly.  We are following the exact rules these governing bodies have put forth for us to follow.....

 

I will address each item in your forum post, as I was not lazy and read the entire thing:

 

  • As I stated earlier we did not make a mistake, we only built trail where we were instructed to by the governing bodies of that recreational area.
  • People will always go where the trail leads them, sounds like a cliche', but if there is a trail beyond the sign, people will follow it.  And you shouldn't assume they are "bikers," I have seen many hikers walk right past the signs, and soon you will see equestrians........   I will point out that we posted on our forum not to ride past the property markers, in an attempt to educate folks.  In fact I rode the Rock Hollow trail this weekend, on my bike, and there was a group of hikers/bikers discussing the closure, but respectful of the marker, and not crossing it.
  • An answer to your paragraph about why someone would put a trail next to someone else's property is simple.  It is someone else's property and they chose to use the property in that fashion, it is not your call.  Why would someone object to a governing body creating a recreational opportunity for its citizens?  Just for your education, you have no liability risks, if someone comes onto your property without your permission and injures themselves, you are not liable.  Also, if you open up your property for recreational purposes and do not charge admission, and someone injures themselves, you are not liable, it is called a recreational use statute. (http://www.stllawhel...nd-use-act.html)
  • Just like your grandfather we enjoy being in the outdoors as well, we just do it differently and that may involve hooting and hollering, but people are different that is what make this country great, we are not all the same.
  • Moving the trail a few feet onto the appropriate side of the property boundaries is the logical and legal solution.  Sorry, if people trespass on your property.  We do not advocate that, and frankly you cannot fix stupid.  They would do it whether there was a trail there or not.
  • Not too worried about riding through septic run off, but thank you for your concern.
  • We didn't remove any property markers, and don't advocate the removal of such things.  I suggest you call the governing bodies for this recreational area about your concerns.
  • Finally, thanks for the summary, but calling the folks that would read this forum lazy really shows that  you do not know your audience.  We volunteer 1000's of hours every year to help the local governments create and sustain recreational opportunities for citizens like you.  We also log 1000's of miles on bicycles each year, and speaking for myself suffering most of the time, so again the lazy comment is a waste of your typing, but does enlighten me to the audience I am responding to.....

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Kirby

#3 95vtr250

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Posted 09 September 2015 - 06:58 AM

RHTGirl,

 

First off, let me say that I'm sorry to hear about your grandfather and his condition.  We (GORC) and the other Rock Hollow trail users in no way mean to cause him additional stress at this point in his life.

 

The Gateway Off-Road Cyclists are an all-volunteer non-profit organization with no paid staff that has a common passion for the outdoors.  We come together to provide labor at the direction of land managers such as St. Louis County and Wildwood to complete projects that would not be done otherwise.  The Rock Hollow trail is a project that has become very special to many, many people.  I completely understand the intrusion this has created on what was once rarely traveled terrain.  But, it has also allowed many other area residents to enjoy what the area has to offer.

 

It is very unfortunate that the original trail alignment has now been determined to encroach on your grandfather’s property.  Many volunteers donated hundreds of hours to build the trail section that is now closed.  The original trail alignment was not intentionally built on private property.  There had been a survey done prior to designing the trail, unfortunately it was wrong.  Wildwood, St. Louis County and GORC are eager to correct this situation and move the trail off private property and have taken the steps to do so.  In the meantime, the sign that was intended to indicate the end of the current trail construction phase has been replaced with more permanent signage and materials to block the trail.  We are working to educate trail users to respect the closure and private property.  Thank you for your patience while we move the trail back on to public property.

 

Sincerely,

Bryan Adams

GORC Board Member


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






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