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Whitsetts Fork Road and Greensfelder Park Access Announcement

trail private property greensfelder whitsetts fork road al foster glencoe epic

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#1 seamonkey

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 06:16 PM

An announcement from the Whitsetts Fork Road Maintenance Association (WFRMA):
 
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Greetings,
The Whitsetts Fork neighborhood is having issues with mountain bikers accessing Greensfelder through our roadway and property.  Whitsetts fork is a private roadway maintained by the Whitsetts Fork Road Maintenance Association (WFRMA).  If you are not familiar with this road, it's a 2 mile, at times single lane, road off of Hwy 109 just north of Old State.  It's a single ingress and egress road that ends in private property.  That private property connects with Greensfelder.  
 
We have noticed a significant increase in riders either entering Greensfelder via Whitsetts Fork or leaving Greensfelder since it makes for an easy connection to the Al Foster Trail, Bluffs View trail and Castlewood.  Many riders are unaware that they are crossing private property between Greensfelder and Whitsetts Fork and when confronted, are apologetic and move on without issue. 
 
However, we recently have had some confrontations with several large (8+ riders) group of riders who felt they had direct, uninterrupted access.  Police were called and there was bad blood exchanged via words and actions.  Many of our neighbors are horse riders and ride into Greensfelder with the abutting property owners permission and have had some run in's with riders crossing the private property at speed and causing the expected conflicts between bikes and horses.  
 
The WFRMA is reaching out to GORC to help get the word out to the mountain bike community at large that there is no legal access between Greensfelder and Whitsetts Fork. The roadway is private and doing so is trespassing.  We are by no way assuming or accusing GORC members have been trespassing, however, we are asking that you spread the word to anyone that might see this post.  GORC has a great reputation for stewardship and responsible ridership and we are looking to you to continue this good work. 
 
The Whitsetts Fork Road Maintenance Association (WFRMA)
 
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(I am reposting this as this came through GORC's email directed to the Greensfelder Trail Stewards ~matt)

Matt Hayes
GORC Board Member
Greensfelder Steward


#2 Honch

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Posted 22 August 2018 - 02:02 PM

Matt - Could this be a good time to revisit the master plan with the GF trail steward and allow a trail to be built that would access Melrose, thus eliminating the need to use Whitsets Fork to travel between Bluff View and GF?  There is a fairly large group of people in Wildwood that would be happy to take the trail build on (similar to how BV and Zombie were built - a few GORC days but also some days of a few people working on it on weekday nights) but we would need to be allowed to flag it and start digging.  Can you point us in the right direction to help have that conversation?  Thanks



#3 seamonkey

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Posted 23 August 2018 - 07:02 AM

A "conceptual" multi-use masterplan has been submitted to our St. Louis County Parks land manager at Greensfelder. A conceptual plan means the lines on the map are a concept and not flagged, walked yet to show proof-of-concept, or approved. The plan explains and visually shows areas where trails should be realigned due to erosion or would benefit park users getting to or from certain areas.

 

I agree that a northern connection point would alleviate trail user pressures and illegal crossings. Right now there is no legal way for bikes to exit from the northern portion of the park even though it borders Melrose road for quite a length. GORC has proposed a trail connection concept that would link into Green Rock at the base of the very steep climb going towards Rockwoods Reservation and meander at a sustainable grade (6-7% and no more than 10% for very short sections) to prevent erosion until terminating at Melrose Road just as the northern portion of hiking-only Green Rock does now. This would allow trail users to continue down the road to hop on the Carr Greenway (GRG paved path) and ride down to Al Foster / Bluff View / Zombie / Sherman Beach / parts of Castlewood bottoms and Cedar Bluff (Blue Ribbon). The trail segment would climb about 150 feet from the valley floor up to Melrose. The key positive aspect here is it would connect the Wildwood/ St. Louis county park trail systems like never before. It would allow trail runners, hikers and mountain bikers to string together 30-50 mile epic rides within 5-30 minutes from their own home.

 

We are currently on track to begin a revitalization of Deer Run to alleviate severe erosion and fall-line sections while retaining the original character of the trail. We are certain all trail users will like the proposed layout which is still pending approval. This is scheduled to begin as soon as the finishing touches on the Scenic Loop connector are finished (bermed turns, drain crossing and entry/exits).

 

I'm not certain where the timeline falls into place for a Melrose connector, however, we can discuss it with the land manager. Stay tuned this fall for a report back. Right now, it's something that isn't going to happen in a few weeks, that I am certain. If/When we get to a layout or build point we can discuss weekday built outs like Rock Hollow - again, pending land manager approvals, etc.

 

Below is a concept that was submitted as part of a multi-use masterplan - I can't stress this enough - it's just lines on a map to show a "concept" following topo contour lines. We have not deeply explored the area yet for proof-of-concept, though, we know there is a way to get to the top in a sustainable manner.

 

 

*As a side note - should the Al Foster get connected to Route 66 park (private land owner easement concerns) AND the historic Rte 66 Meramec bridge (major money needed) be converted to pedestrian use (instead of being closed)  you could ALSO add West Tyson/Chubb Trail/Lone Elk to the mix adding another 20+ mile round trip to the 30-50 mile epic. That would link up nearly every rideable park in western St. Louis county / hwy 44 area.

 

melrose_connector_concept1_melrose_all.png


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Matt Hayes
GORC Board Member
Greensfelder Steward


#4 Honch

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Posted 24 August 2018 - 09:43 AM

This is great info - thanks for taking the time to detail everything out.  I'd be happy to help with anything I can (pull support for it together, explain how this trail can help with the Whittsets issue, flag trail, build trail et al)  Please let me know, there is a fairly large group of Wildwood residents that would jump on board and assist as well.  I think we can all agree that ultimately the Whittset's people are correct in that they have the right to deny riders on their roads, this is a great way to solve that problem



#5 jlorenz21

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Posted 24 August 2018 - 12:27 PM

I think this is a great idea and I'll also help wherever possible, though I'm most useful doing grunt work in the woods.



#6 borders

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Posted 27 September 2018 - 02:08 PM

Most excellent information.  Have any more info to share on the Deer Run revitalization?   



#7 seamonkey

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Posted 28 September 2018 - 02:24 PM

Deer Run is still being looked into with the county (some areas we have to avoid for conservation reasons). We are still on schedule to start the Deer Run revitalization project in Spring 2019. Probably 1.5-2 miles-ish of new singletrack tying into existing track.

 

Below is a "conceptual" plan for Deer Run and it will probably be a higher-use multi-use trail since it's the closest to the "stables".

 

I will have an update on the Melrose connector proposal soon I'm told.

 

Matt

 

2018_Deer_run_Update092618_Concept1.png


Matt Hayes
GORC Board Member
Greensfelder Steward






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