Efforts are continuing to improve and expand the great trails at Ontario County Park (OCP) at Gannett Hill in cooperation with the Ontario County Parks Department. The twelve miles of shared use trails are well designed for great cross-country mountain biking and the shallow, dense hilltop soils create a fairly stable surface requiring less overall trail maintenance. That said, there are always areas that need attention to improve drainage, remove downed trees and maintain bridges. The latest effort this fall on Sept 21th included about 14 people who have all have spent a lot of time working down at OCP who came with tools and went right at it! It was too wet to stain the long red bridge on the Brown Trail so we had a majority of the people focus on de-berming and improving drainage on low spots on green, violet, purple and the brown trail. Park Caretaker Anthony Roberge joined several of us with a dump gator and moved about 6 loads of crusher-run gravel for hand placement on low and perennial wet spots at the beginning of green, lavender and the cross trail right below purple which is always wet and muddy. The gravel is not as nice looking as the natural surface, but it will work itself into the soil and we covered some of the stretches with some subsoil to help bind it together and create a more immediate natural looking surface. Anthony was a great help and we really appreciate the assistance and support of the park personnel. We plan to stain the bridge on the Brown Trail next and spend some time on red and yellow trails making improvements. We have started to scout a new trail to the west of the Brown Trail which would descend significant elevation to a cool “bench” or flat area and return back to the brown trail. Once marked and approved by Ontario County, we will again have a work party to “build” the sustainable single-track, shared use trail.
Here we are, into fall already. But, we don't want to put a fork into the riding season quite yet. Since the cool weather allows comfortable riding almost every day and we all enjoy seeing the leaves changing colors.
As the GROC project managers for Dryer Road Park, we want to give a status update. As outlined in an article that we posted on GROC's homepage (see ”So sad…”), the trails at DRP have suffered a lot of damage. The reasons for the damage are also described in that article.
From our position and as lovers of the trail system here,at times it seems overwhelming when we look at how much damage has occurred on so many trails. If we, the Project Managers and all the trail crew volunteers, had decided to do little or nothing to correct the damage, the result surely would be that the trails would soon become essentially unrideable and many of the trails could get to the point of having to be permanently closed. Although the Town of Victor fully and generously supports our volunteer efforts, they do not work on building or maintaining trails themselves and are not planing to do so even if we were to walk away. So, we chose to redouble our efforts and are well into a late summer– early fall push to fix and improve the trails. The really great news is that we have had some super work parties and the momentum seems to be growing.
Successes, so far:
Multiple grade reversals and general trail repairs on VHT (Victor Hiking Trail) have made it smooth, more fun to ride and highly sustainable and they prevent water and sand from cascading down the trail.
We even built a cool, flat "parking" area just outside the entry to VHT with a great view and plans for more improvements to make it a great rest spot.
We built an extension of Tree Beard with tandem log-overs that allows the rider to be able to stay on single track between the Tree Beard and VHT, without having to exit onto the field. And, we made a separate short trail off Tree Beard, named Kat’s Cut. I want to thank and acknowledge Reece Kreilick and his scout troop, As part of his Eagle Scout project, joining us to make these trails.
Improvements at the other end of Tree Beard (near the entry to Bone-A-Part) cleaned up a nasty, rooty chicane around two large trees, avoiding the need of a significant rerouting.
A grade reversal at the top of Bones now diverts water, which was gouging the trail. Other improvements were made on Bones to improve the ride.
Several deep troughs had developed on iPod. These were filled and the turns were slightly reshaped with new grade reversals added strategically placed to keep water from running down the sections.
Above the drop on Bone-A-Part, a deep trough had developed. This area was regraded. On a separate return on Bone-A-Part, which had some exposed and dangerous routes, we were able to reshape and slightly berm the turn to create better flow, less brake dragging and much more fun.
Jeff Rader, who supervises the parks department crew, brought us loads of dirt to the pump track and then Evan Brent and his volunteer crew reshaped the humps to make it more “pumpable”. We now actually are praying for rain to allow these repairs, as well as the others on the trails, to be packed down.
Mary Lee has made a lot of new signs to mark the trails with bright white lettering
Too many to even list! Almost every trail has moderate to severe damage that needs to be repaired. Moreover, some of the trails are getting close to the point of having to be permanently closed if we don't correct the problems that may soon make them unsustainable and too dangerous to ride.
We will have to go trail by trail to fix and improve them all.
Just as a tease, I want to let everyone know that flagging has been done by Kirk Bingaman on a proposed new trail, and we will be recruiting volunteers for work parties to make that trail happen
What you Can MUST do:
Sign up for GROC Trail Crew Meetup, which shoots you an e-mail whenever a work party is scheduled. Of course, you have to attend work parties to be part of the solution. Currently only a very small fraction of the total number of riders participates in trail work. That is not only unfair, but will lead to burnout of these dedicated individuals, leaving no one to take care of the trails.
Join IMBA and GROC. We must have strong and well-supported organizations at the local and national levels to fight for and maintain access to trails
Monroe County Department of Parks, along with many local recreation and environmental groups for “Pick Up the Parks.” This event is designed to foster stewardship of our 21 parks and 12,000 acres within. We are all stewards of the great outdoors, so we encourage you to do your part to keep our parks, our waterways, and watersheds clean and green.
Pick up the parks has been running for 5 years and GROC has been part of the planning and participation every year.
This year we were charged with Tryon Park. Although GROC volunteers keep the park in great shape all year round there is always more that can get cleaned up. This year we also had some of there Trail Crew doing some trails work and many of the volunteers worked on cleaning debris and leafs off the trails.
Thanks to the more than 25 individuals who joined in the Tryon clean up and the 100's of other volunteers who cleaned up the other 21 other wonderful Monroe County Parks.
3.25 tons of waste collected (6,500 pounds) of which 1.3 tons (36%) of it was salvageable for recycling (tires, metal, glass, plastic, paper, cardboard, etc.)
The GROC Board has recently changed. Jonathan Brown will remain as President supported by a dedicated group who have been involved with GROC since its inception in 2004. GROC has made a significant impact on the expansion of shared-use trails in our area and with your support we will continue that effort.
Great News - GROC's Efforts Pay Off
Monroe County Parks Pilot Program for shared-use trails has come to a successful end. The pilot program that was run for over 18 months in Tryon and West Bay Park has been deemed a success by the County's consultant, EDR (Environmental Design & Research). EDR evaluated the parks both prior to and after the pilot and submitted their report to the County. GROC's members, volunteers and supporters are the reason for the program's success.
Volunteers: The amount of effort put into area parks by GROC volunteers has been stunning. Several miles of new trail were created and existing trails were enhanced in both Tryon and West Bay Park.
Business Support: Local bike shops and businesses like Stan's NOTUBES have also played a very major role in the efforts by supporting GROC.
Parks Departments: We must also recognize the Monroe County Parks Department leaders who supported the efforts in every way they could. They have been a pleasure to work with and have really done a great job in making the parks experience very positive for everyone. Please thank Larry Staub (
), Dave Rinaldo (
) and Mark Quinn (
) for the support and effort they have put into this program.
Other Local Land Managers: This program was also made possible through the continued support of the Town of Victor and Ontario County. Brian Emelson (
), Parks Director for the Town Of Victor has played a major role in GROC's success. Brian was the first land manager to support GROC by allowing us to work with him at Dryer Road Park.
GROC & IMBA
GROC has officially become an International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) chapter club. This is a significant change in our relationship with IMBA. GROC is now one of only three chapters in our region. We are proud to be recognized by IMBA for our volunteers' advocacy efforts.
A tough year for Mountain Bike Clubs - Why Support GROC and IMBA IMBA lost its ability to provide affordable insurance for clubs this year. This is a significant issue for mountain bike clubs. GROC and many other clubs almost went away. In order to work on trails we need to carry insurance to protect our volunteers and board members. This may seem like an easy thing but very few insurance companies are able to provide such policies for mountain bike clubs. Fortunately GROC was recently able to find a solution with one of the few insurance companies that can provide the coverage we need.
GROC memberships will be a joint membership with IMBA. When you join GROC you will also become an IMBA member. With your financial support GROC will be able to continue to provide insurance, tools and materials that are required to build and maintain the trails in our area. Please continue to support GROC and IMBA .
We need your memberships now more than ever! We will not be able to continue to build and maintain local trails without your support.
GROC Singletrack Academy providing basic lessons on bike setup, equipment safety, mounting and dismounting, attack position, turning, and braking. The children participated in multiple skills drills before heading out to Kaleidoscope for their first trail ride. Throughout the day, participants also learned about road and trail safety, rules, and etiquette, as well as stewardship and advocacy. In Partnership with Community Place of Greater Rochester (and Greater Rochester Health Foundation) GROC along with many community members sponsored these young adults to participate in the Single Track Academy Program.
The Film done by Don Casper Follows kids from downtown Rochester as they travel to the woods to experience nature and learn how to mountain bike through an amazing volunteer program.