An update to previous postings regarding the Salisbury City Park. The trails on the south side of the park, starting at the Salisbury Fire Department Station 1, are clear and open. There''s a logic to the trails now, though; namely that if you start at the Fire Department and ride back towards the zoo, you''ll come to a new access trail just after the metal railing on the right. The entrance is marked with yellow blazes. That starts a 1.5 mile loop that only has one intersection, about 20 yards into the trail. Just keep going straight now, instead of turning right like we used to do. This will put you right onto the middle trail (we''re calling it the Happy Trail, but whatever), which is super fast right now, with a banked turn and a slalom feel. At the end of the Happy Trail, at what used to be a T intersection, just stay on the trail as it bears right. The T is gone, as it did nothing but slow you down and confuse people who''ve never ridden there before. After this, there''s only one trail now, not a dozen confusing little cutovers and doublebacks. Don''t worry, nothing''s lost. The trail is simply coherent now, connected where it made sense, blocked where it didn''t.
A note about some of the reroutes; the thinking was this, the erosion on some of the hillside trails was getting ridiculous. At one section there was actually a sinkhole obscuring the entire trail, which pushed people out and around the hole. At other places, the hillside was all stripped off and in a sandy pile at the bottom of the hill. The problem is these trails were following the fall line and the water had no choice but to flow right down the path, stripping the dirt and exposing roots and holes. So now in those areas the trail runs at a shallower angle. Please give these sections a chance. They''re not as technical as they used to be, but remember this is a city park and we have to accomodate all users or risk losing access all together. We watched an elderly jogger try to negotiate the rootier sections and he almost tripped twice. Those are the kinds of users who could complain and keep us out.
To appease the riders who like tech riding, there is a new, very cool rockgarden at the end (or beginning if you start at the other end of course) of the trail. It is a section of rip rap about 50-80 yards long (pretty long) that has been cleared out and marked with cairns. No one''s ridden it yet, because as soon as it was cleared we got three days of snow, but I suspect it will be ridable by the better riders, after some practice. It won''t be easy though.
The entire trail is now blazed with yellow, if you start at the Fire Department. Eventually it will be blazed blue in the other direction.
In conclusion, yes the trail on the south side has changed some, but please give it a real chance. We''re hearing a lot of riders who really like the loop now and have returned to riding the park. That''s the whole idea, right? Thanks.
The trail works best right now if you start at the corner of Beaglin Park Drive and South Park Drive and ride along the gravel sidewalk back towards the zoo. The idea is that you ride the north part of the park first, then right around/over the spillway on Beaglin Park and then ride the south side. Right at the end of the metal guard rail, bear right between two tight trees. Should be obvious. Go staight at the first intersection, about 20 yards in, and you're on the loop. Just keep riding and you should be fine.
Summary: Got a chance to visit this place a few weeks ago. I did not ride the entire trail but did get a chance to explore a little. It was mostly windy singletrack that had some fun stuff to play on mixed in the trail including some: 6-8 inch 1 ft high wooden beams and about 1ft wide 2-3 ft high boards to ride. The only down side of the trail was the spider webs. I must have went through at least 5 of them.
Recommended Route: Do not know the trail well enough to say. Explore and play!
Summary: The north side of the park is just about "looped" finally. The idea is the same as the south side; you ride in at the zoo end of the park and ride out at the Beaglin Park Drive side of the park and you haven't ridden any portion of the trails twice. There is one intersection down near the dam, just go straight each time you cross it. Thanks to everybody who's riding the park again, the trails are in great shape, nice and compact and clear, and this is solely because of riders taking the time to ride the soft, new trails until they become fast. Good work, y'all.
The idea, by the way, on the north side, is to eliminate the two big intersections of trails, the goofy five-sided star intersections where all the trails met. They were confusing and frustrating. Now there is just one trail, which works its way more across the hills than up and down, creating more fluid, more rewarding climbs and descents, and also a much more fluid loop. Have fun, be safe.
Summary: Riders are starting to return to the park. That's great. Should keep the trails open more. We've got a couple big trees to clear from around the park this spring, but nothing too bad. The south side of the park is clean, fast and smooth. Have fun. The north side, we're starting work in March and will work until it's cleared and smooth.