Jun. 21, 2012 STORM Trail School
Feb. 16, 2012 Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center Volunteer Day and Trail School
Nov. 7, 2010 Texas Society for Ecological Restoration: November 5-6
Oct. 26, 2010 Barton Creek West: Trail Extension
May. 31, 2010 May 4-9 IMBA 2010 World Mountain Bike Summit
Apr. 30, 2010 Senna Hills
Mar. 2, 2010 Pedernales Falls State Park
S&S Trails has always been volunteer focused, and the trail schools that we teach to different groups throughout the year are proof of that. The South Texas Off-Road Mountain Bikers (STORM) teamed with Government Canyon State Park to have S&S Trails come teach a trail school to over 20 volunteers and staff. The School was conducted in the outdoor classroom at GCSP. We worked on an armoring project in the park where a fall line trail was eroding badly.
S&S Trails has had the privilege to develop a working relationship with the Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center in Cedar Hill, TX. We have helped design a section of ADA trail on the lower portion of the land and oversaw a volunteer group from Altria Corp to help perform the corridor work needed to open the trail so that the improved surface material could be put down. S&S Trails also led the Altria volunteers in cleaning up poorly cut limbs and pungees from the existing hiking trail.
Posted by Ryan Spates in Uncategorized on Nov. 7, 2010 - 2:55 pm
S&S Trails were invited by Kay Jenkins from TPWD to speak at the Texas Society for Ecological Restoration annual conference held in Tyler. This is a small, but very valuable conference that brings together people from around the state of Texas that are experts in the fields of forestry, biology, ecology, and native ecosystems. This year they wanted to add a trails component, to discuss with participants the nuts and bolts of integrating sustainable trail systems into sensitive natural areas.
Ryan was otherwise engaged building trail at Barton Creek West in Austin with the local crew, and since Susan was still recuperating from her ankle injury, she decided to commute up to Tyler to speak at the conference. The property where the conference was held was beautiful, and the onsite accommodations were comfortable and economical. After visiting with folks and putting last-minute touches on her presentation on Thursday evening, Susan presented her talk on Friday morning and it was very well received. In addition to discussing the basics of sustainable natural surface trail design and construction, Susan also showed a series of pictures from a trail renovation project in Tyler State Park that Kay had helped to organize a few years prior.
In October, S&S Trails set out to add trail to the already stellar network at Barton Creek West. The new section was intended to be more of a challenge than the others, and offer some views that were not available at any other point in the area. The trail would be on the escarpment overlooking the very north end of Barton Creek.
The month of May got off to a great start with S&S Trails traveling to Augusta, Georgia for the 2010 International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) World Mountain Bike Summit. Approximately 200 delegates from all over the world converged on the Southeast to learn from each other and ride some awesome singletrack. S&S Trails are corporate sponsors of IMBA, and we’ve attended every biennial summit since their inception in 2000. All the prior summits were held out west or up north (including one in Canada), and this year was the first to highlight trails in the southern region of the US. Since Susan started riding in Florida and has always been partial to the southeast, it was very exciting to have trails and landscapes featured that were quite different from those that were highlighted in the past. The motto for the event was GRITS, Great Riding In The South, and the moniker certainly fit.
Last fall S&S Trails completed Phase I at the Senna Hills neighborhood in west Austin, giving the community their first natural-surface trails allowing homeowners to walk, run, and ride bikes in the woods behind their homes. Community response was overwhelmingly positive, and residents frequently said that they enjoyed the trails and wanted more of them throughout the property to allow more opportunities for nature exploration and exercise. This led to plans for Phase II that commenced in the spring.
S&S Trails completed the horse trail reroutes that were begun last fall. The construction process was plagued by delays due to bad weather and some bureaucratic challenges to overcome, but fortunately we were able to work hard when we were allowed to do so and we managed to complete everything by the March 1 deadline.
The project completion deadline had to do with the fact that some of the proposed reroutes were located in golden cheeked warbler habitat, an endangered songbird that nests in the hill country region during the spring. Federal and state guidelines mandate that no mechanized equipment can be used in those habitat regions from March 1 through September to prevent interfering with the birds’ nesting and mating patterns. Therefore we were on tight schedule to get everything completed in a timely manner to comply with regulations enforced by the state park’s regional resources manger.