March 2009

Mar. 30, 2009  Professional Trail Builders Association Conference
Mar. 25, 2009  Trail School for Groundwork Dallas
Mar. 25, 2009  Santos and Florida Office of Greenways Needs Help!
Mar. 8, 2009  Lost Pines Nature Trails
Mar. 7, 2009  Tyler State Park
Mar. 7, 2009  Timberlane Utility District Trail Maintenance

March 2009


Professional Trail Builders Association Conference

Posted by Ryan Spates in S&S Trails Blog on Mar. 30, 2009 - 10:05 am

Professional Trail Builders Conference in Asheville, NC March 15-20

S&S Trails traveled to North Carolina to attend the PTBA conference, held for the first time outside of Reno, NV. In spite of the venue change, the conference had the largest attendance yet with 240+ participants. Our motley crew of professional trail contractors, trail volunteers, and land management agency folks descended upon the Marriott Crowne Plaza for 6 days of training, networking, induction of new member companies, and general merriment. As part of the outdoor trade show, conference participants had the opportunity to try out new equipment by tearing up a golf course. Sweet! (The suggestion to do so was made by the Marriott staff, surprisingly enough. They had already planned to reduce their 18-hole golf course down to 9 holes, so they were pleased to let us start tearing it up as long as we let them help out.) Much fun was had by all involved. Susan and Ryan were particularly enamored with a Canycom tracked loader that would be immensely more productive for our needs than the wheeled Georgia buggies that are the only haulers we can find to rent in Texas. Maybe if we have a good year we can buy a new toy at the end of it to reward ourselves.

Greens Lick
Read the rest of this entry »

Trail School for Groundwork Dallas

Posted by Ryan Spates in S&S Trails Blog on Mar. 25, 2009 - 7:16 pm

S&S Trails was contacted again by Casie Pierce of Groundwork Dallas to teach a trail school to the latest team of AmeriCorps staff members. They were in town to continue work on the new community trail in the Trinity Forest on the south side of town. Our goal, after training the six friendly, energetic young people, was to create a connector trail to serve two purposes; 1) to make a path through the dense woods to allow the AmeriCorps team to carry out a large pile of tires that had been dumped in the site over several years so that they could be disposed of properly and 2) to leave behind a sustainable, safe footpath for residents in the cul de sac at the top of the hill to be able to access the trail that had already been constructed further down the slope in the woods. The classroom portion of the training on Sunday went quite well. The class was comprised of Team Leader Ken and the crew members Dward, Jess, Nicole, Danielle, and Rachel. Casie also stayed for most of the class, and we were also joined by Karen Woodard, who is the newly hired City Forester for the city of Dallas.

Read the rest of this entry »

Santos and Florida Office of Greenways Needs Help!

Posted by Ryan Spates in S&S Trails Blog on Mar. 25, 2009 - 10:14 am

Losing the Greenway/Santos as we know it.

I am sending this to everyone I know who appreciates riding at Santos or utilizes the Cross Florida Greenway. Please post on your forums, spread the word. Then contact your representative, senator, and Governor Crist (

The proposed budget in Tallahassee will essentially eliminate the Office of Greenways and Trails as we know it, and give the land to the state parks department. It will give the parks more land, while eliminating over 100 of their positions at the same time.

Why do we need to act?
OGT has been the land manager of Santos since the beginning of our bike trails and OMBA. We have spent years establishing a relationship with the office in Ocala and Tallahassee to ensure the best trails possible could be a reality. Ironically, Florida was just awarded “Best Trails State” at the biannual National Trails Symposium this fall.

Here are a few things worth fighting for (even if you don’t love them all, think of your two wheel friends too):
1. Recreational opportunities with nature conservation- bike trails!
2. Free access. (even though I think most of us wouldn’t mind paying for parking!)
3. The proposed trail expansion westward that has already been written up as a huge grant proposal, soil samples taken, and professional preliminary flagging. Phase 1 is 484 to 200, Phase 2 is 200 to Pruitt. 20 miles of amazing terrain (through the canal diggings) trails, a loop configuration to extend Nayls and provide connectivity across the state!
4. Freeriding in the Vortex. Period.
5. Racing permits.
6. The Fat Tire Festival.

OGT’s mission and approach to trails is a philosophy that has benefitted us over the years. IMBA and others are amazed and impressed with the relationship and privileges we have with OGT. We need to show our appreciation for what we have by fighting for them in Tallahassee.

Thank you! Let’s get this done before next Tuesday, April 2nd- the Florida Bike Summit at the capitol.

Renee Blaney
Ocala Mountain Bike Association

Lost Pines Nature Trails

Posted by Ryan Spates in S&S Project Gallery, S&S Trails Blog on Mar. 8, 2009 - 3:27 pm

S&S Trails was invited by Environmental Stewardship, a Bastrop, Texas based non-profit, to help improve 3/4 of a mile of singletrack at the Lost Pines Nature Trails site. The project included widening sections of the trail along the river, completing the corridor work along the return route, and lots of bench cutting on the steep hill slopes. The intent was to make a nice hiking and mountain biking trail.

Rivers Edge
Read the rest of this entry »

Tyler State Park

Posted by Ryan Spates in S&S Project Gallery, S&S Trails Blog on Mar. 7, 2009 - 8:10 pm

S&S Trail Services was contacted through a volunteer organization and TPWD Resource personnel on a previous trip to Tyler to start on a master plan for Tyler State Park. There have been some ongoing erosion issues in the park, one of which required an emergency repair due to the sudden acceleration of erosion on that particular spot which led to a dangerous drop-off.

Tyler After
Read the rest of this entry »

Timberlane Utility District Trail Maintenance

Posted by Ryan Spates in S&S Trails Blog on Mar. 7, 2009 - 6:47 pm

After leaving the Woodlands, S&S went to Timberlane Utility District to handle their maintenance contract. Fortunately, the trails in the system have been holding up pretty well and just needed some minor work. S&S widened one section of trail at Sand Piper Park to allow for access around a wash out from the lake that the trail borders. During some of the last rains, the bank of the lake caved in, leaving the trail right on the edge.
Also, we walked through the Timberlane section of trails and removed the stumps that were left behind by volunteers doing trail clearing. Unfortunately, there were some social (unofficial user created) trails starting up that needed to be closed. One even included an industriously dug pit!

Pungee Removal