Multi-use trails....

2:44 p.m. on August 4, 2013 (EDT)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

There has been a recent upsurge in mountain biking groups wanting to gain access to sections of National Scenic Trails that currently prohibit this use. 

Here is the story per the AHS:

http://www.americanhiking.org/mtbikeencroachment/ 

My question on this matter is quite simple. Do you support the multi-purpose use of these trails?

Whether you do or don't why do you feel the way you do in regards to this matter?

Do you think that there would be a possible significant amount of damage due to these bikes being on a trail that wasn't initially designed for this type of use?

What would be the pros and cons of this becoming a reality?

Thoughts?

5:41 p.m. on August 4, 2013 (EDT)
200 reviewer rep
4,069 forum posts

Yes there is a real threat to damage by mountain bikes on hiking trails. They often become like narrow ditches and corners become like ramps. I hate walking down/up a trail and having to move for bikers. Horses are bad enough with their smell and the deposits they leave and urine soaked areas. 

6:17 p.m. on August 4, 2013 (EDT)
12 reviewer rep
836 forum posts

opening up hiking trails to bikes is a bad idea. awhile back there was an article about a hiker that was almost killed by a biker blasting downhill on a trail, I can't remember where I saw it. it's not just their speed, but the rutting damage they do to trails. Horses I can deal with. they are hiker friendly. when was the last time you saw a horse doing forty on a downhill?

10:17 p.m. on August 4, 2013 (EDT)
87 reviewer rep
1,057 forum posts

I can't support sharing the trails with Mountain Bikes. They have their place in certain parks say locally.But I don't want our National Park Service to have to realicate trails for dual use. The problem I see is erosion and Rutts that are created and ramps. The trails already are being used to the max by backpackers and hikers and some trails are having a hard time getting Maintanance done..It would just become worse in some cases..

AS for seeing this a riseing concern it is cause cyclists are asking for dual use. There seems to be a hot topic in the last few years..There maybe more cycling clubs than hiking clubs.

12:21 a.m. on August 5, 2013 (EDT)
200 reviewer rep
4,069 forum posts

Mountain cycling has rutted the trails around Jackson Hole. Some are so narrowed fro wheels then water going down them, they are more grooves than trails.


Rutted-bike-trail.jpg

Not the kind of bike we are talking about but the trail erosion looks the same. Note the bike in the groove above. I have seen mountain bike scarred trails like this everywhere I have hiked.

6:37 a.m. on August 5, 2013 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
1,366 reviewer rep
373 forum posts

One of our local mountain parks allows and is very popular for mt biking.  Beautiful place and not too far from my home but I never go there.

As for bikers careening down a trail at me they'll be treated the same as aggressive snow boarders when I'm skiing...they can hit me if they insist on it, but I'm using the pointy end of my poles to defend myself so they'd better have good insurance.

12:44 p.m. on August 5, 2013 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
3,325 reviewer rep
1,202 forum posts

I love mountain biking.  I think that, on a trail by trail basis, many trails could be appropriate for mountain biking, not everywhere though.  Once you get a few miles from the TH its a non-issue anyway since multi-day trips on one aren't that feasible anyway.  I like the option of biking to a good trout stream for a day trip though.  Just like sharing the trail with horses, it does require courtesy and restraint.

I once snuck a bike into a wilderness area to shorten a long, flat approach.  A pack on the back of a bike isn't that fun. 

12:48 p.m. on August 5, 2013 (EDT)
BRAND REP TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
1,988 reviewer rep
468 forum posts

Cyclists tend to get aggressive about their presence on trails.

I was out hiking near the I&M Canal Trailhead a couple weeks ago, and while some were polite enough to be vocal, or ring a bell, most whizzed past myself and my partner. Luckily the terrain was largely flat and you could see ahead and behind yourself, but were there hills or curves, this could prove dangerous to those on foot.

If not because of demeanor alone, the damage to the trails is another huge reason to limit these to foot traffic, and foot traffic alone.

I was happy to see signs for "Foot Traffic Only" marking the trailheads while I was out at Mississippi Palisades State Park this past weekend. Spent a good deal of time hiking pavement to stop by all the scenic lookouts, and dodging motorcycles and automobiles was a chore onto itself.

Long story short, it's best for all when these are enjoyed only by those with their feet on the ground.

2:02 p.m. on August 5, 2013 (EDT)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
2,424 reviewer rep
1,282 forum posts

to me, it's mostly an erosion issue.  i think mountain biking should be carefully limited because it so greatly increases the risk of trail erosion.  nice picture to bring that home, Gary. 

7:20 p.m. on August 6, 2013 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
755 reviewer rep
1,224 forum posts

I'm split on the issue.....I don't want to see bikes on the higher hiking routes but near town, where I live, I must tip my hat to the Appalachian Bicycle club; they have tirelessly lobbied and toiled to grow natural areas and develop many fine trails that I enjoy running and day hiking on. They can also be seen clearing and doing maintenance on said trails all through the year. They don't talk about it as much as they do it and I respect that.

8:37 a.m. on August 7, 2013 (EDT)
MODERATOR TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
5,369 reviewer rep
741 forum posts

HornRimmedHiker said:

I was out hiking near the I&M Canal Trailhead a couple weeks ago, and while some were polite enough to be vocal, or ring a bell, most whizzed past myself and my partner. Luckily the terrain was largely flat and you could see ahead and behind yourself, but were there hills or curves, this could prove dangerous to those on foot.

 To be fair, the I&M is a dedicated bike path. Speed limits for the path are set only in a few locations. The trail is 61 miles long. So for a cyclist to make a round trip (120 miles) in a day, he needs to be averaging about 15-20mph.

Between towns you can ride for miles without seeing another person, but near trailheads, a cyclist can be overwhelmed with dog-walkers, stroller joggers, and (in paved areas) those dreaded roller bladers. Typically, a cyclist calls out only because he is concerned a pedestrian is going to stray into his path or because there is little room to pass.

With any dedicated bike path, walkers should expect bike traffic. Expecting a bell or verbal cue is kind of like asking every car to honk if you're walking on a busy road.

-------

As to the primary conversation. No, I'm not a fan of sharing hiking trails with mountain bikers. My experience is when they grow tired of the ruts they've made, they simply move a few feet over and start making new ruts. 

11:24 a.m. on August 7, 2013 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
163 forum posts

there has been to many reports of bikers running into people on the trails. Right now the bikers are trying to get the PCT open to them. IMO bikers should stay off trails marked for hikers period. 

12:36 p.m. on August 7, 2013 (EDT)
MODERATOR TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
5,369 reviewer rep
741 forum posts

Unless the wife vetoes my plans, I'm heading out onto the Kinkaid Lake Trail next weekend for a 3-day hike. The trail is closed to mountain biking but at several points crosses Waterfall Trail, which is open to bikes. I'm curious to see if bikers ignore the "hikers & horses only" designation in this area. I'll report back.

1:28 p.m. on August 7, 2013 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
1,195 reviewer rep
1,063 forum posts

This is an interesting issue, as there is peer-reviewed reasearch out there which indicates that Mountain Biking, as an activity, has less of an impact on soil erosion than Equestrian use, and in some instances (i.e. certain soil types/ecosystems) is even less impactful than hiking...the main point of the research is that that with a bike you have your forces spread out over a larger surface area, and there is less "torque" trying to shift soil around as compared to the propulsive forces at work when one is ambulating on two or four feet.

Unfortunately, I don't have a copy of the one specific article I know exists, but I'm sure a cursory search through Google Scholar should bring it up...

Environmental impact aside, there is still the fact that oftentimes a mountain biker ripping down single track makes much less noise--while travelling at a much higher rate of speed--when compared to a horse and rider...

All that being said, I think that if a trail is opened to Equestrian use, it should be open to Mountain Bikers.

2:23 p.m. on August 7, 2013 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
1,366 reviewer rep
373 forum posts

Horsemen tend to do a better job of making sure people know they are coming because they want to avoid spooking their mount by surprising folks they meet.  Trail cyclists tend to not give a rip.

That is purely anecdotal and has not been submitted for peer review 8p

8:05 a.m. on August 8, 2013 (EDT)
MODERATOR TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
5,369 reviewer rep
741 forum posts

pillowthread said:


All that being said, I think that if a trail is opened to Equestrian use, it should be open to Mountain Bikers.

I respectfully disagree--for the safety of both the horse rider and the cyclist. I encounter horses on trails all the time--they are skittish and hard to control when frightened. For some reason, horses can't figure out a human with a backpack, and they can panick. When I see a horse coming, I get as far off the trail as the environment allows, ask the rider the horses name, and then call to the horse, using it's name over and over. Riders are always telling me how much they appreciate that. I'm just wondering what a horse would do if a silent mountain biker came whizzing down a hill from behind.

From a cyclist's perspective, I wouldn't want to ride a horse trail. You'd be cover in manure!

1:26 p.m. on August 8, 2013 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
1,195 reviewer rep
1,063 forum posts

Good, good! Goose, I completely agree with you, and think that what you wrote highlights what is often the "elephant in the room" at the Equestrian-use-related NEPA community meetings (I'm a Forestry Tech. for the Shawnee...) of which I've been apprised: Horses don't really play nice with others.

In all seriousness, in my personal opinion I think letting Equestrians have their own, exclusive trails might not be a bad idea.

As a backpacker I don't appreciate the peanut-butter-like mud-and-manure froth that forms every spring on the trails in Lusk Creek Wilderness and at Garden of the Gods...they can wallow in that all they want!

And as a cyclist, I don't want to bomb my 'cross bike down a horse trail either...

Also, such a move would allow the Equestrian users--as a community--to take responsibility for the two-foot-deep incised trails that invariably develop as a result of their activities. As well as the permanent trail markers they install on FS land. And the high-lines. And the trash piles.

Additionally, it would allow our trail crew to spend more of their time--and the taxpayers' money--on actually constructing new trails, rather than being mired in re-routing trails made essentially impassible to hikers due to Equestrian use.

I see it as a win-win for everyone.

(off soapbox, back to bikes...{maybe we start a new thread?})

2:52 p.m. on August 8, 2013 (EDT)
MODERATOR TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
5,369 reviewer rep
741 forum posts

I would LOVE to have dedicated hiker trails, but I honestly feel that long-distance hiker trails would disappear out of Shawnee. There's just not enough usage. I consider the nastiness of the trail to be a small cost in having a trail.

The only problem I've had with horses is when riders our out in closure periods--after heavy rains or in the early spring when trails are suppose to be closed to hoof traffic to spare the trail. Most riders are pretty good about this, but there are the exceptions (just like some hikers are jerks).

Of course, I always filter water a few yards upstream from the trail.

I freaked out a trio of horses a few months ago, when they encountered my hammock. It was the middle of the day, and I hung my hammock on the far end of a clearing (100' off the main trail) for a quick nap. It was interesting: First, the horses whinnied. Then the riders started laughing as they saw my bare feet hanging over the edge. But it got weird when one of the riders came right up to my hammock (with me in it). I looked up to a horse's nose sniffing at me. A few moments later, I realized their dog had just done my dishes for me and finished off my left over lunch bag.

8:52 a.m. on August 9, 2013 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
803 reviewer rep
503 forum posts

I mtb and bikes are fine on BLM and national forest land. I don't support their use in Wilderness areas. Those should be left to foot and horse traffic.

2:38 p.m. on August 9, 2013 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
755 reviewer rep
1,224 forum posts

Well if the conversation is changing to horses, I’ll offer my objective observation that as a user demographic of the Smoky Mountains the horse riders are the most trashy, unsanitary and inconsiderate group period.

I’ve personally witnessed multiple horse riding groups on multiple days leave piles of trash including partially empty cans, plastic plates, plastic-ware, bags, beer cans, soda cans, empty and partially empty bottles, etc….at some very scenic locations. I have also come across horse camps where all human feces was left unburied on top of the ground with big wads of used toilet paper strewn about.

And again, I can personally attest to seeing horse riders on multiple occasions flip un-extinguished cigarette butts to the ground without even a look back to see if they caught anything on fire.

I certainly don’t meant to generalize (although I guess I am) and paint them all with the same brush; no doubt there are good stewards out there on horseback. I spent some time as youth living and working at a boarding stable and have some experience with the horse community outside of a hiking setting.

However, I’m only telling what I have personally observed on numerous occasions. I have written letters to Park Officials several times over the years asking for horse exclusion from the Smokies with no response thus far.

My two cents……

12:30 p.m. on August 10, 2013 (EDT)
1,357 reviewer rep
1,339 forum posts

Goose 00 said:

HornRimmedHiker said:

I was out hiking near the I&M Canal Trailhead a couple weeks ago.

 To be fair, the I&M is a dedicated bike path. 

I'm willing to let the mountain bikes have the right of way on a trail that is posted for their use. 'Dedicated' bike path means we're in their way, not vice versa. If the trail is posted as a shared or multi-use trail, we want the same respect from them. 

1:57 p.m. on August 11, 2013 (EDT)
21 reviewer rep
1,069 forum posts

Mountain bikers tear up trails, but the real danger is going too fast downhill and not using a bell or voice to warn hikers. Lots of bad wrecks a long way from help.

I used to pack horses and mules and believe that they belong in the backcountry. Horse power is what still moves people, and  materials long distances in the absence of roads.

8:40 a.m. on August 12, 2013 (EDT)
TRAILSPACE STAFF
411 reviewer rep
1,022 forum posts

Full disclosure - I worked for AHS for a long time!

The issue that AHS is trying to raise (and not doing a great job, in my opinion), isn't about mountain bike use on trails generally, it's about mountain bike use on a very few specific trails of particular designation - National Scenic Trails.  These trails weren't built for bike use, aren't managed for bike use, and aren't used in a way that is consistent with bike use. Generally speaking, I think the vast majority of trails can be designed and managed in a way that can permit multiple uses (if, and only if, the users make a real effort to be considerate), but I feel pretty strongly that most of the National Scenic Trails like the Appalachian Trail should remain bike free. Thankfully, these trails must account for something like less than 5% of the total trail mileage in the US, so it's not a huge loss. That said, I'm sure there are trails out there, designed and managed for bike use, that are inappropriate for use by hikers! OK  - I'll get off my soapbox too, and go for a ride!

2:40 p.m. on August 12, 2013 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
2,329 reviewer rep
5,251 forum posts

From the SFBay Area, home of Mt Tamalpais, arguably the birthplace of modern mountain biking, and having known Gary Fisher, putative originator of the modern mountain bike -

The major problem for mixed trails is a small number of bikers, hikers, and equestrians, plus a few motorized drivers, who have little or no respect for the environment and less for their fellow humans, caring only about their own fun and games. If everyone understood and practiced LNT principles (one of which is "respect for other users"), along with understanding the impacts on trails and off-trail of their usage (whether foot, hoof, wheel, hiking staff, visual, sound, etc), the problem would go away.

But, since humans are human, the problem is not going to go away, and requires regulations and enforcement to minimize the impacts and conflicts.

Seth is right that there are trails that were designed primarily for bike use (Mt Tam has several, in fact). Unfortunately, most of those I am familiar with very quickly after their construction and opening attracted runners, walkers, and baby strollers. When I lived and worked in D.C., I used bike trails (mostly converted train routes) for commuting from my place in Tyson's Corner to the NSF building in downtown Washington on a daily basis year around.

We have a lot of mixed trails here in the SFBay Area - some hiker/equestrian, some hiker/biker, some hiker/biker/equestrian. There are some hiker only, some biker only, some equestrian only. Some allow bikers or equestrians only seasonally (the Nov-Apr rainy season turns some of the trails to mud, so that bikes and horses really chew them up).

We get to see the best and the worst aspects of mixing the various modes of transportation. The worst aspects pretty much all boil down to a lack of respect by a few individuals for other users (including a lack of respect of some hikers for their fellow hikers), as well as an attitude by some for the regulations and the reasons for them ("Those ridiculous rules don't apply to me!")

2:59 p.m. on August 12, 2013 (EDT)
1,357 reviewer rep
1,339 forum posts

Bill S said:

...as well as an attitude by some for the regulations and the reasons for them ("Those ridiculous rules don't apply to me!")

Sounds like the same people who park in disabled spots, or let their dogs off-leash in parks where it's required. Not much you can do about those guys - their self-entitled attitudes pervade their whole lives. 

6:21 p.m. on August 12, 2013 (EDT)
MODERATOR TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
5,369 reviewer rep
741 forum posts

Jerks are everywhere, regardless of their mode of transportation. I'd take a courteous mountain biker over a trash hiker any day.

10:27 a.m. on August 14, 2013 (EDT)
21 reviewer rep
1,069 forum posts

Backcountry Horsemen of America are largely responsible for the backcountry trial maintenance in the western US. They support SAR and fire suppression efforts, stock fish in backcountry lakes and move materials for things like fire lookouts and bridges. Mules can pack everything from cast iron stoves to telephone poles and concrete. Horses, mules and packers deserve a lot of credit for helping to create the backcountry intra-structure such as it is.

10:32 a.m. on August 14, 2013 (EDT)
21 reviewer rep
1,069 forum posts

Most backpackers rarely get far enough from the trailhead that they are beyond the reach of Backcountry Horsemen. I have had that experience only a handful of times while mounted on horses or mules. It takes maybe 30-35 miles before the windthrown trees block the trail. Always carry an axe that is easy to get to on the first pack mule. Sometimes there are rock slides and rivers requiring a swim. It is an amazing experience to really get out there- no other people and no evidence that people have ever been there.

3:39 p.m. on August 14, 2013 (EDT)
TRAILSPACE STAFF
411 reviewer rep
1,022 forum posts

To echo ppine - backcountry horsemen do EXTRAORDINARY work on thousands of miles of (mostly western) hiking trails.  I doubt that the PCT could be maintained half as well without them!

5:48 p.m. on August 14, 2013 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
1,366 reviewer rep
373 forum posts

I still recall watching a lone rider with a pack train of 4 horses behind him way deep in the Bighorns when one of the loaded animals bucked its load off.  He was resupplying a trail crew even deeper in and that horse spread their provisions all down a hill.  He even managed to stop cussing once he noticed us near by.

I've seen the horsemen who give them all a bad name, but there are plenty good ones too.  That might even be true of the mountain bikers ;)

9:51 p.m. on August 14, 2013 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
2,329 reviewer rep
5,251 forum posts

If you read my trip report for the Climber Science Program, you would see that burros and horses play a major role in some parts of the world for mountaineering expeditions (yaks in the Himalaya). The problem equestrians in the parks in the SFBay Area are primarily those who see their animals no more than once a week and have not bonded well with them. Those horses are not used to hikers on the trails, nor even the local squirrels and lizards, and their "passengers" (which is all that some of the "equestrians" are) don't know how to control and reassure their once a week (in some cases, once a month) mounts.

Backcountry packers in the Sierra and other western mountain ranges are a whole different breed, not like the weekend "equestrians" at all.

ClimSciProg14.jpg

9:14 a.m. on August 15, 2013 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
803 reviewer rep
503 forum posts

ppine said:

Backcountry Horsemen of America are largely responsible for the backcountry trial maintenance in the western US. They support SAR and fire suppression efforts, stock fish in backcountry lakes and move materials for things like fire lookouts and bridges. Mules can pack everything from cast iron stoves to telephone poles and concrete. Horses, mules and packers deserve a lot of credit for helping to create the backcountry intra-structure such as it is.

 In the mountains of New Mexico I have come across many elk hunters on horseback and they have all been very courteous.  They would have an extremely difficult time packing out an elk if they didn't have horses.  Their horses didn't seem to care that I had a backpack on.  I did run across one lady and her horse and the horse froze on the trail because of my pack.  I stepped well off the trail so she could pass. 

12:44 p.m. on August 15, 2013 (EDT)
21 reviewer rep
1,069 forum posts

One note of caution, for backpackers. When you encounter a horses or a pack string, give way to them.  It is very helpful to go downhill. Equines are prey animals and a hiker with that thing on their heads is very intimidating when it is uphill above them. Predators like mtn lions attack from above.

There are lots of professional packers that work for the NPS and USFS every field season. I have met some packers like Ross Knox in Elko at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering that have packed in the Grand Canyon for decades. Now he works in Yosemite. Ross can recite poetry from memory as long as you want to listen to it, as in 12 hours or more. The pro packers are some of the most talented and humble outdoor people you will ever meet. They live outdoors and have seen it all.

Wrecks are common in pack strings, especially among amateurs or strings with animals that have not worked together. Every packer has a long list of wreck stories, me included. Some are humorous but some are downright tragic. In  a tight spot I will take mules over horses any day.

Mountain bikes going fast downhill are a horse wreck waiting to happen. So are five uphill backpackers. No problem on flat country that is wide open.  Big problems on squeezy and steep sidehills with nowhere to hide.

3:12 p.m. on August 20, 2013 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
3 forum posts

I see a lot of claims in this thread that mountain biking entails greater trail erosion than hiking. Feel free to show research supporting these claims. Here is a research paper claiming otherwise:

imbacanada.com/sites/default/files/White_Impacts.pdf

The findings from this study reinforce results from previous research that certain impacts to mountain bike trails, especially width, are comparable or less than hiking or multiple-use trails, and significantly less thanimpacts to equestrian or off-highway vehicle trails.

Here in Norway we have no such thing as separate trails for MTB and hiking, however biking is prohibited in most montaneous national parks. There are very few conflicts between cyclists and hikers, especially on trails. Complaints usually revolve around fast and careless cyclists on gravel roads.

10:59 p.m. on August 20, 2013 (EDT)
1,357 reviewer rep
1,339 forum posts

imba = International Mountain Biking Association. No chance of bias there...

 

5:27 a.m. on August 21, 2013 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
3 forum posts

In what way do IMBA Canada have influence over how research is conducted at Arizona State University, or which articles that are published in the Journal of Park and Recreation Administration?

6:57 a.m. on August 21, 2013 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
1,366 reviewer rep
373 forum posts

I won't speak to the bias of the study, but I can't help but notice the specific verbiage used "...certain impacts to mountain bike trails, especially width, are comparable or less than hiking  or multi use trails..."

So they are saying that if you only look at specific criteria and especially if you look at width of the track it doesn't seem so bad.  A single wheel track is comparable or less than the width of a pedestrian track? Now that is some groundbreaking research 8p

12:50 a.m. on August 22, 2013 (EDT)
119 reviewer rep
456 forum posts

So My Opinion....  Yea I know we all have one :)

I am a hiker, although I do have a bike, I would not call it a mountain bike, but I can ride gravel trails and old roads and the like.  But I am not in any stretch what you would call a mountain biker, now my 11 year old son....  Anyway, he LOVES to ride his bike on old roads and trails.  In Western Washington these are few and far between.  But from what I have seen and how we ride, I don't agree that bikes make the trail worse.  Maybe in some areas of heavy use, and from jerks that fly down a hill and slide all over the place, but if your riding like that on a mixed use trail you better not be trying to pass me, your going to end up with a hiking pole either through you or your bike!  That kind of stuff is fine for designated bike areas but no way OK for mixed use trails. 

Now was for horses, nothing personal but I hate horses!  They are the WORST at tearing up trails.  In my neck of the wood I have seen MANY hiking groups doing trail maintenance and know of several web sites that get hikers together to maintain trails.  I have never seen any horse groups working on trails.  I am not saying that they don't, just it is not very common in my neck of the woods.  Now if I had horses and could use them to ride trails I would probably have a different opinion, but I don't. 

As for who should be able to use trails in general, I personally like the Hiker only trails, I get very tired of the ruts and damage the horses do.  But I would also like to see more bike trails or trails that are OK to ride.  Maybe the same rules for horses, I don't know.  I can just see the mess of Hikers, Bikers, and Horses, all ending up at the same place at the same time!

By the way, what's the rules for bikes on mixed use trails?

Hiking down yield to hiking up

Hikers yield to horses, if possible on the down hill side

Bikes ? I would think that they should yield it hikers going up or down.

Wolfman

9:11 a.m. on August 22, 2013 (EDT)
1,357 reviewer rep
1,339 forum posts

jaknudsen said:

In what way do IMBA Canada have influence over how research is conducted at Arizona State University, or which articles that are published in the Journal of Park and Recreation Administration?

You are correct, of course, but I would think that the IMBA would select only papers that tended to support their views for publication on their site. 

9:43 a.m. on August 22, 2013 (EDT)
TRAILSPACE STAFF
411 reviewer rep
1,022 forum posts

Great question Wolfman!

By the way, what's the rules for bikes on mixed use trails?

Hiking down yield to hiking up

Hikers yield to horses, if possible on the down hill side

Bikes ? I would think that they should yield it hikers going up or down.

Of course - there is no legal standard - or there are so many of them that they aren't useful.  In the US, trails can be on state land, state park land, private land, public land managed by USDA FS, NPS, BLM, FWS, DOR, BIA, or any one of the potpourri of federal land managing agencies.  Each has it's own rules.

For shared trails - I always yield while descending, regardless of my mode of travel. I've always thought (though I know of no law that mandates) that:

bikes yield to horses and hikers

horses yield to hikers

motorized traffic yields to horses, hikers and bikers.

That's just me though!

3:31 p.m. on August 22, 2013 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1 forum posts

I've been reading the posts in this discussion with interest.  And like Seth, I must give full disclosure that I am a (current) staff member at American Hiking Society -- though my role is fundraising and partnerships -- so I still have much to learn about policy issues involving trails.

Today I read a blog that presents some interesting information on the topic of trail use, and I thought I would share that link here in case it might be a useful contribution to this discussion.

It was written by Drew Hanson, and you can find it if you search for Pedestrian View blog on Google.

What do you think about the blog?

4:02 p.m. on August 22, 2013 (EDT)
21 reviewer rep
1,069 forum posts

The other not so obvious attribute of horse packers, is that they have pioneered most of the trails that exist in western North America.

I used to ride with a guy that was a second generation packer. After prolonged wet weather he would take a string out and "build some trails." In other words riding and leading a bunch of critters into new country where trails did not exist before.

 

10:10 a.m. on August 23, 2013 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
3 forum posts

Peter1955 said:

jaknudsen said:

In what way do IMBA Canada have influence over how research is conducted at Arizona State University, or which articles that are published in the Journal of Park and Recreation Administration?

You are correct, of course, but I would think that the IMBA would select only papers that tended to support their views for publication on their site. 

 As I said in my first post, feel free to show research that contradicts these findings.

11:42 a.m. on August 23, 2013 (EDT)
1,357 reviewer rep
1,339 forum posts

@ jaknudson  See Lonestranger's post above. I assume you don't dispute his contentions? Or mine?

Or how about the article mentioned by Ms Scott?

http://pedestrianview.blogspot.ca/

I can go to any dirt or gravel trail in the Edmonton river valley, or to the neighbouring Provincial Recreation Areas that surround the city, and see trails that have been chewed up by mountain bikers. Granted, these are high usage areas, but because of the concentration of weight on a relatively small surface area, the cutting effect of the tires in soft dirt or mud is quite obvious. That is only one issue where the study you cite admits that the damage caused by mountain bikes is obvious and destructive. 

As for other studies on the subject, you can look at a number (ie: Lathrop 2003) that contradict your views as well as some that support them. One example would be Vandeman (2004) versus Sprung (2007). Newsome and Davies (2009) breaks down 'mountain biking' into five different styles, and lists one of them as being moderate risk and two as being high risk for natural surface trail degradation.

Here's an analysis of some of the available literature on the subject:

http://www.culturechange.org/mountain_biking_impacts.htm

Some trails in Jasper National Park have been designated as being appropriate for bicycles as well as pedestrians. Maybe because of the distances that cyclists have to travel (see the five types of mountain biking mentioned above) there seems to be less desire to throw mud around than to enjoy the scenery. I have no problem with the people who just want to enjoy a quiet ride in the country, or with those who enjoy touring on the backcountry trails. 

The yahoos seem to be more prevalent on city trails, where they are racing their buddies or trying to impress girls passing by.

July 22, 2014
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

 
More Topics
This forum: Older: maps for teton crest trail Newer: August 2013 West Coast Trail WCT Questions
All forums: Older: RUCAS Alcohol Stove Newer: re-opening winter stove topic