August 21, 2012 at 3:31 am #503535
I doubt anyone here ever rode them, but near the mall in Newmarket, there are some beautiful single track trails. The trails are short, but they flow like water and are just a whole lot of fun to ride. The trails have been back there for well over 7 years. Probably over a decade. Recent house construction has meant that there has been a gradual increase in foot traffic, further back into the forest.
Surprisingly, the majority of the hikers and dog walkers that I met on the trail were all friendly and were generally stoked about having trails in their backyards. My friends and I have put a lot of hours into fixing and building bridges to cross streams, removing deadfall, rerouting swampy areas etc etc. There was also a jump line and downhill (literally, downhill..not “downhill” type riding) flow trail at the furthest and most remote part of the forest. This is the section of trail that got bulldozed. On the main trail, there were a few jumps, but no gaps. Off the side of the trail, there were one or two gaps and a couple decent sized dirt jumps. Keep in mind, everysingle one of the features on the main trail could all be rolled with no effort or just ridden around.
Bridge work on these trails.
It boggles my mind that after 7+ years, the city decides to go in and plow it all down. The jumps were there from the beginning. There was also a stolen park bench back there, but the town decided to leave it there after plowing. That made me chuckle a little.
It also boggles my mind that the town is concerned about a single track trail in the middle of a forest, that is well maintained….yet on the other end of the forest, the town has gone in and bulldozed a 10 foot wide path, 2 feet down into all of the roots and soil, to construct a paved accessible walkway.
But whatever, what is done is done. What would you all do in this situation? Is it worth the effort to try to contact the city to try to protect the rest of the trails from destruction? One reason that I fear about contacting the town, is that the counsiller of this area is a bit of a shady person. Not only did he not walk the paved path during its grand opening (he was present, but attending to the coffee and donuts..did I mention how over weight he is?) but he also got a DUI during a public event and has somehow still remained in office. I don’t want to spill the beans to this guy and have everything destroyed, or paved over.
Man this sucks…what they plowed was incredibly safe and so much fun.
Oh well, I have this spot now…
Wow, after reading this, I don’t even know if there was a point to this post.
Well, I guess if anyone ever visits the area and would like to ride or have a tour of the area trails, then just say when and I’ll be there!August 21, 2012 at 12:26 pm #626641
Welcome to trail building on Public land.
Unfortunately that’s just how it goes sometimes. A walker (or two) would have seen it, and complained to the city. They aren’t supposed to be there, regardless of how long standing they are, so the city performed what they see as due diligence and away they go. Sad, but again, this is public land.
If it makes you feel any better this isn’t the first time. Long standing members/riders will remember Leslie and Sheppard DJs which got bulldozed several times. Or perhaps the multiple bridges up in Oak Ridges Moraine (Stoughville) that friends and I build over two years (02-03 if I remember correctly?) with money out of our own pockets. The network of raised ladder bridges, jumps, and drops put anything in the Don to shame but we came in to find them all destroyed one spring.
If I may make a suggestion, you have two options. One is to get in contact with your local parks and recreation department head/manager and state the need for these trails, along with going through the political routes. We did this for the Don a while back and I’d say it helped to some degree (barring a certain person’s efforts which brought negative attention to certain trails, causing them to be alterned in a very dangerous manner). The other is to continue on with ‘renegade builds’ (as some newb RFG members have called them, laughably, because nearly all trails are ‘illegal’ builds) until people give up complaning (which is now what’s happened in Stoughville).
Good luck either way. Don’t let it stop you though.August 21, 2012 at 4:25 pm #626640
Those trails were wrecked several years back. It’s a shame they were taken down again. It’s in an area with lots of residential developments around. Time to look for more remote locations with less pedestrian activity maybe. Shame that the town tries to ‘naturalize’ an area by bulldozing a wide path through the forest then covering the nature with a 6′ wide asphalt blanket so people can enjoy this ‘natural’ greenspace. A 1′ wide single track seems to be much less of a footprint to me.August 21, 2012 at 8:16 pm #626639
This is brutal news. These trails are only a 1 min ride from my front door, a luxury i partook in far too little. I loved having that downhill flow area so close, even brought a few non riders out there to give them a small downhill experince and got them interested and/or hooked on it. Was it just the downhill flow section that is affected? Did they just flaten the features, of the whole section? Any other sections get touched? Any of of the bridges? Guess I need to go check it out.
Although I have noticed that some of the bridges are in need of some maintenance, Canadmos, PM me, I would be happy to join you on some trail maintenance and a ride. Was always hesitant to do too much as I wasn’t sure who was maintianing it previously.August 22, 2012 at 2:59 am #626638
Thanks Renegade, for whatever reason contacting the recreation department completely escaped my mind!
Buck, thanks for the info! I’ve only been riding these trails for about 5 years, but before that I’ve heard that there was a whole lot of “North Shore” type stuff out by Bathurst, that got torn down.
Steve, I’ll send a response soon! Its awesome knowing that another avid rider enjoys these trails. There is a few of us that ride around here on a regular basis.
I guess, no matter what the town does, there will always be trails here in Newmarket. I grew up mountain biking here and I can’t picture there being no where to ride in town. This is one reason why I like this town so much. You have all of the amenities of a big city, but then you are also just literally minutes away from good trails and there are so many good trail networks just outside of town.August 23, 2012 at 4:34 pm #626637
Canadamos, you should totally team up with Zoke and speak with the Councillor and Rec people. They are obliged to respond to your inquiry as a member of the community. Particullarly the Councillor, whom you could vote for. I reached out to the local Toronto Councillor about High Park BMX area getting demo’d last year and now we’ve got an awesome skills park planned.
I wrote a nice letter, I recommend you do the same. If they don’t know who’s using the area and the effort they’re putting in then the Town can do whatever, but if you step forward as a member of the community wanting mountain biking opportunities they need to respond.
If they get squirely let me know and TORBA might be able to help with a meeting with City folks to talk about how Crother’s is doing.
Act now and don’t forget you can reach out to IMBA too.
GAugust 28, 2012 at 9:36 pm #626636
Thanks for the suggestions Cracker!
I will put together a letter and forward it to the councillor and the parks department. I didn’t know that they had to respond! It would be nice to at least get some dialogue going, instead of waking up and finding trails being plowed down.
At this point, I don’t even really care about having the jump/flow trail, I just don’t want the rest of the trails to be destroyed or altered. They are pure bike trails and don’t need to turned into walking paths. There are other spots that are much better for the jumps and crap.
I will definitely get in touch with you guys if it turns sour.
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