Hoosier Mountain Bike Association

HMBA Trail Information => Fort Harrison State Park => Topic started by: jasonhilt on April 05, 2015, 01:02:22 PM

Title: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: jasonhilt on April 05, 2015, 01:02:22 PM
Thread is for posting trail conditions for 2015.
Please stay on topic as off topic posts may be deleted.



Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: jasonhilt on June 23, 2015, 04:33:29 PM
Anyone that wants to see what the trails are like:

http://s243.photobucket.com/user/redmancsxt/library/Fort%20Ben%202015%20Damage (http://s243.photobucket.com/user/redmancsxt/library/Fort%20Ben%202015%20Damage)

Most of the current damage is from hikers and runners.  There were some bike tracks but very few.

All the work we did putting the culverts in....destroyed.  Pictures only cover maybe a fifth of what is out there.  I don't have room on my camera to take pictures of all the areas.

I walked both LC and Schoen.  One tree down on Schoen that will need a chainsaw.

Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: mtbikernate on June 24, 2015, 12:17:14 PM
I'm a frequent visitor for years to Ft Ben to ride and run.  The bike ruts seem to have a much deeper and greater impact to the trail than the foot traffic.  Since the 'Lawrence Creek Hiking Trail' was shut down, I'm afraid you will always get foot traffic on that side of the park until there is an alternative hiking trail to the Mt Bike singletrack.
I'd like to lend my back to the next trail (if early weekend) re-construction day for the first time, I love this local trail.


It doesn't matter WHAT the traffic is, it's setting back our attempts to fix the perpetually wet spots, to the point that the maintenance backlog out there is getting worse and worse. Based on what I've seen from the days I've been out there working when it's red, the walkers/runners are out in higher numbers, and most of the riders who are out there either aren't aware that we post conditions, are confused (like one guy I heard about who seemed to think that the green bicycle icons on the trailhead map in the Trail Guide were status indicators), and a smaller portion either don't care if riding in the mud hurts the trails, or don't think that riding in the mud is as big a deal as we make it.


I won't disagree that ridgeline trail would solve at least some of the problems we're having out there. At this point, though, I think we've got the seep problem mostly narrowed down to the Snake Creek climb.


The problems go beyond the seeps, though. A lot of the pictures show places that are problems for other reasons. Namely, surface drainage. It's been a wet year for us, with a short dry spell in the spring. That's going to highlight areas that needed work before. Snake Creek has been a big drain on our attention and labor, and other, smaller needs have taken a backseat. Folks getting out and using the trails before they've dried out sufficiently aren't helping.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: jasonhilt on June 24, 2015, 02:03:47 PM
Quote
The bike ruts seem to have a much deeper and greater impact to the trail than the foot traffic.

It's hard to tell in the pictures, but almost all the traffic that has caused the damage has been from hikers/runners.  In some of the pictures you can see where they have been slipping and sliding on the trail to the point they have now pushed the dirt/mud up into a ridge in the middle of the trail.  Their foot prints also make little lakes that hold water.  There is damage to the trail where we never had issues before.  This is all due to people being on trail when it's too wet.

Looks like rain moving in so I'm not planning any work session tonight, as of 2 PM.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: MikeHufhand on July 02, 2015, 03:35:37 PM
(http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/07/02/906c7ea8a9d457aee4fc9345b1d6266f.jpg)(http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/07/02/ac6f2730b8478953e036de248ebba98a.jpg)(http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/07/02/f66e19eb468ee052940c20ec465dcfe9.jpg)

These shots are from my walk on LC last night.  Notice that there's both tire ruts and footprints holding water. Equal opportunity for problems from bikers, hikers and runners.

I did work on several areas, but we're still in a RED state of affairs unfortunately.  Lots of repair work to do.. 


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Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: pmanderson on July 18, 2015, 04:09:19 PM

This photo taken near the entrance to Schoen Creek on Friday 2015-07-15

(https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3747/19619495968_b290bdcd97_z.jpg)
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: MikeHufhand on July 18, 2015, 07:42:45 PM
It's also very telling to compare a trail that has minimal impacts(very few people using it, ie. Camp Creek or Westwood) vs a trail that has high impacts(everybody's using it at all times, like LC) The high impact or heavy use trails are never allowed to dry out adequately while the low impact trails are allowed to dry out and do very well because of it.  Put simply, impacts at the wrong time  will not allow a trail to drain or dry out adequately.


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Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: pmanderson on July 19, 2015, 08:01:59 AM
Let me add, and I could be wrong on this:
The traffic during the summer is more so than spring due to schools being out and youth/groups tend to go to The Fort during summer months. So heavy rains occurring in Summer are likely to result in trail damage like we've seen lately,
where most of the trail is in great riding condition, however the likely sloppy spots are taking exceptionally long to drain out due to damage caused by foot/tire traffic.


If this rain occurred on a Monday during the spring, those spots would have drained a lot better since there are fewer folks there.


I see the improvements on the trail all the time. Unfortunately this Summer (i usually call the 'dry' season) is dropping lots of frequent rain when there are lots of visitors to the park.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: mtbikernate on July 19, 2015, 07:31:54 PM
There's a LOT going on at Fort Harrison that makes the trails difficult to keep in good shape this year.


First, we have trails that pass through areas with challenging drainage issues. The Snake Creek area is a real challenge because it has seeps on the slope. I'm going to suspect that there's a hardpan that forces those seeps out of the hillside any time there's a certain amount of moisture in the soil. Only core samples would tell us with any specificity. Additionally, the Snake Creek section of trail is on the northern aspect of a hill, meaning it gets no direct sunshine. Also, that valley is situated in such a way that it doesn't get much wind, especially when the leaves are out. Sun and wind help dry the trail. We have factors that make the trail there wet, and factors that KEEP it wet.


Because of that, we spend a LOT of time there trying to get it figured out. That takes away from time we could spend in other areas when we encounter something minor that could be addressed quickly.


The problems this year in particular started REALLY early in the year. Towards the end of the winter, we had a lot of freeze/thaw cycles and folks were not being respectful of them. The trails got HAMMERED on a few warm weekends immediately after a thaw, when they were especially sloppy. That set them up for problems later. We had a very short dry spell in the spring, but could not address all of the problem areas.


Then, it got super wet in June and that hasn't really let up. I haven't been to Ft. Harrison at all for quite some time because it's been too sloppy even to get good repairs addressed. The last major repairs I showed up to help with were almost entirely reversed within a few days. It sure sounds like people are continuing to go out there and walk or ride. It's a common mentality. If it's warm and sunny, the trails MUST be in great shape - which isn't always the case. It matters what the weather has been for the past week, or month prior. Doesn't it make sense that the wetter it has been, and the longer it's been wet, that the longer it will take for the trails/soil to dry out?


Your soil conservationist friend can probably get super technical about particle sizes and infiltration rates and soil chemistry and all kinds of stuff. That's fine and dandy, but details matter, and when it comes to trails, not all of the relevant ones are environmental.


The question of why permission for the new trails was granted is a HUGE one. The land manager has final say, really. If sustainability of the trails is a high priority for the land manager, then it's a high priority for us. Which is absolutely the case here. As much as people would like it to be otherwise, unless there's an unlimited budget, long-term sustainability of the trails is impacted by responsible use. The definition of responsible use of a particular trail is going to be pretty specific to that trail. There might be some regional trends, but it's a very local issue relating to the geology of the area, and its geography.


Rangeline is not terribly far away, but it's a very different place, so responsible use there is different from Ft. Harrison. As is Town Run. As is Southwestway. Shoot, at Southwestway it even varies on different trails within the same park. Responsible use on city/state park trails (which are more heavily developed) is different than on National Forest trails (like Nebo Ridge), which is going to be different than on trails in different regions (trails in Colorado will be different from those in North Carolina which will be different from those in Southern California).


We have the hand we've been dealt, so that's what we've got to work with. Our trails are not good when they're sloppy and heavily trafficked. It's been an especially wet year. We need to back off and give the trails some time to dry out with all the rain we've had.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: Paul_Arlinghaus on July 20, 2015, 04:37:51 PM
HMBA does not have final say on the closing of any trails.  At Town Run it is Indy Parks that formally closes the trails.   The park is closed when the trails flood and occasionally when we need to protect the trail from damage, but under the authority of Indy Parks, not HMBA.


Same would be true for Fort Ben.  The trails could only be closed by the Park, not HMBA. HMBA's role is would only be to recommend closure and the Park would weigh the impact to all user groups.


We would not request closure because mountain bikers don't like to ride in mud. We would request the trail be closed when we feel that the volunteers who maintain  the trail could no longer keep up with the damage being caused in adverse weather conditions. 


This really isn't an mtb vs other user group issue, its a user vs trail volunteer issue.  Those who do not volunteer to maintain trails do not understand the damage caused by users in adverse conditions.  Those who work on trails see the trails very differently than those who are only focused on using them.


Other users groups could contact the Park Manager and express their opinions on the matter.


The application trail is built in very rocky areas and has no bearing on how to manage a trail in Indiana.


While hikers and runners may not mind using trails when muddy.  They do cause trail damage and it is the trail damage we are attempting to prevent.  There is a paved path and hiking only trails in the park.  The hiking only paths are less desirable to hike because the park has had to gravel armor much of them in order to allow use in any trail condition. 


Many trail runners and hiker prefer the mountain bike trails for the same reason that they are not able to handle use when muddy.  They are narrow trails with a dirt tread.  Trails can be built that can handle use when wet, but these trails are typically less fun when dry because the are gavel armored and built wide enough for the equipment required to haul gravel. 


There are even opportunities for more hiking only trails, but since there is no organized hiking trail builders, building new hiking trails is unlikely. 


Through out the whole process of getting the current trails approved, the hiking and trail running community was not engaged.  There is no trail running advocacy group in Indiana and the Hiking Advocacy group is primarily concerned about long distance hiking groups.


If hikers and trial runner want to be at the table, they need to do some of the hard work the mountain bike community has done to have an advocacy organization and a strong volunteer ethics. 


Hope some of that helps.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: mtbikernate on July 21, 2015, 02:36:56 PM
you're missing the point.


Very little of your park access fee dollars (and soon to be your MTB permit dollars) actually go directly back to those trails. It's never worked that way. The state cuts the DNR budget pretty much every year, so proportionally more of that budget has to pay salaries and basic facility maintenance.


Signs don't do much, and HMBA doesn't have carte blanche to install them everywhere, anyway. Some areas already have too many. Who here knows all the content of all the signs (as well as the kiosk) by the gravel lot near Lawrence Creek? Who stops to look at them every time they visit the trails?


A LOT of properties (federal, state, and local level management) have some sort of closure policies. Whether they're seasonal, regular rotating types, or based on conditions, closures are used to minimize user conflicts and/or user impacts during sensitive times. Just because IN DNR has not used such management tools in the past doesn't mean that they should not use them ever on a case by case basis.


If physically keeping people off the trails when they are sloppy helps the trails to dry out faster and keeps them in good shape longer, then how is that a net loss? I consider this year to be a net loss because the trails at Ft. Harrison are in terrible shape. Seems to me that if the park enforced closures based on conditions, which allowed the trails to dry faster, it would be a net gain.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: jasonhilt on July 21, 2015, 03:26:00 PM
Quote
...anyone that visits the park regulary thought that the new setup would preclude them from using the trails that have always been available.
WHY would anyone want to use the trail in the shape it is in right now?  It's not even suitable for hiking unless you love hiking in a 30 foot, and I mean an actual 30 FOOT watery mud pit!

HMBA does the maintenance on the trail.  As far as I know, and I haven't seen them out there, the park staff doesn't do anything to maintain the MTB trail.

So in your opinion, indymtb, you think we should do nothing and just let the hikers keep hiking on a trail that is unsuitable for any kind of use?  Keep them open and continually watch as all our work and repairs get destroyed time after time like they have been this year? 

I really hope you come out Wednesday so you can finally realize what has happened on that trail and see the hours and hours of work that has been destroyed.  Maybe, just maybe, then you will understand why we must have a way to close sections when needed. 

Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: MikeHufhand on July 22, 2015, 03:36:38 PM

I see everyones point here.   I agree with Indymtb because I am a hiker.  I also agree with HMBA's mission to close the trails so they can ride more instead of do repair work.  My question regarding snake creek...has a bypass been discussed or proposed to protect the trail?
Yes. A comprehensive proposal for new trails has been made. The ability to avoid Snake Creek is a small part of it. More armoring is on its way as well. 

It's not just just about riding more...it's about protecting the trails we fought long and hard to even have in existence. Join us!


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Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: MikeHufhand on August 21, 2015, 10:41:44 AM
(http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/08/21/ac2a9f907681d7d19e9d96c9c940df3f.jpg) Pipedream is no longer a nightmare


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Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: Jeff Blum on September 12, 2015, 06:17:53 PM
The entire system is GREEN.

The Snake Creek climb is perfect, except for that last spot we fixed after the log-over.  Bad soil in that spot is holding too much moisture.  I think we need a couple of buckets of gravel on that spot, the good dusty kind to change the consistency of the soil and get it to firm up.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: Bruce on September 14, 2015, 08:47:49 AM
I had the opportunity to ride all on FB yesterday and wanted to say thanks for all who have been working on the trails this summer.  Great job!
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: TonyDz on September 14, 2015, 10:27:08 AM
Ditto.  8)
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: Steve King on September 15, 2015, 08:48:48 PM
The Mountain Bike trails will be closed this Saturday and Sunday (9/19/2015 - 9/20/2015) due to The Hoosier Outdoor Experience.

Please consider coming out to support Mountain Biking now and in the future  This is a high profile event.

The links for more info.

http://www.hmba.org/smf/index.php?topic=14079.0

Here's info on The Hoosier Outdoor Experience.

https://secure.in.gov/dnr/6025.htm

We will only be leading people on rides using Camp Glenn.  Lawrence Creek & Schoen Creek are closed during the weekend. Skeet shooting  & Archery will be in the direction of these two trails.

We lead well over 1,000 people on rides.  So we need lots and lots of volunteers.  Right now we are extremely short of the number of volunteers that we need. 

Thanks for volunteering!!!!

Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: mdotlich on September 18, 2015, 10:50:44 AM
How much rain did FB get this AM?  I was considering a ride, but I imagine it's too wet now?
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: Paul_Arlinghaus on September 18, 2015, 12:37:46 PM
It would be best to give the trails time to dry up.  We also have the Hoosier Outdoor Experience this weekend.  The park will be busy with set up today.


The mountain bike trails are closed for all use on Saturday and Sunday.  There are live firearm shooting activities that fire towards sections of trail.  So it is very important that we don't have riders/hikers/trail runners trying to use the trails. 


This is a high visibility event for the DNR and it doesn't look good when we don't follow trail closed signs. 


Also, the shooting events are hosted by the State Conservation Officers and if trail users appear in the line of fire, they have to shut down their event.  This makes them very motivated to catch and write tickets to those trail users. 



Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: mdotlich on September 18, 2015, 12:44:12 PM
Thanks Paul


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Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: mountainbikemike on September 21, 2015, 05:03:57 PM
Trail conditions at Fort Harrison are outstanding.  Get out and ride!
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: Doe on September 30, 2015, 10:16:09 AM
Thinking of checking out the trail status in a couple of hours....anyone know for sure after yesterday's rain?
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: Jeff Blum on September 30, 2015, 11:08:54 AM
Thinking of checking out the trail status in a couple of hours....anyone know for sure after yesterday's rain?

Considering how dry the trails were, the low volume of rain that we got in that general area, and the fact that it's fairly warm and windy today, my guess would be that the trails are going to be perfect this afternoon/evening.  But that's just a guess.  We'll know better once you report your findings.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: Doe on September 30, 2015, 11:21:19 AM
Heading up there now...will report back this afternoon!  8)
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: Bigdaddy on September 30, 2015, 11:24:54 AM
Grellow
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: mountainbikemike on September 30, 2015, 11:30:30 AM
Trails are yellow and will likely be green by this evening.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: Doe on September 30, 2015, 02:33:54 PM
What they said....
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: Jeff Blum on September 30, 2015, 03:40:39 PM
In other words... GREEN!  GO RIDE!
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: jasonhilt on September 30, 2015, 06:50:27 PM
One bad spot after the last "creek" crossing after Snake Creek before you get to the double rock/root crossing.  It's pretty muddy on the turn.  Slow down so you don't wipe out.
Other than that the trail is in good shape with just a few small puddles that will be gone soon.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: mat-e-b on October 02, 2015, 09:08:43 AM
The riding conditions on Schoen were excellent yesterday evening. Just want to take a moment to thank everyone who has maintained the FH trails this season. Thank you! I vow to get out and help more in the coming months and years.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: tomc on October 02, 2015, 03:12:49 PM
Two trees down on LC. One is on the connector up from the gravel parking lot. The other is near the point on the map Turtle point I believe. It's slightly before  where you cross over what used to be the old Lawrence Creek hiking trail. And yes, absolutely, major thanks for the trail work that has been done this year. It's in really great shape right now.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: Rick M on October 02, 2015, 04:57:13 PM
If I can get the trees with a hand saw I will get them tonight
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: Rick M on October 02, 2015, 06:49:12 PM
I got the downed tree at the beginning of LC. The other tree needs cut with a chainsaw
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: mdbhound25 on October 03, 2015, 09:33:05 AM
We had some rain up in Fishers, any reports on FB this AM?  Thanks.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: lilgrump on October 03, 2015, 01:16:50 PM
I saw on Strava that there were some people riding out there but I'm not sure that means it's ridable.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: mountainbikemike on October 03, 2015, 04:22:32 PM
I just walked a small portion of Schoen before turning around.  It was wet and slippery.  Impact from tire ruts and runner's footprints observed.  I'd allow the trails to dry this evening.  Weather conditions much better next few days anyway.   
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: psladinski on October 04, 2015, 10:30:36 AM
Any chance its safe to ride ??
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: jasonhilt on October 04, 2015, 12:35:00 PM
Second tree gone on LC.

Trail is a good yellow from what I've seen.  Few spots still slick but most is good to go.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: Jeff Blum on October 04, 2015, 09:57:08 PM
I "forced" my kids to hike Camp Glenn today, and there's a tree down past the first bridge a ways.  I'll probably head out with a hand saw tomorrow to take it out, if no one gets to it before then.

Got it!
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: MikeHufhand on October 09, 2015, 10:47:47 AM
Fort Harrison is as GREEN as can be.


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Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: Jeff Blum on October 13, 2015, 02:20:16 AM
Trails are still green. Have been for over a week.  Not sure why we can't get the light changed.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: Fett on October 13, 2015, 09:32:30 AM
Trails are still green. Have been for over a week.  Not sure why we can't get the light changed.
Probbaly because all of the people who can change it were out in Brown County with the Epic, doing preparation.  Things will get back to normal this week.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: Doe on October 29, 2015, 10:08:44 AM
Think the trails will be ok later today?  I might head up there this afternoon.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: MikeHufhand on October 29, 2015, 11:48:57 AM

Think the trails will be ok later today?  I might head up there this afternoon.


Yep, just took a peek up the fireroad to 4pt Doe, and things look nice and firm. Lots of leaves out though, so it might be slippery in some places.  It's best to put on the knobby tires for the rest of the year IMHO.


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Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: pmanderson on October 29, 2015, 02:52:37 PM
I was there at noon. The trail is a solid yellow. However damp leaves can ruin your day.
Also there were a number of branches and deadfall on Schoen.
I moved what I could.

Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: deanarammalamma on October 29, 2015, 03:26:29 PM
And these conditions right after 3" of rain, ladies and gentlemen, is a testament to all the hard work our trail volunteers put in this year. Thank You All!!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: Jeff Blum on October 29, 2015, 05:03:40 PM
Quick hike of Snake Creek and there is NO standing water, just Hero Dirt covered in leaves. That's not yellow, in my book Ft Ben is green. Why did I tell my wife I'd pick up the kids?
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: Doe on October 29, 2015, 06:02:15 PM
Started at 2:30, rode full lap of CG, then CG, LC, connector, SC and the rest of LC (Ryan D. joined me for that last section).  Trails are in GREAT shape, slippery leaves and all!  Go Ride!  8)
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: Jeff Blum on October 31, 2015, 02:39:08 PM
I'm glad I went to ride instead of listening to the "OMGRD IT'S GUNNA RAIN" weather reports.  I felt a few sprinkles here and there, but the trails are still perfect.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: icycletoo on November 01, 2015, 10:02:17 AM
Any word on how trails look this morning after all that rain last night? I am assuming the worst.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: mdotlich on November 01, 2015, 02:45:07 PM
What he said [emoji115]


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Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: Steve King on November 01, 2015, 05:50:05 PM
Green.  Looks like a great week ahead.  Temp's in the low 70's and no rain until Friday.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: mdbhound25 on November 06, 2015, 12:01:43 PM
Anyone check the fort today?
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: garydzeb on November 06, 2015, 04:00:31 PM
I hiked part of Camp Glenn around 2:00 today, and it was pretty green.  Trail was damp but firm, and I didn't see any slick spots.  But I'm sure there may be some puddles in the usual spots.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: Jeff Blum on November 07, 2015, 02:56:14 PM
Trails are perfect, and the sign at the gatehouse says the park is open until 8PM.  Go ride!

*edit*  Also, there was a tree down on Schoen, but I took care of that.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: mtbspec on November 09, 2015, 03:48:05 PM
Have they extended park hours?
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: mtbikernate on November 09, 2015, 03:55:31 PM
Have they extended park hours?


Not as far as I know. This overlap always happens close to the DST switch. They will most likely change closing time soon. On the park map, it says "dusk" is the closing time.


However, the November events schedule says 4pm.


http://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/files/sp-Fort_November.pdf


Obviously the sign at the gate house trumps all. If uncertain, call and ask.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: Jeff Blum on November 09, 2015, 04:56:53 PM
Quote from: Nate Hawkins
However, the November events schedule says 4pm.

That flyer says the Museum, Visitor's Center and Office are open until 4PM.  I saw no mention of Park Hours on there.  Sign at the gate says 8PM, then the park is open until 8PM.  If it says 7PM, then the park is open until 7PM.  Go, enjoy, and don't rock the boat by calling the park and reminding them what time the sun sets.  They are well aware.

If this boat capsizes and sinks prematurely because people are too obtuse to take subtle hints, I'm going to be pretty torqued.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: SpecialEd on November 10, 2015, 08:01:20 AM
I'm gonna try a night ride Wednesday after work, but don't worry Jeff, I will not call and ask about closing time. I'll just be sure to be out by 8pm. If anyone ruins this I'm gonna get fully torqued as well! I'll post my results here.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: Paul_Arlinghaus on November 10, 2015, 08:57:06 AM
Park Hours change to 7:00PM closing time on 11/16/15.


It is ok to ride after dark, but is important to be out of the park by closing time.


If you want to squeeze as much riding time as possible, then park out side the park and ride out by 7:00/8:00PM.  Other wise you will need to allow enough time to load up and be out of the park by closing time.
[size=78%] [/size]
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: matt_laker on November 10, 2015, 09:07:57 AM
I'm gonna try a night ride Wednesday after work, but don't worry Jeff, I will not call and ask about closing time. I'll just be sure to be out by 8pm. If anyone ruins this I'm gonna get fully torqued as well! I'll post my results here.


Looks like the rain yesterday and more expected tomorrow might ruin your plans....   :(
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: SpecialEd on November 10, 2015, 10:06:00 AM
I don't think the heavy stuff is gonna come down for quite a while.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: David Kuehnen on November 10, 2015, 12:29:54 PM
Cinderella story......
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: tomc on November 10, 2015, 12:54:17 PM
So, I started up a thread awhile back asking about this and all I heard was no, no ,no you can't and shouldn't do it. I kinda felt bad for even asking about it, much less committing the offense. Now it's OK? Where was this sentiment a month or two ago when I brought it up?   
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: Paul_Arlinghaus on November 10, 2015, 01:15:51 PM
The distinction is that  other State Parks are open till 11:00PM year round.  The Fort closes earlier (due to not having camping). 


The concern is that riders will assume it is the same as other State Parks and we will have riders out past the park closing time, which requires park staff to stay late to get them out before locking the gate. 


We really just had a very short window where the time changed, while the park was still open till 8:00M.  This left a small window of time that the park was open after dark. 


As the days get shorter, there may be a small amount of time where it is dark prior to the 7:00PM Winter Park Closing time. 


We don't want to state that night riding is allowed at Fort Harrison, because riders will assume they can ride there later into the night than the park is open.  So we are saying that you need to be out of the park by closing time, and if that allows a short period of riding after dark, that is fine.







Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: mdotlich on November 10, 2015, 01:17:57 PM
Nicely stated, Paul. Thanks!


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Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: mtbikernate on November 11, 2015, 10:27:22 PM
That flyer says the Museum, Visitor's Center and Office are open until 4PM.  I saw no mention of Park Hours on there.  Sign at the gate says 8PM, then the park is open until 8PM.  If it says 7PM, then the park is open until 7PM.  Go, enjoy, and don't rock the boat by calling the park and reminding them what time the sun sets.  They are well aware.

If this boat capsizes and sinks prematurely because people are too obtuse to take subtle hints, I'm going to be pretty torqued.
Lord. All I was saying was that you can call the park to ask what time the gate closes if you want to know before you arrive. As Paul said, they are changing the gate closing time soon.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: Doe on November 12, 2015, 11:55:32 AM
Is the Fort definitely red today, anyone know??  :-\
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: matt_laker on November 12, 2015, 12:50:42 PM
If it is, I would say SWW is YELLOW at worst because it was GREEN when I rode it last night (not even the leaves were wet)...in case you don't mind a little further drive!
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: MikeHufhand on November 12, 2015, 12:54:59 PM
The Fort is "leafy green." Which means it would be perfectly tacky and green, but the preponderance of leaves keep some moisture around. Go ride, but use knobby tires this time of year.


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Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: Jeff Blum on November 12, 2015, 01:44:57 PM
"Leafy Green", I like that.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: Raleighguy29 on November 12, 2015, 09:20:33 PM
Trails were great tonight. Only a few slick spots. Tree down on lc past the original log hop before the second fire road crossing. One on shoen not long after the 5 bridges climb. Both are ridable but will need saws to clear out


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Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: adp on November 13, 2015, 01:05:35 PM
The tree down on LC is cleared.  The one on SC was a little bit too heavy to move myself.  I made a little log step climb-over on the left hand side until we can get a chainsaw out to it.


Otherwise the trails are pretty good.  Lots of debris and deep leaves in some spots on Schoen.  Some slick spots on LC still, but nothing so bad to justify staying home.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: Jeff Blum on November 15, 2015, 06:31:12 PM
Reminder that Fort Harrison will be closed early this week for a deer reduction hunt.  The schedule says Monday the 16th and Tuesday the 17th, but the signs on the bathrooms today said the 17th and 18th, which would be Tuesday and Wednesday.  So who knows.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: Unfit Nitwit on November 15, 2015, 07:26:03 PM
The schedule on the DNR web page for November shows the 16th and 17th, and the 30th and December 1st.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: adp on November 20, 2015, 11:08:19 AM
Last night, SC was green.  LC was yellow.  There's not really any deep mud, just a lot of slick spots and puddles in the usual places.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: MikeM_Indy on November 23, 2015, 11:03:39 AM
Did a easy, mostly urban, ride yesterday. Rode SC trail, it was in great shape, two spots where some mud was not fully frozen, easily avoidable.  There is a tree down about a quarter mile in, just past the second bridge.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: MikeM_Indy on November 26, 2015, 11:59:27 AM
Trails are great this AM, Get out and ride before it rains!
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: jasonhilt on November 26, 2015, 05:06:14 PM
Too bad it's going to rain.  Trails were perfect today.

Side note:  Some )*&(&*& dug up the flat rock just a little bit after Dream Pipe.  Makes no sense why someone would do that.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: tomc on November 26, 2015, 09:44:43 PM
I noticed that too. There used to be a small tree there too which made me usually veer to the right of that rock(although sometimes I would hop it). But when that tree disappeared I would sometimes make a straight beeline to the left of the rock. I was thinking as I passed it that someone dug it up to help steer people back to the right where the trail seems to curve around the rock.   
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: David Kuehnen on November 29, 2015, 07:17:12 PM
I walked both trails today.  They were both very much yellow   
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: TonyDz on November 29, 2015, 10:03:11 PM
I believe FHSP is closed Monday 11/30 and Tues 12/1 for the deer culling hunt
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: Doe on November 30, 2015, 08:22:23 AM
'Tis indeed. 
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: holzhaus on December 02, 2015, 07:28:18 PM
Hit the trails on my run this afternoon; conditions were much better than I expected. I'd call it yellow, but it's still a bit wet on the open/meadow/south end of Schoen, and LC behind the sled hill has a patch of slippery. Everything else was solid. Just wet leaves on top. There was a guy riding it and I could hardly see any tracks. Should certainly be nice by Friday.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: ringo on December 04, 2015, 10:38:48 AM
Anyone been out on the trails since Wednesday?  Do you think This afternoon (Friday) will be rideable? 
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: MikeM_Indy on December 04, 2015, 11:44:04 AM
I just checked Schoen. Low areas near first two bridges are real damp, but no puddles. 'Could' ride around I suppose. High areas are great.  I bailed out. Maybe tomorrow.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: MikeHufhand on December 04, 2015, 07:27:01 PM
I did an exploratory lap tonight and we're looking pretty good. Cleared a few grade reversals and drains that leaves were clogging up. The weather forecast for the next stretch of days looks really good.  I'd call it leafy yellowish green tonight moving to leafy green if the temps hold


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Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: tomc on December 05, 2015, 02:19:20 PM
As of today, Schoen is passable and is mostly yellow with some slick leaf coverage and a couple of soft wet places. Lawrence Creek going from the connector onto Snake Creek is really messy and mucky. I would avoid that part. Not sure of the rest as I bailed after getting to the parking lot.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: olas29 on December 06, 2015, 11:34:44 AM
Anyone been out there today? Itching to ride
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: MikeHufhand on December 06, 2015, 11:56:26 AM

Anyone been out there today? Itching to ride


This time of year, conditions can change quickly. I rode my fatbike yesterday early evening and I'd give it a solid yellow.

We did drop below freezing again last night, which I believe gives us several days in succession with freeze/thaw conditions.  That alone changes the game.  I'd go super early when things are still frozen or I'd wait till later in the afternoon, preferably on a big tire if you have one.

The forecast for the next several days looks very good though. Above freezing night time temps and high 40s low 50s. Rock it!


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Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: pmanderson on December 07, 2015, 01:58:29 PM
Rained overnight and the trails are still lacking a bit since today at noon. Needs more dry and a touch of hero.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: MikeM_Indy on December 08, 2015, 03:59:44 PM
Tried to ride around noon today. Too wet in my opinion. (Schoen side)
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: MikeHufhand on December 09, 2015, 09:50:59 PM
Rode from 430 to 630 tonight. Yellowish Green all over. Tomorrow's weather forecast looks great. Go ride FH!!


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Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: tomc on December 12, 2015, 04:40:53 PM
Snake creek area is really mucky right now. I'd avoid that connector entrance and enter from the fireroad and ride the rest of LC. Or just ride Schoen as it's in pretty good shape overall. Much drier than LC.   
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: edf on December 13, 2015, 04:48:12 PM
Lawrence Creek was quite snotty today. Not leaving ruts, but greasy on top and my low profile tires were sliding around. Schoen was very good.


Anyone have any runs ins with an older gentleman (white hair and mustache) driving a maroon S-10/Sonoma pick up around Ft. Ben? He was blocking the pedestrian entrance today and as I rode by in the grass he had some words for me, and when I stopped (I didn't hear him at first) to ask what he had said, he got flustered and mumbled something about how I rode by too close to him, even though he saw me coming down the road and I was several feet away from his truck and him. Overall, a very perplexing encounter.
Title: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: MikeHufhand on December 13, 2015, 06:36:38 PM
20 miles. Near perfect conditions. Finished at 630.  No ruts anywhere. Firm and tacky. Several of us where commenting how good it was!


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Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: jfish on December 14, 2015, 02:24:27 PM

Does he ride an old school bike as well? I've had an encounter with an older man with the similar description - he was riding LC backwards. I politely asked him to turn around to avoid an accident but he blatantly ignored me, kept riding while murmured some words.



Lawrence Creek was quite snotty today. Not leaving ruts, but greasy on top and my low profile tires were sliding around. Schoen was very good.


Anyone have any runs ins with an older gentleman (white hair and mustache) driving a maroon S-10/Sonoma pick up around Ft. Ben? He was blocking the pedestrian entrance today and as I rode by in the grass he had some words for me, and when I stopped (I didn't hear him at first) to ask what he had said, he got flustered and mumbled something about how I rode by too close to him, even though he saw me coming down the road and I was several feet away from his truck and him. Overall, a very perplexing encounter.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: edf on December 14, 2015, 07:32:48 PM
Didn't notice a bike with him. In hindsight, maybe he was trying to steal the rocks they have blocking that entrance? The tailgate of the truck was down and as I came around the corner he was kneeling down near one of the rocks before he looked up and saw me riding towards him.


Who knows...
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: lilgrump on December 18, 2015, 10:04:27 AM
I ran the "hiking trails" on the other side of the park by the Duck Pond yesterday, those trails seemed "yellowish", anyone been by the MTB trails?
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: pmanderson on December 18, 2015, 10:52:25 AM
I was there yesterday. Looked more orange than yellow from the entrance at Schoen. Will look again today.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: lilgrump on December 18, 2015, 10:54:42 AM
Awesome, thanks
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: MikeM_Indy on December 18, 2015, 11:40:42 AM
Schoen is pretty good. Couple spot to ride around. I'd say yellow. Just did two laps. Not leaving ruts or picking up dirt. Grass area is a little greasy and has one mud hike to avoid. Rideable.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: lilgrump on December 18, 2015, 11:45:36 AM
Thanks!

Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: pmanderson on December 18, 2015, 02:06:43 PM
At noon, the first stretch of Lawrence Creek was already thawing. The rest of it was nice. Schoen was soft but also nice all around.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: MikeHufhand on December 18, 2015, 09:47:38 PM
The trail was pretty much perfect tonight.  Extended forecast looks good to keep us out of the freeze thaw. We shall see!


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Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: MikeHufhand on December 21, 2015, 10:32:28 AM
Big tree down on the second half of Camp Glenn. Blocking the whole trail. Will need a chainsaw.


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Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: jasonhilt on December 22, 2015, 07:59:59 AM
Probably wont be until Saturday before I can get out there with the weather like it is.  Shouldn't be a big deal since people shouldn't be riding the trail anyways.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: MikeHufhand on December 31, 2015, 05:10:13 PM
(http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/12/31/b27df5a4c4eb7bed704332339c2de059.jpg) Who needs to lift weights handsawing this bad boy out on the opening LC climb![emoji123]🏼


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Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: jasonhilt on December 31, 2015, 07:36:56 PM
Any other trees down or was that it?  Is Camp Glenn tree gone?
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: MikeHufhand on January 01, 2016, 07:46:56 AM

Any other trees down or was that it?  Is Camp Glenn tree gone?

CG tree still there. It's a big one. Everything else is clear now. Happy New Year!


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Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: mdotlich on January 01, 2016, 07:50:04 AM
Thanks Mike and Jason, we appreciate your leadership and hard work.


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Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: mtbikernate on January 01, 2016, 04:33:01 PM
There's a pretty aggressive seeping spot on Schoen right before the left hander climbing turn as you approach the barracks. I've never seen that spot seep like that before. There's some discoloration on the soil, which makes me wonder if that seepy spot is associated with either the manhole just uphill from the seep or the water line supplying the hydrant that's tucked in the woods just north of the seep.
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: Splinter on January 02, 2016, 11:43:20 AM
Great frozen trail conditions this morning, with all but the lowest/wettest spots still really solid when we finished at 10:30.  I'm guessing tomorrow morning will be more of the same, based on the forecast.  Happy New Year...
Title: Re: Fort Harrison Trail Conditions - 2015
Post by: djkouza on January 03, 2016, 01:58:59 PM
Great frozen trail conditions this morning, with all but the lowest/wettest spots still really solid when we finished at 10:30.  I'm guessing tomorrow morning will be more of the same, based on the forecast.  Happy New Year...


Yup this morning was the same.  25 degrees and solid frozen trail