//Trail Status mouse over Java // Gravel and Forest Roads??

Author Topic: Gravel and Forest Roads??  (Read 1152 times)

tomc

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Gravel and Forest Roads??
« on: February 18, 2016, 02:21:16 PM »
Wasn't sure exactly where to place this post but this will probably suffice. With warm temps the trails pretty much everywhere will be horribly bad, muddy, and not rideable.


 What kind of condition are these forest roads, say through Hoosier National, Deam, and possibly Yellowwood? If the trails are bad(red), are the forest roads a viable option for somebody with cabin fever ready to get out of Indy for a day? Maybe some of the dirt roads are better than others? What are the best areas?


  I actually love riding on the forest roads with the big climbs and scenery. Sure it's not singletrack, but if they are passable and decent condition I would consider making a trip down to avoid the relentless paved pathways I've been riding. Appreciate any info on the conditions.       

matt_laker

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Re: Gravel and Forest Roads??
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2016, 03:43:04 PM »
The Combs/Combs Spanker/Blue Creek forest "roads" will probably be pretty sloppy from al the melting.  Nebo MIGHT be okay since it usually seems pretty solid underneath, but I'm sure the climb up from the north parking lot will be a mess.  The gravel roads in the HNF will likely be pretty soupy as well, but they'd likely be more solid than the aforementioned.

I'm with you on not wanting to continue riding road or paved trails, but I'm also trying to limp my drivetrain along until better weather---riding muddy or sloppy stuff won't do it!
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gmcttr

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Re: Gravel and Forest Roads??
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2016, 04:29:15 PM »
The Deam Wilderness Area is off limits to bicycles

I could be wrong, but I'm guessing that dirt fire roads are off limit throughout HNF and only designated MTB trails and gravel roads are allowed for use. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong about fire roads.

tomc

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Re: Gravel and Forest Roads??
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2016, 04:46:50 PM »
I understand Deam trails are only for foot traffic as I've been there a number of times.I'm really talking about the gravel forest roads that pass through it and other areas of the forest.


 I did a little research and took this from the HNF website:
Yes, bicycles are permitted on all roads in the HNF that are open to cars, SUVs, and trucks. You may also ride on HNF trails that have been designated as open to bicycle use. A permit is required except for the beach access trail at Hardin Ridge (see the Forest website for more information).


So yes we can ride bikes. I just had the thought that perhaps this vast network of forest/fire roads was in better shape due to the traffic it needs to support and was possibly better suited to ride when the trails are crap.

mtbikernate

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Re: Gravel and Forest Roads??
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2016, 06:34:42 PM »
there is one road that passes e-w and bisects the Deam Wilderness. It doesn't actually pass "through" the Wilderness. Rather, there is a corridor through it for the road and the Wilderness actually exists as two tracts of land.


That may be splitting hairs, but it does mean that you can ride your bike on that road. According to teh Googles, it's Tower Ridge Rd.


IME, the roads that are actually gravel-surfaced are pretty durable. They may be wet and they may splash that nasty limestone-dust-muck onto your bike, but the roads themselves are solid and rideable. Some of them haven't been gravelled in awhile and those can be kinda muddy. But they're fine to ride, too, if you're willing to clean your bike.


Combs has parts that fall under the gravel-surfaced designation that are very durable. But then there's the closed portion which can be downright muddy. It sits in a bit of an odd spot in that it's used as a trail, but it's not really a trail. Nobody cares if you ride it whenever.


Blue Creek Rd. from the bridge to the hunter check station is well graveled and will be fine. The gated part of it is going to be slop this time of year.


Some of the trails through these areas can be surprisingly solid. It's mostly because the traffic on them is so low. The first mile and a half from the N. TH of Nebo will be awful, but if you start from the south TH, you should get a good bit of solid trail. Many of the "trails" in Yellowwood are old gravel forest roads and will be perfectly solid. They get used by heavy equipment for logging, and are maintained as roads, even though they're gated most of the time.

Raleighguy29

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Re: Gravel and Forest Roads??
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2016, 08:13:54 PM »
I'm heading down to ride Nebo and explore hickory sat. I'm starting at the south of Nebo to avoid the muddy climb up.


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