Bryan Shipman and I did some trail work at Camp yesterday and discussed the fact that the trails need more riders. There are a few reasons behind the usage drop off, but folks, this is a great trail system and we need to use it. Among the impediments are the transition to the Sportsman Pass system for entry, the logging operations, and the heavy leaf cover on the trails. Here's my assessment of those factors:
Sportsman Pass: Camp has transitioned away from the system that requires a C.A.R.P card, photo ID, auto registration and proof of insurance. They now require Sportsman Passes, which cost $10.00 and are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00-6:00. You will need to present your ID and auto information, but getting the card takes only a few minutes and the system makes check in much easier. You no longer need a C.A.R.P. card (but should support the club, anyway), and you still may need to display your photo ID at the gate. Go get your pass. This Thursday would be a good time. Don't wait until the first pretty Saturday or you will be S.O.L.
Logging Operations: The timber harvest is completed, but some areas are a bit of a mess. Continue to park at the winter parking area, which provides access at the Airport Loop.
Leaf Cover/ Trail Conditions: Dave London has done a lot of trail raking and I've been out there along with Bryan Shipman clearing several miles of trail. We tried to concentrate on the trails that had the heaviest cover. Several miles of Airport, Buddha, Ball of Nails, Advanced Trig, and Helter Skelter have been cleared of leaf cover and are in great shape! Check out the video of our operation below. I hesitate to share our rapid trail raking system, but here you go!
I just heard this morning that word was being spread at a local bike shop that mountain bikers are less welcome at Camp Robinson. That is not correct. We are still welcome. The change to the Sportsman Pass system was not to discourage mountain bikers, but to make the system for entry easier for the folks at the gate and consitent with the one that has been in place for other users.
Camp Robinson remains the best trail system in Central Arkansas so don't overlook it when making your plans to lay in the dirt.