Currently, the Burns Park trails on higher ground are in really good shape and are a lot of fun to ride. The red trail from the trail head parking lot (near the freeway over pass up the hill from the covered bridge) has become my favorite for the moment. The low ground, as in the yellow trail behind the covered bridge and the green trail behind the BMX track, are often muddy for long stretches of time. Therein lies a shortcoming of Burns Park; it really doesn't have a lot of reliable trail miles. That said, it's easy to expand your range of options by riding up to the nearby Pfeiffer Loop for a couple of laps or by heading down to Emerald Park for some climbing. I enjoy those alternatives, along with the fact that I usually run into friends scattered along the River Trail or in the woods, and I especially enjoy seeing folks this time of year when afternoon rides are short and darkness limits sociability among passing riders.
Camp Robinson: Trail Fairies At Work
There have been a few more riders using the Camp Robinson trails of late, with multiple vehicles in the parking lot each time I've ridden there. There has also been a lot of work going on out there by the elusive trail fairies; reclaiming, rerouting, and rehabilitating trails damaged or obscured by last year's timber harvest and controlled burns. When you ride your favorite trail, wherever it is, enjoying the clean, packed surface and rolling along with no low limbs or encroaching briers grabbing at you, whisper a little thanks to the trail fairies.
Basil Hicks and Bryan Shipman have been at the heart of the trail building and restoration at Camp Robinson.
Basil Hicks III, shown here trying to conceal his identity, but sniffed out by the pack o' dogs. Adam Taylor was also whacking brush somewhere back in there.
A big thanks goes out the these guys, along with Bryan's lovely and charming wife, Melissa, who has packed a leaf blower across a few miles of trail, and Lane Septon. They all regularly put in time working at Camp. Bryan has ambitions to blaze a loop consisting of perhaps Yucca, the new Turn, Turn, Turn, Airport and 10 Bridges. It would overlay the existing trail system and make it very simple for riders new to Camp Robinson to embark on a 4-5 mile loop of beginner level trails without a map and without the risk of getting lost.
I may need to promote Bryan from trail fairy to Constructobot. He found these bridges in the clear cut and dragged them to where they were needed on 10 Bridges Trail. Very manly.
Many of the trails at Camp Robinson have been cleared of leaves and are in really good shape.
Bryan and Melissa have succeeded in reconnecting the remnants of 10 Bridges Trail across the clear cut area after having previously helped in the rerouting of Yucca around a large stretch of wet ground. 10 Bridges is one of my favorites due to the way it flows and I'm glad to have it back. I've ridden at Camp several times over the last few weeks, riding Airport, 10 Bridges, Turn, Turn, Turn, Outer Loop, Port-o-Potty, Yucca, and Buddha, most of those them more than once. I haven't gotten around to other favorites like Ball-O-Nails, Can of Corn, and Merlin, nor have I bitten off Advanced Trig or suffered up Elevator yet this season. And there's the beauty of Camp Robinson. There are more miles of trail than a mortal can ride in a day and the range of difficulty covers everything from beginner to "too damn hard for me"(but I'm working on 'em) stretches.
The most frequently uttered statement from people who haven't visited Camp in a while is, "I forgot how good it is." , but for many folks, our wealth of other convenient trail resources on both sides of the river make Camp Robinson not worth the hassle. It is an underused resource and is being kept viable by a few folks. It remains to be seen if it is sustainable.
You can keep up with Camp Robinson developments on CARP's Facebook page.