Barrett Brown with Singletrack Tools, a specialty trail equipment company based in Oregon, invited Westside Trail Federation out to their factory proving grounds near North Plains for a closer look at their production prototype ST 240 machine. 30 LBS Skunk Productions, a Vancouver, B.C. based film crew, was also on site shooting footage for upcoming documentary about freeride trail building.
"It was impressive to see this machine specifically built for construction of singletrack trail (24 to 30 inches) doing its thing with engineer who designed it at the controls! Could immediately see benefit of using an ST 240 for bulk of 'heavy lifting' when developing a new trail (or doing rerouting/reclamation during maintenance) while teams of volunteers handle putting finishing touches on trail features. This might seem like cheating but what I saw was 50 yards of full bench cut including a grade reversal along a 75 degree sideslope in same time it'd take a dedicated 5 person crew all morning to cut... And it got done with this machine in under an hour without breaking a sweat. I agree with Barrett (see video for commentary)... that this represents a whole lot of volunteer sweat equity that can now be focused on things like sculpting perfect berms and dialing in jumps/trannys." -
Related news... Northwest Trail Alliance will be submitting an application for 2010 RTP grant funding to help with purchase of such a machine as ST 240 to be used as a "co-op" tool for regional mountain bike trail construction volunteer organizations. Keep eye on nw-trail.org site for details.
Meeting today went great! Washington County managers were receptive to the project plan as outlined and explained during this session. They agreed with assessment by Park staff that Freeride trails fit the approved concept for Stub. Discussion about grading, environmental, and other aspects the county had questions about were discussed.
An overview of history of park development, W.T.F.'s involvement over past several years, short history about the progression of the sport of mountain biking, and an overview of the proposed freeride trail network in mountain biking area of park was shared by park rangers and W.T.F. representatives. It was clear there was good respect between both groups and that a solid working relationship exists. The county folks asked all the right questions, we had clear, accurate answers... Meeting flowed well, and ended on positive note.
Next steps: County will review proposed project packet in detail along with our build guidelines (they will contact park or W.T.F. if there's additional questions), and in meantime the fine points of the adopt-a-park agreement will be finished by park staff and delivered to us for signing (probably by mid-October). If all sails without hiccup, then we should be able to get in a build day or two in on first section of Freeride trail at Stub by end of October / early November - weather permitting (honestly, I think, even if it's SNOWING we'll be building if this thing gets the greenlight for construction!)
This was a major milestone in trail development process to putting these trails on the ground! We're definitely moving along well ... and then the "real" work begins (we've got a timeline to build out the freeride area over next few years).
This Friday, W.T.F. will be attending meeting with Washington County and park staff as the "trail developer" for proposed freeride skill area/session area at L.L. Stub Stewart State Park. This meeting is next step towards approval to begin building.
Questions on the table will be.. "Are Freeride trails part of the original Master Plan/Trail Plan?", "How will they be built and managed/what does timeline look like?", "Dude, how big can we make that Big Step Down?"... I'll let you guess which agency/organization is wondering what.
Trail manager volunteers flagged these lines couple of years ago. Last weekend, captured locations of proposed "Trail features" and added to new project map to be discussed with county/parks.
Green track is existing mountain biking trail loop. Squares indicate "jump", circles indicate "berm". Yellow squares indicate a wooden ladder feature.
Top is at about 1,300 feet. There is roughly 300 feet of elevation decent over about 3/4 mile on the various freeride lines (options for beginner, intermediate, and advanced freeriders). Currently plan is for majority of berms and variety of jumps. There will be some drops on trail but most wooden Northshore type stuff will be limited initially to the Greenhorn session area.
The "warm up" area towards top will be along the lines of "Family Man" at Post Canyon. The "Greenhorn" area will be along the lines of Basic Training at Black Rock Mountain Bike Area. Note on the naming of stuff... There's no official names for this area or for the individual trails - just suggestions by the trail managers.
The concept for this freeride area is part of designated mountain biking only area within the park.
And yes, there's some sweet terrain to contemplate! Definite possibilities for some good hits, and some short decent descent lines. It won't be "epic" by any stretch, but it'll be Freeride specific mountain biking trails in an Oregon State Park.