Snowmobile World banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,771 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've been doing a lot of mountain biking this year on the abandoned railbeds in central Ontario. Some are in good shape flat and great for MTBing & others are mogulled from the ATVs & dirt bikes (nothing a bit of grading wouldn't fix).

I've read in magazines in the past, that in the US that paving them is commonplace. Is this true? In my mind (other than being hard on the carbides & studs) wouldn't the black surface cause snow to melt faster? I think we all have seen where a railbed is dark from the cinders used as ballast, the trail goes away a lot quicker than where gravel was used.

W/ the concern about using petroleum products, I think recreation trails could be prepared w/o paving. Is the paving done to accomodate wheelchairs? Two of the trails that I've ridden on have used crushed gravel that is finer than pea gravel. IMO, I don't think there would be a problem operating a wheelchair over this fine grass.

3/4 or 1" crushed is a completely different story. Riding a MTB on that stuff is like riding thru the "ball room" @ a McDonalds' Playland, lots of pedalling & you don't seem to get anywhere.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,413 Posts
Yep they are pretty much paving all the abandoned railroad beds around here but none are used for any type of recreational vehicles. I do a much biking a time allows but I have noticed that many people use the paths for roller blading which is only posible with blacktop or concrete.
Minnestota has multi use trails which sparked the stud debate. Always wondered how they keep the snow around on the blacktop myself.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
536 Posts
All of the blacktop trails I am familiar with in the twin cities metro area (mn) do not allow snowmobiles (or any other motorized vehicles) on them. They are exclusively for walking, biking, rollerblading, etc. A good number are even plowed through the winter. A lot of the snowmobile 'trails' run along ditches and through fields. I know they have been paving a lot of bike paths in the rest of the state but I don't know if snowmobiles are allowed on them or not.

It really hasn't mattered lately anyway - it has been at least 5 years since we have had enough snow to do any serious snowmobiling down here. Last year we only got 2 snowstorms all winter long - one at the end of Feb and another a week later. Most of the snow was gone in a couple of weeks. :bash:

I do my snowmobiling up in northern mn. Most of the roads are not even paved - I don't think we need to worry about the trails for a long time! :)

dave
 

·
journeyman sled/motorhead
Joined
·
4,440 Posts
all our rails to trails are geared for the non-motorized crowd.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,869 Posts
Kinda sad

trails should NOT be BLACKTOPPED

I much rather bike/walk/walk the dog on gravel/hardpack sand that walking on hot hard pavement

Cost alot less,maintenance is cheap and easy

Most trails here are hard packed crush gravel

We lost one section of sled trail here to the TransCanada Trail

They closed it off to sleds in winter with posts

the kicker is they have to walk on the sled trail in winter as it is kinda hard to walk in 2 feet deep and frozen foot ruts on the old trail,while the sled trail is nice and smoot and hard and easy to walk on
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,244 Posts
all the abandoned rail lines here have stone dust on them which turns into an extremely hard base thats great for biking and walking. in the winter the gates are opened for the ofsc trails and are groomed. i'm not sure the exact number of km's in southern ontario that are on these rail beds but there's quite a few. id be extremely disappointed if they paved any of them because of the lack of snow in this area. every now and then u can hear your carbides dig in and i'm sure they wouldnt last very long if it was asphalt instead of stone dust.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,771 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I don't think there are any plans to pave them in Ontario. I think it was either in the Brainerd or Bemidji areas of MN that folks were ticked off that a trail was being paved.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
We have some that are paved and some with railroad rock. They both suck with little snow. When/if there is base they are like a freeway. Sometimes rough if ya ride slow! There is a link south of me in baldwin that you can ride east to Reed City, then either north to Cadillac or south to Comstock Park. There is also another near Yuma/Mesick and another that goes to Elberta near Honor. Not my first choice early in the seson much better as the base adds up. i have ridden several in the UP and the same deal there only they usually have better snow. Sometimes NOT good around St. Ignace.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,560 Posts
For those that haunt Northern Lower Mi. trails, the trail that was just opened last season that runs up the side of Mullet Lake (Indian River north to Cheboygen), I guess that's going to go multi use. Or did everyone else already know that? Just saw a mention that it's being paved with limestone chip the entire length from Gaylord to Mackinac - and will remain open to sleds. Check it out:

http://www.trailscouncil.org/inside/gaylor...oygan-trail_37/

I was actually able to run this new section once last season, on very marginal snow, but it really is a pretty neat run. After running it, it will be incredibly easy to see why those residents were (are) so upset about that section of trail opening for sled use. There are garages and stuff within just a couple of feet (and I mean that literally) of the trail. Who the hell issued the permits to build there, that close? Seems like right of way and set back rules are/were totally ignored? Wonder if the residents will be able to hold the powers that be accountable for what has to be one very large fiasco regarding that.

Be warned, there are stop signs, MANY of them, on every driveway up through there. That, and the 15mph speed limit, were a little frustrating by time we reached the far end of the area (what, maybe 10 miles?). I imagine I'll start dropping down onto the lake to avoid as much of that as possible. (Like Otsego Lake?) The day we went through there was 2 feet of snow on a foot of slush on the lake, so we just dealt with the trail. FWIW -Al
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top