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Thread: More trail closings?

  1. #196
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshandBaron View Post
    While your individual experience is clearly different, to say overall trail use hasn't been higher than usual is willful ignorance. Lots that usually lay empty have been spilling out onto roadways. Perhaps the usual lots that are always busy anyway are seeing continued overuse but trails and networks that are typically off the beaten path are seeing more traffic than they would otherwise.
    Could be a question of time of day too. I obviously haven't been to NH in a long time but I know here in my part of CT trail use has exploded. There is a definite pattern to the traffic though. These "new" hikers and explorers definitely go out much later in the day. Families, lot of younger people and almost no one has any gear with them. Just people taking short trips. I assume NH is not much different. Maybe Sierra hits a trail at 7AM, it doesn't look out of the ordinary to him, but at 2PM after he's been out of the woods there is a mile of cars down the road. That's been my experience here in NE CT anyway. And for what it's worth I can definitely see an increase in the wear of the trails - more footprints, more braiding around muddy areas, etc. Not seeing much of an increase in trash at least, which I guess is a small positive.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; ADK 46: 6/46; Cat 3.5k 10/35

  2. #197
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    IMHO Sadly that ship sailed long ago on the popular trails in the whites. The major trails that are subject to overuse are well over the 1.5 feet wide. In the vast majority of the uphill and downhill sections the trailbed was "paved" with stones as the underlying soil is long gone and the trail is effectively one long drainage ditch with occasional water bars. Most of the lesser used backcountry trails actually are in desperate need of more use to maintain a track since the FS has elected to cut way back on blazing, the trail bed is the only way of actually following the trails.

  3. #198
    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    IMHO Sadly that ship sailed long ago on the popular trails in the whites. The major trails that are subject to overuse are well over the 1.5 feet wide. In the vast majority of the uphill and downhill sections the trailbed was "paved" with stones as the underlying soil is long gone and the trail is effectively one long drainage ditch with occasional water bars. Most of the lesser used backcountry trails actually are in desperate need of more use to maintain a track since the FS has elected to cut way back on blazing, the trail bed is the only way of actually following the trails.
    Agreed. I think that many trails are poorly designed probably because the trailblazers never envisioned the traffic they would one day receive. There are exceptions. Every once in a while, I find myself on such a splendid trail that I have to stop and remind myself that I am in NH and not some trail out west. The bugs usually remind me soon enough

  4. #199
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    Grafton Loop Trail is definitely an exception and the new RMC trails (four Soliders and Underhill) to and from Pond of Safety are both fine examples of trail building. Also hard to beat the former railroad grades and dugways.

  5. #200
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maineguy View Post
    Agreed. I think that many trails are poorly designed probably because the trailblazers never envisioned the traffic they would one day receive. There are exceptions. Every once in a while, I find myself on such a splendid trail that I have to stop and remind myself that I am in NH and not some trail out west. The bugs usually remind me soon enough
    Hard to argue with this! Hardening of the trails is the best approach in many places, but it's expensive and time consuming. There are so many other lovely trails though, but people seems to disproportionately value views (perhaps it ties into the 'sense of accomplishment' that people enjoy?). I used to be all about the destination (taking the shortest route and making 'good time'), but have transitioned to caring more and more about the journey (taking less popular routes with more time built in for relaxing/wandering). This approach really makes one notice the difference in trail quality across the region.
    | 64.5% W48: 19/48
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  6. #201
    Senior Member Grey J's Avatar
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    "I used to be all about the destination (taking the shortest route and making 'good time'), but have transitioned to caring more and more about the journey (taking less popular routes with more time built in for relaxing/wandering). This approach really makes one notice the difference in trail quality across the region."

    "you go your way, I'll go mine, I don't care if we get there on time, everybody's searching for something they say, I'll get my kicks on the way"
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  7. #202
    Senior Member RollingRock's Avatar
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    Stony Trails

    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    IMHO Sadly that ship sailed long ago on the popular trails in the whites. The major trails that are subject to overuse are well over the 1.5 feet wide. In the vast majority of the uphill and downhill sections the trailbed was "paved" with stones as the underlying soil is long gone and the trail is effectively one long drainage ditch with occasional water bars. Most of the lesser used backcountry trails actually are in desperate need of more use to maintain a track since the FS has elected to cut way back on blazing, the trail bed is the only way of actually following the trails.
    I remember the days when the trails had a comfortable bed versus all the rocks now appearing due to erosion making it more difficult for these 'older' legs...LOL. In another 20 years, we'll just be hiking on rocks, leading to more injuries due to sprained ankles, etc. There may be a day to abandoned the existing ones and creating brand new ones to reach the summit.
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  8. #203
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    BSP had done that in places on the tableland. Sadly folks are running and hiking on stretches of alpine terrain outside the scree walls on the Franconia Ridge trail, this is quite noticeable between Lincoln and Haystack but also heading towards North Lafayette.

  9. #204
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJsName View Post
    I'm not sure where you've been hiking, but I'm glad to hear keeping a safe distance hasn't been an issue. I have not been out so I don't have any first first accounts - just reports of people running into more people and full lots unexpectedly. In my experience, late April/early May hiking in the Whites (outside of Tucks) is typically pretty light.

    I will say, the TrailsNH map for NH looks really weird right now: https://trailsnh.com/maps/index.php?...16,-71.39&z=10. This to me suggests that a lot of people are doing hikes that they wouldn't normally do, but that sample is biased by the type of people who submit trail reports and probably doesn't represent the general public's behavior.
    You are correct, I have been moving around and have hit some trails for the first time. I know others have as well. The Ossipee Range has seen an influx of White Mountain hikers. I never used to get up early, but I do now. I'm finishing my hikes sometimes before noon. The Belknap's have seen their share of action as well.

  10. #205
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    Sure - the graph is only as good as the data, and the data is only as good as the reports, and the reports are only as good as the tests and people reporting them . . .

    What else do we have that is better? Even with faulty data, I do like this graph, as it allows me to zoom in on the Northeast rather easily. Either VT is doing something more correct than average or they aren't testing/reporting.

    I am left wondering why nobody is presenting a stacked area graph (Note: I have looked, but not found this, let me know if you know of one please!) which includes

    1. deaths
    2. severe cases
    3. mild cases
    4. recovered cases

    All we see is the steady climb. The recovered number is missing. At least stacked area shows you visually the state of total cases over time.

    Tim
    Quote Originally Posted by DougPaul View Post
    I have been downloading and plotting the data pretty much since it began in the US. Most of the sources just enumerate the cumulative diagnosed cases and deaths. Many (if not most) mild cases are not recorded and and the only source of data that I have found on recoveries is for my home town.

    Some data sources:
    Massachusetts (with detailed breakdowns): https://www.mass.gov/info-details/co...onse-reporting
    CDC (US): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019...ses-in-us.html
    COVID Tracking Project (US and all states): https://covidtracking.com/
    NY Times (US, all states, all counties): https://github.com/nytimes/covid-19-data
    WHO (all countries): https://www.who.int/emergencies/dise...ation-reports/

    BTW, the log-log plot can get pretty messy with real data and does not give one a sense of the progression with time. I generally prefer a plot of (smoothed) new cases vs. time (the date).

    If you want to see how it should be done, check out New Zealand or Australia (data from the WHO).

    Doug
    Tim,

    The Johns Hopkins University data includes recovery data (as well as diagnosed case and death data). https://github.com/CSSEGISandData/CO..._covid_19_data

    The data is available in both human-readable tables and .csv files.

    Doug

  11. #206
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    Ever in search of the silver lining, and opportunity, in any situation, here are some positives to consider that may apply to current overuse of trails as described by some:

    1. People have been either ordered or requested to stay home except for "essential" purposes. Perhaps some have developed a new appreciation for non-motorized, aerobic, wholesome outdoor activity. Maybe a little added strain on some trails but "essential" for the mental and physical health of the pedestrians.

    2. The outlaw attitude that some take in violating some rules may be an expression that freedom will not be repressed and, with a comparatively modest effort, does no harm either to others or to the forest.

    3. The economics of a walk in the woods, especially in these times when unemployment has sky rocketed to nearly unprecedented proportions, is most attractive, especially compared to alternative recreational opportunities. I enjoy this aspect even in good times.

  12. #207
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post

    The Conway Daily Sun is a free advertising dependent newspaper. They want both tourist and local eyeballs to sell more advertising. It is not unusual for them to pick up on topics of controversial local interest during the week to get the non weekend readership up. If anyone believes that the letters to the editor are representative of the broad local area views they are sadly mistaken. Many of the same letter writers have been published for years as it draws attention to controversial causes. Sadly many newcomers do read the Sun and believe it as that is their only connection to what is very small year round community overlaid with a large vacation seasonal home tourism business on top of it.

    Its pretty standard practice that folks move to the mountains (or woods) to get away from it all and bring a lot of their baggage with them. I remember paddling over in the Bethel Maine area once with some local leaders on a large canoe event and the discussion was how many of the them got sick of what happened to North Conway and they sold out and moved to Bethel to "do it right".
    Sounds like a few other folks I know whom left and moved to the woods. I have found over the last five decades that the area in general has changed mostly for the better yet not to say some negative. Very interesting to talk to folks about their perceptions and interpretations. Opinions vary widely but they are just that opinions. One thing is for sure Northern New Hampshire is a region and not just one town. There is a lot to offer in many demographical differences and what might work for one is not necessarily the gospel for everyone. Where the inherent value of the region lies IMO and just that an "Opinion"; is the interaction between the towns within the region. To cast a negative shade on any particular town within the region would only be futile at best. If so one would only be opening them selves to a critical review of their own entity. Again I view things as a region rather than dissecting it's parts.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  13. #208
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    Ever in search of the silver lining, and opportunity, in any situation, here are some positives to consider that may apply to current overuse of trails as described by some:

    1. People have been either ordered or requested to stay home except for "essential" purposes. Perhaps some have developed a new appreciation for non-motorized, aerobic, wholesome outdoor activity. Maybe a little added strain on some trails but "essential" for the mental and physical health of the pedestrians.
    Yup. The healing effects of a walk in the woods is something we all have experienced and enjoyed over the years. I read an article about the stress and anxiety being generated by this pandemic as folks lose income, fear getting sick, stay penned up at home with the kids and adjust to shortages of goods and essentials.

    So I was not surprised to drive by the Mount Major trail head yesterday (a Wednesday) and see it overflowing with in- and out-of-state cars parked along the sides of Rt 11. And the local cops were also there ticketing and trying to maintain order.

    But taking the trail less traveled we did the backside of Belknap (East Guilford Trail) and saw very few trampers on that beautiful trek. Lady slippers, trillium and jack-in-the-pulpit did pop up along the way and from the fire tower Mt Washington glistened in white. Therapy indeed.
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  14. #209
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    And perhaps result in less used trails receiving greater use so as to dilute overall impact.

  15. #210
    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    On May 28, 2020, the Cohos Trail Association released the following:

    The governor of New Hampshire has extended the stay home order for several more weeks. That means that volunteer work on the Cohos Trail cannot commence. It means we of The Cohos Trail Association will keep our shelters closed to overnight stays until such time the restrictions are lifted.

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