Deconstucting the Jackfork - Part 1
As many people have heard, the Jackfork and Rabbit Ridge Trails at Pinnacle Mountain State Park closed on February 1, 2020. This was done to facilitate the building of a completely new trail system. Central Arkansas Trail Alliance has volunteered to remove much of the old trails to return them back to nature. This includes removing bridges and signs plus some raking to make the old trails "disappear."
On Saturday, February 15, we had 19 volunteers show up in the cold to get as much taken care of as possible. In the next 3 hours, the 4 separate crews removed 8 wooden bridges, 5 signs and posts, removed one metal bridge, and returned 2.35 miles of trail back to nature. The Bail Trail, Stick, and Rabbit Ridge are all history.
Thanks to Dakota for the video above.
Once we were done, Partners for Pinnacle treated us to pizza and soft drinks at the Visitor Center meeting room. It was a tired bunch. Afterwards, 4 volunteers stayed and picked through the wood from the bridges and salvaged a good bit for use on other trails in the area. We did as much recycling as possible.
As a reminder, Please stay off the old trails and any new trails being built in the area for the following reasons:
Watch for word of the next Deconstruct day. coming sometime in March.
We may need to do this more than once a year. Looks like the riding was good too. Thanks to Emma and David for putting it on. Some photos below.
"We had a great time this weekend at the CATA Camp Out at Blanchard Springs. Thank you to all who made it and spent the weekend with us." - Emma and David
For years Central Arkansas Trail Alliance fans have needed the one binding accessory that will forever hold them up as a supporter of quality trails in Central Arkansas, a sticker.
Well wait no longer! Be recognized as a true trail warrior, a citizen who understands the importance of trails to our recreation, our environment and our mental state. Not only do you love and appreciate trails, you understand that trails don't just appear, they don't take care of themselves, and they will disappear without due vigilance.
Whether you are a trail runner, hiker, or mountain biker, you can proudly display your Love for Trails on your vehicle, cooler, notebook, little brother's forehead, hipster bike frame, front door, insulated coffee mug, laptop, the cat, or wherever an expression of your values is desired. (Please DON'T hurt the cat or your little brother or post them on vehicles, buildings, etc. without the owner's permission.)
How to Obtain the Precious Stickers:
We are dedicating the funds raised from the sale of these stickers to purchasing new tools and equipment for further trail building and maintenance. If you've been on a work party with us you know that some of our current tools are loved to death. When the Fall trail building season gets going we want to be ready to support some of the great work that you do. Nothing says, we love you, like handing you a new tool that actually works.
For now, the stickers will be made available at CATA Socials and Work Parties starting at the May 15, 2018 Audubon Happy Hour at Flyway Brewing w/CATA .
* Want to be extra-cool? Having exact change, that would be cool. I mean, we'll try to make change or you can always leave a tip** if you are cool with that.
**All tips will also go to purchase of new tools.
How New Trail Happens
Much of the Pfeifer Loop has been underwater lately. Not like a couple of years ago when all the sand moved in but still, mostly underwater. For the last few years we have had a dream of building a trail in the area that would be above most flooding. After working with management (Jeff and Ian) at North Little Rock Parks and Recreation, a partner of Central Arkansas Trail Alliance, we had a plan.
Over the past couple of weeks we've been busy flagging routes for a trail on the north side of Lake Campbell paralleling Northshore Trail. The terrain is a bit more varied than other parts of Pfeifer Loop trails but the plan is to build something that could be enjoyed by everyone, hikers, trail runners, and mountain bikers.
On March 4th, we started our build. A lot was accomplished in the first two hours before the rain came.
The workers cut trail so fast we had to speed up this video to get as much as possible in. (thanks to John Norris for this video.)
Although we got some rain a few stayed and others came back and even someone passing by on a road bike chipped in and we got most of the first half cut in. There is still some grubbing to be done and just a little dirt work but for the most part the first section is done. We will be hosting more work parties to finish the work we started and then continue on to the next section plus add in some fun alternative lines like the one below. Thanks to everyone who came out to help and thanks to North Little Rock Parks and Recreation for allowing us to create something new in their parks.
Later in the afternoon we took a break as a possible new line was tested. It is similar to the Gravity Cavity at Devil's Den State Park. So what do we call it?
Workin' Allsopp Park
This Sunday morning, a group of trail workers, made up of trail runners, hikers, and mountain bikers, gathered to enjoy some breakfast and a free cup of joe from the good folks at The Meteor Cafe. Plans were made and by 9 am we were headed to Allsopp Park to improve a new trail section begun by Central Arkansas Trail Alliance last year.
The java was appreciated as about 15 volunteers began taking care of various issues with the trail.
A dip in the trail was cleaned up giving hikers, trail runners, and mountain bikers a smooth transition and a little air if you're so inclined.
Some off-camber sections got some sweet bench cutting allowing trail users a more comfortable turn around the hill.
As the morning went on, the sun started peeking out shining it's approval on the work. It turned into a beautiful day in the woods.
Beverages were made available from 107 Liquor, Angry Dave's Bicycles, and Lost Forty Brewery to reward our work. (Special thanks to Brett Budolfson for working with our sponsors.)
Just in case you missed out, the next trail party is on Sunday, February 25, 2018 at Reservoir Park in Little Rock. Sorry guys, this is a ladies only dance. Also, in two weeks, on Sunday, March 4, 2018 is the new trail build at Pfeifer Loop in North Little Rock, we welcome all help.
January CATA Social at HIA Velo
Much like most of our trails, Allied Cycle Works bikes, the brand made at HIA Velo in Little Rock are Handmade In Arkansas. This past Tuesday night, CATA members and guests were treated to a tour of one of the most remarkable businesses in the area. Thanks to Barrett and Chris for giving us a tour of the production facility where state-of-the-art carbon bikes are being hand built for clients around the world.
Beer was provided by another local company excelling in handmade product, Flyway Brewing who offered up their recently canned Free Range Brown Ale. We had somewhere around 60 people there for the tours, beers and conversation. Save the date on your calendars for another social at another new spot in February on the second Tuesday of the month.
“The line is blown out and it looks sexy as hell!” ~Melanie Norris
The morning of Sunday January 7th was the warmest wake up in days. There were a few women who were very happy to know that the temperatures would not be below freezing all day because they had plans to work in a new, 1/4 mile section of trail at the Boyle Park Mountain Bike Trails. Nine women gathered in the parking lot and began unloading tools, loppers, shovels, pick axes, saws, and rakes. In a couple of hours, a brand new entry trail took shape by the removal of privet, low branches, a few small trees, lots of vines and five bags of garbage. The new trail will allow riders to enter the trail (Grilled) on the east side of the parking lot and crossing the street at the section that is now closed to traffic. There is still work to be done removing a large tree, smoothing out the bumps of fresh new trail, and correcting some off camber sections, but it’s already rideable.
This new entrance will allow trail users to enter and exit the trail directly from the parking area instead of crossing the road . Maps will be available soon.
Following the trail work we headed over to Core Brewery in North Little Rock for well earned beverages and food.
There will be more ladies only work parties, more work parties at Boyle and work parties all around Central Arkansas. Check our calendar for the next fun day creating, fixing or even just enjoying the trail.
- Lisa Mullis
Workin' the Jackfork
The temperature was still in the teens at 9 am Monday morning when Paul, Melanie and I (Joe) showed up at the Jackfork Trailhead. The Jackfork is the main mountain biking trail at Pinnacle Mountain State Park. The trail is known for its rocks and short climbs, a good workout trail.
The goal of the day would be to improve some of the trail by removing rock that was blocking some of the better lines on what is known as the "Bail Trail," an access trail to the main loop that starts at the park visitor center parking lot and takes the higher route in. We only expected to get a few hundred yards. but we made quick work of much of it.
We didn't want to "dumb down" the trail too much just make some clear lines, the work went fast. Melanie had headed out with a backpack blower and covered over half of the entire trail system before we knew it. Paul and I worked crowbars on the larger rocks clearing quickly without removing all of the the rock gardens.
It was pretty cold at first but the work soon had us sweating. After about 4 hours of work we had reached the main loop and decided to call it quits. If you are heading out there soon, don't expect a super groomed trail, there are still plenty of rocks and roots along the way, but you should be able to enjoy a good ride on the bail trail.
If you're interested in helping with more work on the Jackfork or other trails in the area, please like our Facebook page and sign up for our newsletter. If you want to support the work of the Central Arkansas Trail Aliance, please join up.
The last several weeks have left many of our local trails in rough shape with straight line winds that toppled trees all over central Arkansas. While the damage was limited at Camp Robinson, CATA board members received word that much of the Iron Mountain Trails on DeGray Lake were blocked. Fred Phillips, the catalyst who created these destination trails, called asking for some help in clearing the trees. About that time I got a call from Dan Lysk of Chainwheel. Dan said his wife, Addie Teo would be riding the trails soon so we set up a way for her to send me "pin-drops" wherever she found a tree.
Central Arkansas Trail Alliance then put out the word, we would have a Trail Love day to knock out these downed trees and clean up the trails some. We had volunteers from Little Rock, North Little Rock, Hot Springs and Arkadelphia. I contacted Lost 40 Brewery who was nice enough to furnish post trail work recovery beverages.
Thanks to Addie, we knew exactly where 6 trees were and at around 8:30 on Saturday morning we split into several working groups to start clearing. One team took to the Yellow Trail earlier so we were mainly on the Green Trail. We made short work of the known trees and soon reorganized to walk and clear sections we were unsure about.
In the end, we took out at least 10 trees. With over 22 miles of trails and more recent storms, we can't guarantee that the trails are clear but they are certainly better. We moved on after the work to the recovery beverages, some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and some bike riding.
So get out and enjoy the trails. If you are interested in supporting the work of Central Arkansas Trail Alliance, please join our crew.
Thanks to Bob Black-Ocken for the photos.
The Night Time is the Right Time
Recent improvements in access to Camp Robinson Trails has spurred more interest in night riding in this premier mountain biking area. As Nappy Brown said, "The Night Time is the Right Time."
All participants should review the requirements listed below.
Instructions: Complete the form and submit to: firstname.lastname@example.org or deliver to Post Operations. Carry a copy of the completed form during the ride. Please allow 2-3 days for approval of this form.
1. Ride only trails that you are familiar with. All riders should carry a map and ride the trails/route during the daytime prior to riding at night.
2. Carry a primary and a backup light system.
3. Carry a working Cell phone.
4. Use a "buddy system" when riding at night; no one rides alone.
5. Carry a recovery kit consisting with the following items at a minimum: inner tube, inflation device, patch kit.
6. Wear a helmet and eye protection.
7. All participants will need a Camp Robinson Sportsman Pass. (Info Here)
Please keep in mind that when you ride at Camp Robinson, night or day, you represent the mountain bike community as a whole. We know, like Charles Barkley said, “I'm not a role model. Just because I ride a mountain bike, doesn't mean I should raise your kids.” (Okay, so we took some liberty with the quote.) You are stuck with setting the example anyway. Please respect the Camp Robinson Rules, it's their property and we are lucky to have such a perfect place to ride. Don't cut trails or damage trails in any way, a lot of people have done a lot of work over the years to create this awesome facility. Lastly, consider signing up for a CATA work day to give back. It'll make you feel all good inside.
You can download the form below.