Well although we held off on grooming Friday night, our trails held up really well considering the traffic this weekend. Solon club was out on Thursday night and the Forks and Kingsbury clubs went out Friday and joined us out again last night. This means we are now connected to all surrounding clubs, though we have yet to see the Lexington Highlands club connect at the bridge in town, and will be looking into that in the coming week.
We do have some changes this week happening that prevented us from grooming ITS 87 north of the Austin Stream Bridge last night. So the job that has been going on preventing the Pleasant Pond trail from being open in the Forks is about to commence, and they are moving down to the Heald Pond Rd that we have been using the last week or so to get north due to operations on the Chase Pond Rd. Therefore as of tomorrow, all traffic traveling north and south between Bingham and the Forks should use the Palmer Pond Rd just past the Austin Stream bridge when traveling north to the Bald Mountain trail and then ITS 86 into the Forks until this weekend when we will reopen ITS 87 at the bridge. At that time we will have to share the Ripple Rd as we did last year to the 4 way, and then will have to follow plowed road we are will do our best to pull snow back onto for about 4mi, then will have about a mile before meeting the start of the Forks system.
Also GREAT NEWS....we got the Windmill Trail opened up last night! There may be a need for some additionl signage, so use extra caution for now, but you can now access the Kingsbury system by the dam and/or travel over the tower 30 lookout and beyond tower 57 to the Breakneck Ridge system! This means first the first time in several years we have our entire trail system open with over 100mi of trails we are maintaining! Thank good we were able to purchase a second machine.
Still in really good shape with plenty of coverage, but could use a little more snow to keep the middle flat with the sides.
ITS 87 north:
As before, the first 8mi or so have great and just fair sections. Roads along this stretch are in good shape but the wooded sections with lots of ledge could use some more snow though most everything is covered up. Once hitting the Sunshine Loop Rd it is pretty smooth sailing to the Deadwater Rd. Again for this week til Friday, riders should go past the Austin Stream Bridge on Deadwater Rd about 200yds and take the first right on the Palmer Pond Rd to get north.
Palmer Pond Rd:
If you have never ridden it before you are definitely going tobe asking yourself why. This trail is a smoke show of a trail for about 10mi or so where we meet the Breakneck Ridge trail system and the Forks trail system on either side of Lake Austin.
Townline Rd/Jw Pinkerton Rd/Rt 16 Crossing:
Great shape and great coverage. Makes and excellent bypass for the thinner spots on ITS 87.
ITS 84/Iron Gate Rd/Heart of Gold/Jack Pine Connector:
All are in great shape with great coverage, provinding lots of flat looping opportunities.....and yes we did groom up to tower 1 lookout as well which has good coverage but a few wind blown icy spots.
We will be evaluating the volume of traffic throughout the week but will plan to have ITS 87 re-opened late Friday night for Saturday morning and the rest of the system touched up as schedules permit.