Friends of Rotary Park

This is a service provided to the users of Rotary Park in Clarksville, Montgomery County, Tennessee. It is hosted by Friends of Rotary Park, a newly formed volunteer group that is dilligently working to improve the trail network at the park. This site provides information about current, past, and future trail development.

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Rotary Park is a county-owned natural park in Clarksville, Montgomery County, Tennessee. It consists of two adjoining tracts of land that make up about 95 acres of mostly undeveloped, wooded land. There is one park entrance/exit that is paved and runs to the back of the park. There are three pavilions along the roadway with the largest being at the road's end. Rotary Park has an extensive trail network and is open to hikers and bikers. The new push for extensive trail work is necessary because most trails were improperly built by ATVs and motorcycles. Motorized vehicles are now banned from the park. Furthermore, the trails are showing signs of serious erosion. Most recently, a large amount of sustainable trail located outside of the park's boundary has been taken by development. The Friends of Rotary Park is dedicated to restoring and improving the park. Those interested in joining Friends of Rotary Park can do so by contacting Chris Clark at 931-801-3898. Dues are $25.00 for a family membership.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Update from Aug. 4th

Friends:

Workday Review
I'm sure that you have all been on pins and needles awaiting my update from August 4th's workday at the park. I was out of the office last week in training and did not have Internet access so my report is running a little late. But, with no further ado, here it is.

We had an incredibly successful workday. The turn out was huge. I counted either 14 or 15 people. Lots of new trail was cleared and benched. We divided into two groups. One group worked on a new section of the White Oak Loop (big loop) while the other, smaller group worked on installing signposts.

A special thanks is owed to David Adkins for bringing so much heavy equipment. His auger made it possible to dig the postholes for the signs. We tried doing a couple by hand and it was nearly impossible. He also brought an ATV with a 25 gallon water tank mounted on the rear. This made it possible to mix the concrete at the site of the postholes and kept us from moving heavy concrete by wheelbarrow. We really owe David big because after digging two holes, the auger had to go in for repair. Additionally, David had to buy new spark plugs. This kind of volunteer work gets expensive for those of us who loan our equipment. Don't forget to thank these folks.

Also, a special thanks is owed to Mitch and Kurt for all their chainsaw work. They, too, spend money as well as time by providing this equipment.

This new section of trail promises to provide a spectacular bird's-eye-view of the creek. With the exception of two steep climbing turns, the trail appears to be in textbook form incorporating slight grade reversals, kinks (shallow drains on the lower grades), and contour trails that comply with all the rules for building sustainable trails. The climbing turns will be addressed after the entire trail is open for use. The plan is to go back and construct rolling-crown switchbacks on all climbing turns located on grades steeper than 15%. It appears that this trail will last a very long time. However, we desperately need to get some rain soon to bond the dirt together where we benched. Please don't use the new section of trail until we get the rain.

Why We Work So Hard
I visited Montgomery Bell State Park yesterday. Their bike specific trails are about 10 years in the making now. There is about 23 miles of trail there that can be divided up into two categories. The first category is the trail that was built first. Tommy Hatcher and the builders followed the IMBA standards that we are following (most of the time). The second category is the second phase of trail (the Green and Yellow loops). They did not follow the IMBA guidelines for those trails.

As I rode yesterday, I first rode the trails that were built following the IMBA guidelines. Despite being the oldest trails in the park, most of them were still in very good shape and drain well. It appears they will provide many more years of use with little or no maintenance. The areas on those trails that did not follow the IMBA guidelines are in need of maintenance and will have to be addressed soon.

As I rode the other trails, those that did not follow the guidelines, I was amazed at how quickly they are deteriorating. These are the trails that were built within the last two years. Despite being so new, they are already washing or suffering serious signs of displacement from riders having to brake on the steep terrain. I enjoy these trails as they offer a very unique challenge. Further, that park has enough land to offer a variety of trails. However, the trails that did not follow the proper guidelines will continue to erode and become more and more difficult and treacherous.

I discuss this hear because I want to remind everyone why we are building the way we are. We are taking a long time to design and build our trails. However, we are building quality, sustainable trails that will last a very long time with little maintenance. Thanks for everyone's help and continued support as we do what is best for the park and its users.

Chris

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