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Glad to see this effort moving forward. But I was shocked to see the statement that the new County policy will "Clarify the role of park trails as recreational facilities versus transportation facilities"! Certain sections of certain parks are indeed pristine areas of natural beauty, and should be treated accordingly. But the idea that *any* trail in *any* county park is by definition only recreational?!
Please consider installing portable toilets. I (and many other seniors) frequently walk the Sligo Creek Trail. My walk coild be longer with public bathrooms of some kind.
Thank you for your comment. I will share your suggestion with park managers. Do you have specific locations in-mind?
Also, is there any plan to provide an easier, safer connector odd the Northwest Brach trail over US29? Can you work with SHA to improve this infrastructure?
I live near the Sligo Creek Trail, near Dennis, Forest Glen, and the Forest Glen metro station. I moved to this area wiith the intention of using ithis trail as a pedestrian/cycle transportation network. I was shocked when I learned that it was not technically legal to use it during the hours when I would be commuting, I.e. In the evenings after sunset! Please, please realize that this trail is an important pedestrian/bike connector to neighborhoods and provide lighting and other facilities so that it can be used safely and legally as such! Also please provide bike racks! This trail is an important piece of infrastructure for those who choose not to drive. It's not just used by dogwalkers at 3pm on Sundays!
I was just advised that the Countywide Trail Planning meeting scheduled for December 3 has been postponed to January 21, 2016.
The franklin knolls civic association is interested in improving the existing unimproved trail that runs along the back of our neighborhood along northwest branch park land. we have discussed coordinating our efforts with the Clifton park civic association who have already worked with the park administration to clean up their trails and gain their advice on how to improve the trail and make it a "people's choice trail". We will link up the 2 trails.
Thank you for your comments, and for the info about your efforts with the Clifton Park Civic Assoc.
Has there been any discussion on connecting the ICC hard surface bike trail with the North Branch natural surface trail that passes under the ICC bridge? The current status is that there is a chain link fence with a locked gate preventing access from one trail to the other.
The North Branch Trail project will be making a connection between the ICC Bike Path and the North Branch Trail (hard surface). There is no plan to connect the main stem trail (natural surface) to the ICC Bike Path.
What is the status of the Seneca Greenway Trail extension to Patuxent State Park?I was unaware of the September 16th meeting or I would have attended. Rupert has acquiredthe Hawkins Creamery access that was planned for access of Great Seneca Stream Valley Unit 6 and hasrecently fenced it off from Hawkins Creamery Road with deer netting. How will this affect access to unit 6 andwill it prevent us from ever connecting these trails?
Please add me to the invitee list for trail meetings.
John G. Woodx-131Maryland-National Capital Park Police Mounted Volunteer
I am investigating. I was not aware of issues that may block/prevent future connections in this area. Can you please send me an e-mail with more details? Charles (dot) Kines (at) montgomeryparks (dot) org. Thanks!
I emailed you a copy of an old plan to show the location. I hope this helps.
Please consider increasing the number of natural-surface, hiker-only trails. I fully appreciate the effort and money expended by the biking community in getting new trails built and maintained. However, hiking and biking on natural surface trails are not always compatible. Bikes trails tend to become narrow and "cupped" over time and not comfortable for walkers. Hikers, especially seniors and children tend not to use trails where high-speed bikers are zooming around them on narrow trails.
The cupped shape of the trail tends to develop on trails that are adjacent to old farms. The deposited from years and years of sediment from the fields when flooded is soft and compacts easily. The other main factor is the with of the trail. The years of farm field sediment and a very narrow trail create prime conditions for cupping.
The Upper Rock Creek trail just south of Muncaster Mill is a prime example. This was originally a very narrow people's choice trail not much wider than shoulder's width. Mainly hiker and some equestrian use but had no mountain bike use.
The trail was very badly cupped when Parks started to maintain it. The cupping was so bad I found it dangerous to run the trail. Over time the trail has been widened and the cupping is slowly evening out. It's still there but it's no long the steep edged, ankle eating trench it once was.
Thank you for your comment, Richard. I understand your sentiment. However, in order to increase overall trails level of service for the county, it is our intent through this plan to make as many natural surface trails multi-use as possible (open to all users) -- if/where these trails can be built sustainably -- in order to serve as many trail users as possible. That being said, there will still be hiking-only trails in certain places, such as the campground area at Little Bennett Regional Park and also the interpretive trails around nature centers.
Although I understand that connecting the entire Rachel Carson Trail is a very long-term project that requires some land access or acquisition, existing portions can be extended now. There is nothing standing in the way of building the trail from the Rachel Carson Park at Georgia Avenue south to Brighton Dam Road and on to Gold Mine Road. A couple of bridges and some provision for limited parking might be needed.
I believe the issue in this area, Richard, is that building a continuous sustainable natural surface trail along Hawlings River is not possible. This park is very constrained environmentally and we don't own enough land to bypass the sensitive resources. I will check with Bob Turnbull, our Natural Surface Trail Construction Manager. But I believe that is the case.
The trail connecting the Hoyle's Mill Trail and the Schaeffer Farm trail complex is named the Diabase TRail for the unique rock formations it passes over. My previous comment is withdrawn.
Thank you for the comment.
Needwood Rd between the exit of Rock Creek Trail and Redland Rd is narrow and has no shoulder. There is no good way to bike from the Trail exit to west Country employment/commerce centers. On the few occasions I tried to brave it, a big rig would follow me all the way up the road. It's only a bit more than a mile on this stretch, but it is a white-knuckle passage no doubt for both the cyclist and the driver. Please add at least some shoulder area if not a board walk like the one along Baltimore Rd. After the blissful ride up the Rock Creek Trail, it is such a let-down upon exit. Thank you for considering it.
hcm, You will be happy to know that things are in the works to build a much needed multi-use trail along Needwood Rd. The project is in two phases Phase one is from the ICC trail down to the lake and I believe this section is funded. Phase two will be from the lake to Redland Rd & a short section connecting to the school. This section is currently unfunded. Hope you can make it out to the meeting on September 16th!
Here is a link to the Needwood Rd Trail project page. The project is a funded through Montgomery County Department of Transportation and the SHA. http://www.montgomerycounty...
Institute a policy that new trail construction will not be started unless there are plans and resources to ensure the project will be completed in its entirety. All trail sections, all bridges, all signage, and all other aspects should be completed within the project. Otherwise, we get unfinished, under-used trails. Volunteers do not like to waste their time on things that do not get completed.
Thank you for your comment. I will make sure Bob Turnbull and Jim Corcoran are aware of your concern.
One thing that would be helpful is to authorize a few citizens to do more intensive trail work such as brush cutting and mowing. Many trails grow closed during the summer without this. There are already responsible citizen volunteers that mow and brush cut some of the trails in State Parks in our area. .
Another major reason to properly maintain trails is that it greatly reduces the risk of picking up ticks.
Here are several items for the trails to-do list:- Determine a location and complete a crossing of Muncaster Mill Road for the Upper Rock Creek Trail. The road should have warning signs and a clearly marked crosswalk. This trail is too nice to leave in an incomplete condition.- Construct a bridge for the Seneca Greenway Trail over Seneca Creek. The current stepping-stone arrangement is unsafe for children and seniors. Even if the long-range plan to extend the SGT is pursued, the bridge is needed to connect to the Magruder Branch Trail. This issue has been lying around for almost 13 years. It is time for action.- The new trail connecting the Hoyles Mill Trail and the Schaeffer Farm Red Trail has been completed. It needs a name. Right now the trail has blue blazes on county land and red blazes on the state's Schaeffer Farm. I recommend calling it the Schaeffer Farm Red Trail and making all markings red. This will demonstrate MNCPPC's spirit of cooperation.- Review the recommendations submitted by the trail ranger volunteers over the years. There may be some good ideas in there.
Thanks for all your comments, Richard. I will share with Bob Turnbull.
Richard, the stream restoration project that was holding the progress of the Upper Rock Creek Trail at Muncaster Mill Rd was finally completed this summer. Now they can put in the new bridge over the creek and start to work on the crossing location. Hopefully this won't take nearly as long as the stream restoration project did!
Is there any consideration for a public gardens space in the North Potomac, Gaithersburg MD area(like Brookside Gardens) possibly on the property in front of the old GE building(also formerly National Geographic property) on Rte 28?
I apologize for not responding sooner. Do you realize you are posting a comment on the project website for the Countywide Park Trails Plan Amendment? If are you looking for a community garden along a specific trail, do you have a location in mind? M-NCPPC does not own the former National Geographic building. It is owned by Montgomery County Government. I suggest you call 311 to share your idea for that property.
"Loops and Links" is a great name for a trail system: it suggests both the recreational (nature, fitness, and fun) and the practical (destination-oriented) functions of the pathways. Both natural-surface and paved trails are splendid --- variety is good and serves a wider community of users. As more people use bicycles to commute, and embrace their own health improvement programs by cycling, hiking, walking, running, and other exercises, these trails will become increasingly valuable over time. We've already seen this happing with Rock Creek Trail, the Capital Crescent Trail, the Anacostia River Trail system, Seneca Creek Trail, etc. Kudos to the M-NCPPC and everyone involved in this important program!
Thank you for your comments, Mark. Thanks to the hard work of our Trails Working Group, we feel confident that we will be delivering a more sustainable trail system!