If you've been watching our trail conditions you might be wondering why some of our trails are closed when others might be open? This time of the year can be problematic for certain trails, especially newer "built" trails. Some of the bike trails at Pocahontas are currently closed due to what's known as freeze-thaw conditions. When there's moisture in the ground and then deep-freezing temperatures occur, the trail surface heaves up with ice crystals and is very fragile. Any traffic on the surface will cause rutting and deformation of the trail which can ruin it and make a mess!
Our trail builders and volunteers ask that you respect the closures to protect the trails from damage so that we can all enjoy riding instead of repairing!
See www.fopsp.org for more details.
If you're looking for the latest trail app available with great map detail and tons of features, check out the Trailforks mobile app. This free app not only has detailed maps for virtually any trail system in North America (including Pocahontas SP!), it also has features that allow users to report trail issues, plan rides, and it can also be connected to Strava.
ATTENTION PARK USERS
As you know, Pocahontas State Park was created for the use of many user groups. In accordance with previous years, the park will be opening several delineated areas of the park for hunting. There will be two different types of hunts this year and the dates are as follows:
1) Managed Hunts
- November 7-12, 2016 south of beach road only (Bright Hope area). This entire section will be closed to all users except hunters.
- December 5-7, 2016 the entire park will be closed to other users.
- December 13-15, 2016 the entire park will be closed to other users.
2) Permit Hunt (by permit only)
- This will be an archery only deer only hunt.
- Will be allowed Monday thru Thursday only (No hunting Friday through Sunday).
- Duration: October 3, 2016 through February 23, 2017.
- Hunters will be required to be at least 50 yards away from any road, trail, or path intended for use by humans.
- The attached map shows the permitted hunt areas. Yes the swift creek trails area is included.
Over the last few years, projects completed by local Eagle Scouts have added value and function for the users of Pocahontas State Park. Guided by volunteer and project coordinator Monty McNeil, Eagle Scouts have built and installed several benches, trail kiosks, horse mounting stations, bike repair stations, and picnic tables. These well-built features will be utilized and enjoyed by many park visitors for years to come.
To help track trail use loads, the Friends of Pocahontas will be installing trail counters on multiple singletrack trail systems in the park. The high-tech TRAFx infrared counters will provide valuable insight on the number of users and peak times that our trails are used. This data will help our volunteer trail managers understand not only where the trail traffic is highest, but also how usage relates to ongoing maintenance. Park managers can also use this data to determine how trails are accessed and where facilities such as parking areas and bathroom facilities should be located as they relate to trail usage.
For more information on TRAFx trail counters, click here.
The First Day Hike at Pocahontas State Park for 2014 was a tremendously popular event this year. We had no way of predicting that we would double the attendance from last year and the support of the Friends of Pocahontas helped transform this hike into a great Pocahontas Park community event.
Park volunteer, Jeff Samuels , along with park staff and other volunteers left the nature center around 10:00 AM with approximately 250 hikers. Park staff fired up the grill and started preparing hot dogs, and hot cider for the hikers. All the refreshments were provided by the Friends of Pocahontas.
We had to purchase additional supplies that day, again supplied by the Friends group, to meet the demands of the large crowd.
Jeff Samuels had advised us that one of the local newspapers had stated that the hike started at 1:00 instead of 10:00 and he was correct. By the time the first hikers were returning from the hike, a crowd of 60 people had gathered for the 1:00 hike. They joined with the returning hikers for refreshments and Jeff, staff and volunteers set out for a second hike.
Our sincere appreciation to Jeff Samuels for designing a custom hike that showed some of the great attributes of Pocahontas. Jeff’s route for his hike was safe and age appropriate.
We are again extremely grateful for the support from the Pocahontas Friends for their support. It was the Friends group that initiated the idea of cooking hot dogs for the hikers. Serving quality refreshments to a crowd of people who did not expect it really changed the “hike and go home event” to a chance to mingle with fellow hikers, neighbors, volunteers and staff.
We have learned a lot and we will certainly use that knowledge as we plan for 2015 First Day hikes.
We are looking forward to working with the Friends group this year.
No more guessing about trail conditions. Our home page boasts trail alerts that track rainfall (snowfall) throughout the day to let you know when our famous roots will be slippy and when we should all plan on riding on fire roads to protect vulnerable trail sections.
The increasingly tight relationship between the great folks at Richmond MORE and FOPSP was on display yesterday as the Richmond MORE executive delivered a brand new CanyCom power wheelbarrow to the us at the Bikes, BBQ & Bluegrass Fundraising event at the park.
A CanyCom enables trail workers to move hundreds of pounds of rock and gravel into remote areas to build or armor trails which need a rock base. In the past, FOPSP volunteers moved tons of rock by hand. By offering to house one of these incredible machines in our park, MORE greatly enhances our ability to, well, move mountains on behalf of the park and our riders.
Tails bosses Joel Webber, Carter Lyle and Lee Hush have a long list of repairs and improvements for the winter building season. We have new tools and a lot of supplies on site. To volunteer or to learn how you can learn how to build effective, safe, sustainable trails, contact Joel Webber.
Yesterday's showers did little to dampen trail conditions. Light showers are expected this morning but should not impact trails too severely. All trails are rideable.