Thursday March 25 Carp Barrens trail conditions.
A few sections of slushy ice patches remain. Dirt sections of trail tread are still wet, partially thawed areas soft and muddy. Lots of spring melt pooling and some trail widening as trail users skirt mud puddles rather than staying on line. Thankfully, 95% of the trail tread is on slick rock or armoured tread.
Covid impacts so far:
‘Trail creep’ (trail tread widening into bordering vegetation and moss) proliferating due to increased hiking traffic walking side by side rather than the recommended single file.
Physical distancing is moving hikers and riders off the trail into sensitive moss beds and vegetation.
– Please stay on the trail even it means getting bike or shoes dirty. This minimizes trail damage. It’s the price of shoulder season trail use.
– When passing riders or hikers, please do so without going off trail as much as possible. This might require stopping on a rocky spot to allow others to pass on the trail. As you do, make it clear to the other trail user you’re leaving room to pass without trampling vegetation. Making the trail unidirectional is being considered. Clockwise from the Back Nine to the Front Nine (names given to two halves of the loop) allows for easy warm up, whereas counterclockwise offers best flow but hard cardio start.
– Please do not remove rocks or branches that delineate the trail as these are placed to close lines and hem in mud puddles to preserve a fun narrow singletrack.
Parking, parking, parking…
Take note that parking is prohibited outside of the Front 9 and Back 9 entrances along the trail side of Thomas Dolan.
More important: be mindful when opening driver’s side doors, and get your gear on behind your vehicle, and not while standing in the path of oncoming 80km/h traffic. There’s a blind crest near the Back Nine entrance that makes it particularly hazardous when 2 vehicles meet.
Enjoy responsibly and be safe.