Wednesday, July 26, 2017

A Rising Tide Lifts All Trails - Highlight Those OHV Success Stories

Trail Armor and Restoration Projects - Rubicon Trail
Eldorado NF

QWR has long believed that partnerships and collaborative efforts are key elements in any 21st Century OHV recreation program.   Those joint efforts in support of sustainable OHV recreation continue to be the backbone of successful OHV programs in Region 5 and throughout the West.

While OHV management certainly has its challenges, QWR believes it is important for agencies and partners to highlight success stories where new trail opportunities are being created and/or trails are being reopened after mitigation measures are completed that address important resource concerns.

Sediment Catch Basin and Rolling Dip - Mace Mill
Eldorado NF

QWR commends the Eldorado National Forest’s outstanding communication efforts as highlighted in their recent:  42 Route Project Update #7

Link to 42 Route Project Update #7

As this report illustrates, various non-federal OHV grant programs (e.g. state, industry, etc.)  can help support the efforts of federal land agencies manage high-quality and environmentally sound OHV recreational opportunities.

Half Culvert OHV Bridge - Mace Mill
Eldorado NF

The document also notes the California State Park’s OHMVR Division has a grant program that supports their management efforts on the Forest and also shows that OHV recreation on public lands has evolved into a highly complex and diverse, partnership-based “a rising tide lifts all trails” concept.
QWR closes by stating that maybe the single most important factor in modern OHV recreation is the use of diverse partnerships as a synergistic force multiplier when it comes to the management of motorized use on designated roads, trails, and riding areas.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Forest Service Collaborates to Improve OHV Program

Example of FS Road Serving as a Motorized Trail
Mendocino NF

QWR wants to commend the Black Hills National Forest for its continued efforts to provide sustainable high-quality OHV recreational opportunity.  Located in South Dakota, this Forest completed its initial travel management plan in 2010.

As the following Public Broadcast video shows, the Forest Service has worked in a collaborative manner with users and other stakeholders on subsequent post Subpart B trail projects to improve their OHV program.


QWR believes this unit has embraced a holistic approach to managed OHV recreation.   As the video shows, the agency has a “roads to trails” conversion process that utilizes existing system roads to provide varying degrees of challenge and touring opportunities for the riders.

They also install various soil erosion/water quality-related trail structures or construction techniques along with implementing a quality route information program that includes signs, updated motor vehicle use maps, and smart phone route applications.

The video also highlights the important role that OHV recreation has in supporting rural economies and related private sector businesses.

QWR thanks the Black Hills National Forest and other Forests that continue efforts to improve their managed OHV trail programs. 

PS- Thanks to our longtime friend of OHV, Mark Thome, for sending this great info!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Base Camp Adventure Ride in Trinity Alps Region

View from Bonanza King Lookout Road
(Trinity Lake and Trinity Alps in Background)

QWR wanted to close out “June is Great Outdoors Month” with a review of Adventure Bike (ADV) or Dual-Sport (DS) opportunities located on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in the Trinity Lake area. 

Start of trip to Bonanza Creek Lookout

While many long-distance ADV riders are familiar with Highway 3 that runs north-south through the Forest, QWR believes there are additional high-value “one-day” backcountry touring opportunities where recreationists can range out on various designated native surfaced routes that stem off of Highway 3 or its companion road that snakes along the east side of the lake.

Start of Swift Creek Loop

The purpose of this blog is to give ADV/DS riders who are not familiar with this remote area of California some basic concepts for day-long excursions where there will be plenty of scenic views with opportunities for photos of the Trinity Alps and other mountains, tree lined roads, numerous streams, and wildlife.

Road Access to Swift Creek Trailhead

QWR has another goal and that is to reinforce the important role that Forest roads have in providing access to both motorized and non-motorized recreation on public lands.

View from Swift Creek Loop

Staging for this multi-day project was based in the Trinity Center area where there is gas/food and a number of developed and dispersed camping choices at sites managed by private parties or the Forest Service.  There are also several B&Bs nearby for those riders who like that type of lodging.

Dispersed Camping near Trinity Lake

Routes and general areas highlighted with pink markings (see map below) are where you may want to visit.  Besides the views, you will be presented with options to challenge yourself on motorized routes that are identified for use by high-clearance vehicles and OHVs.

Near top of Slate Mountain

QWR has divided the potential adventure routes into four areas which are the Swift Creek Loop, Bonanza King Lookout, Eagle Creek Loop, Scott Mountain Pass, Coffee Creek, and the Clear Creek/Slate Mountain Loop. 

Eagle Creek Campground 

All of these opportunities offer access to some high-quality recreation into undeveloped backcountry areas.  Again, there are many designated Forest dirt side roads that can be explored off of the looped route. 

Clear Creek Campground 

Coffee Creek is a cherry-stemmed route into the Trinity Alps Wilderness with spectacular views of alpine meadows and wildlife.  At the end of the 22 mile mostly dirt road, there is great family style dining at Mountain Meadows Resort.  Be sure and call ahead for reservations if you plan to visit them for a great dinner. Dinner is served at 7 p.m.

View of Trinity Alps from Mountain Meadow Resort

The Shasta-Trinity National Forest has over 5,000 miles of roads and trails that are designed for street legal and/or non-street legal motorized use.  Many of these routes are in the vicinity of your Trinity Lake-based multiday adventures.  

Adventure Opportunities

QWR encourages you to download the current Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) that identifies seasons of use and what vehicle types are allowed on the route system.

Clear Creek Campsites

MVUM for Trinity Lake Area

Like many National Forests throughout the West, this area has a lot of mixed private sector and federal land ownership.  One of the largest private landowners in this area is Sierra Pacific Industries and many of the roads go through their property.  QWR believes it is important to respect private property and only travel on routes that are signed or mapped open for motorized use.

Respect Private Property

Many readers of this forum are already doing important volunteer work for the Forest Service or BLM.  In that vein, it is also important for you to help be the eyes and ears for the agency when ADV riding by reporting back to them with information on road conditions, seasonal gates that might still be closed after the winter, travel management signs that are missing, and campground or other facility maintenance needs. In addition, you can send in comments on ideas you might have to enhance motorized recreational opportunities on the road and trail network. 

Welcome to the National Recreation Area

MVUM Comment Form

Info on Historic Stage Road

This area of California has a rich cultural heritage that helps link us to our past, informs the present, and charts a path forward to our future. 

Historical Marker at Scott Mountain Pass

Please give this area some consideration the next time you get the urge to explore the great outdoors in Northern California.

Here are some links to various camping and dining sites.

Trinity Center KOA

Shasta-Trinity National Forest

Mountain Meadow Resort

Trinity Center Dining

PS- Special thanks to Mike Mitchell (retired FS recreation lead and current officer with the Redding Dirt Riders) for running the base camp for this project.