New EMBA Trails!
It has been nearly three years sinceEvergreen Mountain Bike Alliance last turned dirt here in Seabrook, leaving us with the Mike-o-Rama cross country trail and the aptly named Groot roughed in downhill trail. Now they are back and have just finished up six weeks of work bringing two ridiculously awesome trails right to the heart of Seabrook and closer to the back door of hundreds of rental homes.
Building trails takes a considerable amount of effort, especially in our thick forests we have surrounding Seabrook. There are many situations that dictate the placement of the trail such as: old slash piles from timber harvesting, wetland areas, and overall drainage to mitigate the substantial amount of rain we receive. Thank goodness for Evergreen! They sent out two of their best builders, Brandon Elizaga and Sean Camfield, who have years of trail building experience between them, as well as an Environmental Science degree. Needless to say, they know what they are doing!
Our first target for trail placement is between the Alderwood and Mill Districts and the Farm District. This cross-country style trail starts off the corner of the playground, winds it's way South towards Compass Street, crossing the Garden Trail, and pops out just behind 93 Stumptown Lane onto the border walking path. The first third of this trail replaces the walking trail that was bordering the homes east of Compass Street in Alderwood District. This trail is built with durability in mind. There were a number of "wet spots" that needed extra material to be placed as Rock Armored Crossings in order to keep future trail erosion to a minimum, if not eliminating it entirely. Our material of choice is chunks of concrete from demoed sidewalks, driveways, or foundations. Thankfully we have plenty available, and it's free! (Saving our neighbors from just trying to burry it in their yards.)
The biggest challenge in the placement of this trail is the amount of shade it receives. Everyone is itching to ride or walk this trail, but not yet! We plan to open the new trails Memorial Day weekend in time for the summer riding season.
Another addition to the trails is a flow trail with six berms, three rollers, and two table-tops! This trail is a progressive line to allow all skills to have an experience with berm turns, pumping through rollers, and even managing a little air time (should you choose to have the speed)! Starting just above the new neighborhood of the Farm District, this trail winds it's way down behind a retaining pond, past ancient snag leftovers of cedar trees, and into the forest to meet up with the cross country trail just before the cedar bridge and the finish. One great aspect of this trail is the ability for many riders over a broad range of mountain bike skills to enjoy. Anyone riding a fat bike, to a downhill, to a strider can rock this trail. Although short, you can do multiple laps easily by hanging a right instead of a left on the XC trail to hook up with the garden trail that brings you right back to the start of the flow trail.
We are super ridiculously stoked for these new trails! We are hoping more trail can come, and more often, but the one thing that helps in all of this is a volunteer effort. Now that Evergreen is done building, it is left up to us, the local riders, to care for and maintain as best we can these trails. And to kickstart that, we are having weekly volunteer days every Tuesday from now until the last Tuesday of November! There is no experience necessary to come help, we will take anyone who is willing to turn dirt, carry gravel, or trim back some shrubs!