Trail from Blvd of the Allies to Junction Hollow

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Mick
Participant
#

Souf Oakland in the house!

More “shovel party” time!

My neighbor Nick (Impala26) and I have been talking about making a trail between existing steps from the Blvd of the Allies down to Junction Hollow.

We’re going to go exploring on Sunday (April 11). We’ll try to find the best route and figure out what’s needed.

This might be easy – a few guys pushing through the brush a couple times and some glass cleanup might be all that is needed. Doubt it. But maybe.

I’m thinking we’ll probably have to saw a downed tree or two, cut through much brush, pick up some of the many thousand broken beer bottles, maybe do some work with a shovel, and maybe we need a few 2X12’s to get accross a drainage ditch (like the stealth trail from JH to the lake.)

Chances are you will never be able to ride this trail without dismounting – there are about 50 steps, aside from anything else.

If you come, you will want long pants, long sleeves, and probably thorn/glass resistant gloves. Even if it is warm. Maybe glasses/sunglasses for single file through briars.

A chain saw is probably premature, but not unwelcome. Any pointers to environmentally sound trail building info welcome.

Meeting at my place (3415 Parkview, 1st fl) at 11 am. PM me if you are interested – or just show up.

Join us! We KNOW how to have fun!

Mick


helen s
Participant
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Lots of switchbacks to lessen erosion.


dwillen
Participant
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This sounds super cool. Wasn’t there a trail from the other side down to JH too?


edmonds59
Participant
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Mick, you probably should have made that all hypothetical, as in, “suppose a group of people met at 3415 Parkview, at 11:00 am Sunday, April 11, with machetes…” Haven’t you ever heard of “plausible deniability”?


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Poison ivy is not yet sprouted. Do y’uns know what it looks like? My hunch is that if the steps are as overgrown as you say they are, many of the vines are poison ivy. I ran into this when I cleared out the Denver Street steps behind Pittsburgh Filmmakers a couple years ago [link].

I don’t live in Souf Oaklin’ so no guarantees on being able to help, but if I can make it I will.


Mick
Participant
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No poison ivy on the steps. Th stairs are pretty clear, it’s the rest of the the trail that someone might need to do some work on.

The other side of the bridge? There are trails that meander around. As far as I know, they are just the offical park trails down to the lake and are not very direct.

But then I haven’t been lurking in the bushes of the park much lately. I must be getting old or something.

Mick

PS. This meeeting is for discussion only. I suppose there is a possibilty that some folks might want to go for a walk in the wood afterwards. I don’t really know.

No animals were harmed in the creation of this message.

Happy, Edmunds?


edmonds59
Participant
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:)


Ohiojeff
Participant
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@dwillen Wasn’t there a trail from the other side down to JH too?

There was an attempt at at trail that came down from the path up in Schenley park–a bunch of years ago. It was poorly engineered–or at least rushed into place–and it collapsed.


dwillen
Participant
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Mick– Yea, it was mentioned in this thread: http://bike-pgh.org/bbpress/topic/forbes-sharrows/page/2#post-20554


Impala26
Participant
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Thankfully, for those who are concerned about a trail like this washing out, I did a cursory scout of the area and think to have found an ideal spot for a single back-and-forth switchback that would be fairly flat with a fairly wide swath. The biggest issue is that there currently is a sizable tree down on this, so at some point a saw would be needed.

Thankfully, I think this thing could avoid the deep marshy area. I see at least nice starting point close to where Boundary Street bottoms out at the north approach to the Junction Hollow trail. About half of a trail along there would go through some thick Japanese Knotweed, which if you didn’t know are invasive species that grow tenaciously. These are the tall broad, heart-shaped-leaved bushes that grow in large thickets. They’re harmless unlike poison ivy, but I fear a trail getting overgrown by them in a short a period as one month.

Just some of my initial thoughts… Feel free to add any of your own.


Impala26
Participant
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My big concern right now is that the fairly nice slope I’ve found will be absolutely choked with the Japanese Knotweed. You can cut/dig up this stuff, but I hear it grows back in a matter of weeks. It has a growth rate of something like 1 meter per month. As for some sort of herbicide alternative, I think we want to stay away from that seeing as there is a lot of water in the area.

Unfortunately, unless someone cuts back that crap like every few weeks or so there won’t be much of a trail. I hear that some entrepreneurs have made a business of harvesting the plant for food, herbal, paper, and chemical purposes. Frankly I’m not sure what to do, because it seems like no matter which route is taken down you hit this big bramble of them.


Mick
Participant
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Hmmm…

Seems if the trail gets used, it will stay there. If it doesn’t get used, it will get overgrown quickly.

The key might be making sure it is visible from the Junction Hollow Trail. TAht and one of us running up and down the trail every week or two.

Mick


Impala26
Participant
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Just a reminder that this is going down at Mick’s place in South Oakland right about now. I hope a few can make it.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Ah, this is the other thread I was looking for. I have to be at Mervis Hall at 1:30 on Saturday but have all morning to get there, so was going to try out this trail.

Since this thread was started just about a year ago, it would be interesting to see how much (less?) work it would take to make it habitable this year.

I just don’t know exactly where this trail is on either end.


dwillen
Participant
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It would involve several hundred feet of carrying your bike down some broken stairs, through weeds, over logs, through trash, around boulders and generally asking yourself why the heck you decided to go that way. I’d just bike over to a proper inlet for the trail and skip this. It would be about 10 times faster. We didn’t do any work on it last year because there was some lady that lived in the right-of-way drawn on the maps, and she was pissy about us being there.

Mick was going to try and get some official word on it, but I’m not sure anyone at the city gave it much thought.


Mick
Participant
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Steve Patchen told me to keep mentioning it. Time for me to do that.

Thing is, even if the trail was balzed and peace made with the neighbors, there is still the section with about 50 wooden stairs, many of them broken.

And there’s the trolls under the bridge (homelss folks, underage drinkers, prolly the occasional crack smoker.) to discourage travel after dark.

Best thing that could happen is fro the ladie who owns the property down there to sell out – to me.

BTW there was a trail from teh bridal trail down to the Run. The ends are blocked off, but easily traversable. Soemone (Swolfort?) posted here that the trail was closed because of design issues.

The way it looks to me, is that it goes fairly close to the house at the bottom. It was closed during an era where anyone who wanted a public walkway next to their home closed could easily get it shut down. :( (There were some way cool stairs that are gone.)

A bit too many switchbacks for rapid descent, but is ok, if steep for climbing. I would probably walk it going up (and my policy is if I can’t ride up it, I won’t ride down it. Keeps me from committing suicide.)


cburch
Participant
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mick, read this stuff first:

http://www.imba.com/resources/trail-building/10-most-common-trailbuilding-mistakes

and:

http://www.imba.com/resources/trail-building/designing-and-building-sustainable-trails

it takes way more work to fix a poorly designed and built trail than it does to do it right. imba standards are THE standards for a reason :D


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Topping this old thread, since it mentions steps, and the P-G had a steps story a couple days ago.

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/community-group-takes-steps-to-safeguard-stairways-in-pittsburgh-644839/

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