SMBA Spring News – 2014

Trail names and signage on Daniels Road Trails

Now that Daniels Road is a New York State Forest, you’ll notice some changes on the the trails.  First of all the official name is “Daniels Road State Forest”.  The signage, trail markers and some of the trail names were changed prematurely.  DEC had already put up signs with the new trail names over the winter.  Because there were long-standing, well-known names for the trails already, we’ve been working with DEC to modify the new names so they’re closer to their original names, that way the trail network stays reasonably familiar.  DEC has a strict policy on how they mark the trails, so there will inevitably be some changes.  For example, the DEC is planning to designate a “main trail” that serves as a primary in and out route.  The main trail will more than likely be made up of portions of existing trails, which will result in some renaming of those existing trails.  In addition, there are existing trails that cross over into private property, so expect some re-routes to be occurring over the next season to fix this.  There will also be some trails deliberately left off the DEC map because of this.  DEC and SMBA are working to obtain proper approvals from adjacent landowners to allow public access to these trail corridors.  However this effort will take some time so please be patient.  Lastly,DEC is working on improving the parking situation and is likely to open the clearing for parking.  DEC has plans to improve the access road and expand the clearing to accommodate the volume of cars expected.  However that will take time for resources to be available to make it happen.  DEC is developing a map with finalized trail names and as soon as its published, we’ll spread the word.

 Other changes at Daniels Road

The SMBA board has been working with DEC since the land transfer.  We recently had our first meeting with the new forester (Rich McDermott) and discussed the goals and concerns of SMBA and DEC.  Many things are unknown during this transition but we will continue to update the membership as things develop.  Both DEC and SMBA recognize that some of the changes might not be embraced with open arms, but for the short term we will need to take one step back in order to take two steps forward.  This much is clear: DEC is dedicated to mountain biking and plans to keep Daniels Road a mountain biking destination!  With this focus established, please keep in mind the DEC has to consider the multiple user groups and the general public now using the land, which is the driving force behind some of these changes.  We’re planning to hold a membership meeting in the near future so we can update folks on where things stand.  Keep your eyes peeled for information on that meeting.  We are very excited to have our trail network finally open and available to the public!

 Spring Trail Work Days

SMBA has several trail days scheduled for Daniels Road and Pittstown.  Volunteers are always needed, so please come swing some tools with us! If you think you may volunteer at some point during the year, you need to fill out the following DEC Volunteer Form prior to doing so: http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/lands_forests_pdf/indvolunteerapp.pdf As a new requirement with working on the Daniels Road Trails, this will also help the Trail Director plan for the days events and supplies (coffee, donuts, tools, etc.).  Email us the completed form at smba@saratogamtb.orgCheck out the website for more details, including Trail Director contacts and updates.

 Saturday May 10, 2014 (9:30 am) – Daniels Road State Forest

Sunday,  May 18 (9:00 am) – Pittstown State Forest   pittstownsf@saratogamtb.org

Sunday,  June 22 (9:00 am) – Pittstown State Forest   pittstownsf@saratogamtb.org

Saturday, June 7 (9:00 am) – Daniels Road State Forest

 Support your club

Purchase your 2014 membership!  Because SMBA is no longer paying for a lease, the 2014 membership pricing has been reduced accordingly. Please keep in mind, SMBA continues to purchase insurance and have administrative fees and expenses related to maintaining existing trails and building new trails (mainly tools, fuel, building materials, food and beverage for the trail crews, etc.). All of these expenses are supported by our membership dues.

 2014 memberships are sold exclusively via BikeReg.com either from SMBA’s website or in-store at Blue Sky Bicycles in Saratoga or at Elevate Cycles in Clifton Park.  Please note that in-store memberships are also purchased via BikeReg.com, so you’ll need a credit card to make the purchase. Sorry, but no cash or checks!

 See you on the trails!

-SMBA Board of Directors

Posted by: jmitchell on May 12, 2014 @ 7:37 am
Filed under: News