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Author Topic: Sinking Springs Section  (Read 8124 times)
Buckeye
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« on: February 13, 2011, 04:45:13 PM »

Just hiked a bit of the BT at Fort Hill.  On my way to Fort Hill, I decided to watch for the blazes along Ohio 41 from south of Sinking Springs, turning onto Ohio 124, and turning onto the Tanyard Road, which is the way the BT leaves the Fort Hill area.  I have to say, that while I 100% understand that this association is organized and managed by volunteers, we really need to do a few things this year to get our trail back in order.

First, the section that is on Ohio 41 is far too busy for hikers and backpackers to feel safe.  Between traffic and sharp curves, someone is going to get hurt.  Not sure where to re-reroute the trail, but it needs some serious looking into.

Second, the blazing is haphazard along Ohio 41.  At times there will be no blazes for several hundred yards.  We cannot assume that all folks using the BT will buy the sections maps, the point of blazes is so that one doesn't need a map.  There are several intersections that one would have to guess where the trail goes.  It stays on Ohio 41 through the area I am talking about, but a person without a map would have no clue if the trail continues ahead or turns.

Third, we really need a course on how to paint a blaze.  I saw short and squat blazes, blazes that were not rectangles, just a widely inconsistent system of marking.  The blazes within Fort Hill, all solid, looking good.  But the ones along the roads to the south, not great.  It would be great for us to have some sort of flexible template (for the various sizes of trees and poles) to use when painting blazes so that they all look uniform.

And last, some blazes have not been repainted in years.  I saw a couple that were nearly white from sun fading.  With Spring around the corner, we need every maintainer to get out and redo all their sections.

Buckeye
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« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2011, 05:36:13 PM »

I'll be doing that section in the next few months so thanks for the heads up on traffic.

I noticed that Cresote on electric poles fade the blue paint to white or gray as was the case in Dayton.  The LBTL trail uses white blazes painted on aluminum strips loosely nailed to trees.
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Buckeye
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« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2011, 07:40:36 PM »

I am certain that some of the white looking blazes were a result of sun and creosote, but that means that maintainers need to get out there more often and redo those blazes knowing how quickly they will fade.

And yes, watch yourself along the road.  There are some hilly sharp turns and a driver is not going to be able to see you until they are practically on top of you.  This would be a case of not walking against traffic at times, but walking on the outer portion of a curve, to give those drivers a few more moments to see hikers walking along.

Buckeye
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Poppie
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2011, 02:25:56 PM »

Busy hiking the circuit, so I have not adopted a section of trail yet.  I have, however, scheduled the circuit hikes around the location of the work parties.  Looking forward to having my own piece of dirt someday that I can cherish and maintain.

Still not sure how I became the circuit guy.  All I did last year was ask Andrew who else was hiking the circuit.  He responded by telling me to put my hikes on the web site and others would join.  The next thing I know, Chris and John are telling me that "I am the circuit guy".  I try to avoid Andrew when I see him.

I fear that I have become obsessed with the circuit.  However, my Psyc sells me that it is a passion not an obsession.  Every "old goat" need a passion.
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Andrew
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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2011, 12:03:18 PM »

Hey Poppie, you're right watch out for Andrew.  Never met someone I couldn't figure out something they could do for the BT/BTA.  Thanks for being willing, only do it if you're having fun.
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kathyonbt
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« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2011, 04:43:59 PM »

Hey, all,

Ten days ago walked the section from Peebles to Davis Memorial.  In other words, over Tolle Hill.
I understand that part of it is private property (I went over north to south) but I would have appreciated more blazes.
The north side (next to the occupied trailer) is heavily eroded and I wasn't sure I was on the trail until I got to the top of the hill and walked east for a distance (and found an old blaze).  I think I may have seen one or two on the way up.  I turned around to look behind me and was unable to find a turn blaze for the drop down on the north side - I probably would have thought it was just a gully.  However, if you missed the turn coming from the south/west, there is a sign for No Trespassing just a bit on.

I walked along the ridge, occasionally finding old blazes, but not often enough for my comfort level.
Figured out the drop down on the south side between distance and a faint blaze downslope.
Very disconcerting.  Thank goodness for my GPS.

I realize it's got to be a real pain to get paint up there and make the blazes, but the hill could really benefit from a renewal.  I'm generally a solo hiker and was praying I wouldn't get lost up there.
Thanks,
Kathy
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kathyonbt
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« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2011, 05:53:42 PM »

Hello, all,
Have been hiking the Sinking Spring section, in bits and pieces, this spring.
As a general rule, things have been pretty good.  Had a pleasant hike this morning up from Bell Hollow Road to complete a piece I missed when I got lost on the skid road.
Conditions from there to Fort Hill have been good, trail easily followed (my fault I missed the turn blaze coming CCW from 41).  Little poison ivy, greenbriar, or rosa.

The section of trail from pt 2 to pt 4 was in good shape when I was on it three weeks ago.  Pretty easy to follow CW except for one hard to find turn blaze about 0.3 miles from Greenbriar.

This afternoon I hiked from DryBone toward pt 7.  This section of the trail was problematic.  Blazes seemed to lead in strange directions and one had to be careful to look for evidence of travel as well as blazes.  Thankfully, the blazes were generally easy to catch.  But you have to look carefully in a few spots.
I was pleased when I got to Turner Hill and found the trip up had been 0.9 miles.
After a rest, I continued toward Lapperel.  I came down off of Turner Hill and, about a mile after the rest at Turner Hill came across a barrel lifted off the ground to my left.
I ran out of blazes and into fairly impenetrable trees, understory.  I couldn't find a way through or around and ended up turning around and going all the way back to my car by road.
Unfortunately, I can understand why Captain Blue gave up and walked around this section of trail, although he missed some nice trail.


Hope you all get where you're going,
Kathy
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« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2011, 06:16:22 PM »

Poppie is looking at adopting a portion of that area somewhere around 7.  I need to hike from Good seed farm to point 1.
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« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2011, 09:49:49 PM »

There are parts of the trail in the Sinking Springs section that I would consider abandoned. By abandoned I mean areas of the trail that have not seen maintenance in years. The trail is overgrown, the footpath has disappeared or almost disappeared, and limbs and fallen trees have covered the trail. These are areas are not hike-able. You have to fight to get through them. Most hikers will give up and turn around. I would like to see trail maintenance become a priority for the Sinking Springs section.
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Poppie
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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2011, 03:49:09 AM »

I am going to adopt somewhere between point 7 and 9 or all.  I plan to go over next week as the scouts are camping near the Red Rock Preserve in the West Union Section.  Any one interested in hiking the area with me.  Any one interested in helping me find the trail there again.  If I am the maintainer, the trail there will be called the "Captain Blue Trail", unofficial or officially.
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kathyonbt
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« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2011, 03:32:48 PM »

Hello, all,
  Gave it one last try today on the trails in Sinking Spring and I'm taking roads around the last bit I need.

  At this point, I consider everything between Auerville Road (Point 4 at the West end of the Jim Sprague Trail) and Bell Hollow Road (Point 11) essentially abandoned and impassable.
  The trail can be followed for a period of time and then either blazes or traveled route disappear.  I have not particularly enjoyed my time through this area, unfortunately.  A reroute should be posted.  Beware the pack of dogs on New Fain just west of the town.

  I understand high summer is a difficult time to walk trails and dread everytime I see daylight coming through the canopy and I've been doing this for a while.

  Happy hiking to you all, I'll be off onto Scioto Trail in a couple of weeks.
Kathy
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« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2011, 03:58:16 PM »

I had a rough time in the Sinking Springs section too. I agree with your assessment that parts of the trail are abandoned and impassable. People need to see these areas to believe how bad they are.

Folks like to claim the BT is the longest continuous circular footpath in the nation. But the reality is the circle is broken. It can't be hiked continuously in its present state. This needs to change.

The first sentence of the BTA mission statement is: The Buckeye Trail Association is the leader in building, maintaining, protecting and promoting use of Ohio’s longest scenic hiking trail for our citizens, communities and partners.

I have suggested that the BTA hire people to clear and re-open this area if the volunteers can't or won't do it. The volunteer model is clearly not working in the Sinking Springs section and for other parts of the BT south of I-70. A non-profit should not be afraid to spend money on their mission.


(Note: These statements are solely the opinion of the author.)


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« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2011, 07:05:19 PM »

I hiked west from Point #9 (Dry Bone Rd.) to Sinking Springs in December and east from Point #9 to Pike Lake in January, both solo, and I honestly don't recall much trouble following the blazes. I would attribute it mostly to no leaves on understory vegetation. In the wintertime, it's easier to see both the path and the blazes looking straight ahead. Yesterday at Tar Hollow, I had to concentrate on looking down through the understory vegetation to see evidence of a footpath, so I was much less attentive to where the blazes were.
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« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2011, 12:30:35 PM »

I'll give you a hand sorting out the trail since I need to finish that portion from Good Seed farm north.  While I'm busy preparing my house for sale, I do have an ebay Pulaski on its way.
 

I am going to adopt somewhere between point 7 and 9 or all.  I plan to go over next week as the scouts are camping near the Red Rock Preserve in the West Union Section.  Any one interested in hiking the area with me.  Any one interested in helping me find the trail there again.  If I am the maintainer, the trail there will be called the "Captain Blue Trail", unofficial or officially.
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