Hanson Hills

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Hanson Hills

Postby JonathanGennick » May 17th, 2012, 8:09 pm

I would be interested in talking to someone involved in building the Hanson Hills system. We are creating some trail here in Munising. Our terrain is challenging in that our hills are a big-heap-o-sand under a teeny-thin layer of vegetation. It occurs to me that Grayling is similar, and perhaps there is some wisdom that could be passed on to us about how to deal with such sandy conditions.
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Re: Hanson Hills

Postby JonathanGennick » May 18th, 2012, 12:45 pm

So.....Can anyone point me towards the people who built Hanson Hills?
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Re: Hanson Hills

Postby cmkovick » May 18th, 2012, 1:47 pm

Have you tried reaching out to the Trail Coordinator listed on the trail guide page for HH?
hansonhills@hotmail.com
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Re: Hanson Hills

Postby JonathanGennick » May 18th, 2012, 6:26 pm

cmkovick wrote:Have you tried reaching out to the Trail Coordinator listed on the trail guide page for HH?
hansonhills@hotmail.com


I was too thick-headed to even remember the trail guide. :mrgreen:

Thanks for slapping me upside the head about it, and for the email address.
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Re: Hanson Hills

Postby MudShine » May 21st, 2012, 6:02 pm

Apologies... just read this thread. Contact Justin at Hanson Hills http://www.hansonhills.org/
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He's been the guy leading the building etc since I started riding there in 2006. The Northern chapter put in hours out there rerouting some areas a few years ago and helped with the newest outer loop. Justin should be able to give you more insight and what they have been doing out there. Hope this helps and good luck with your sand. Sand is something we battle around the VASA singletrack as well. Last year we had to reroute an area that was the worst, but many areas remain dune-like. I am not sure of the solution... broom them? Try not to build anything too steep/fall-line... ?? Unfortunately, even heavy braking on relatively flat corners can break through the fragile topsoil. I suppose the one benefit to our sandy terrain is its amazing ability to absorb rainfall! Hardly ever an issue with NOT being able to ride after rain. Mud is rare! :)
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Re: Hanson Hills

Postby JonathanGennick » May 21st, 2012, 9:08 pm

Thanks. I had a good talk with someone named Jake earlier today.

Benching is something I'm apprehensive about. There are segments of trail we need to bench. That means removing the vegetation and exposing the sand. Of course, just riding will eventually expose the sand.

Drainage is great though. You're certainly right about that.
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Re: Hanson Hills

Postby Nelg » May 22nd, 2012, 9:54 am

JonathanGennick wrote:Thanks. I had a good talk with someone named Jake earlier today.

Benching is something I'm apprehensive about. There are segments of trail we need to bench. That means removing the vegetation and exposing the sand. Of course, just riding will eventually expose the sand.

Drainage is great though. You're certainly right about that.


We do very little bench cutting if any for the most part in this area. Some regions are lucky and have plenty of black soil which will handle it like Glacial Hills or Arcadia, but Hanson Hills isn't one of them. The majority of the building there takes place with rakes and weed wackers. We simply buzz the top layer of vegitation off and let the bikes do the rest. It also helps to stay under the cover of trees when at all possible so the trails don't get sun baked.

Do you have any top soil at all to work with?
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Re: Hanson Hills

Postby JonathanGennick » May 22nd, 2012, 10:14 am

Nelg wrote:
JonathanGennick wrote:Do you have any top soil at all to work with?


Thin, thin, so very thin. Were we are building reminds me very much of the terrain around Grayling. Just sneeze at the ground and you've got a sand pit. If I had to guess without going back up to measure, I'd say at most that we have an inch or two of duff and sandy soil, and then it's sand all the way down.

I have a few photos over on mtbr.com in the trail building forum. I'll see about posting some here during lunch.
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Re: Hanson Hills

Postby Nelg » May 22nd, 2012, 10:27 am

JonathanGennick wrote:
Nelg wrote:
JonathanGennick wrote:Do you have any top soil at all to work with?


Thin, thin, so very thin. Were we are building reminds me very much of the terrain around Grayling. Just sneeze at the ground and you've got a sand pit. If I had to guess without going back up to measure, I'd say at most that we have an inch or two of duff and sandy soil, and then it's sand all the way down.

I have a few photos over on mtbr.com in the trail building forum. I'll see about posting some here during lunch.


No need for photos, we know it all too well from VASA, Hanson Hills, Cadillac Pathway, etc. :( If you have taken the IMBA trail building class, use the grade formulas they give you and cut them in half. Bench cutting is pretty much out of the question and all your hill climbs will need to be long and very gradual.

It's totally frustrating to have lots of land to work with but crappy soil. You can still build on it, but you have a hard time building sustainable trail takes advantage of the elevtion changes. If you keep the trail mellow with the climbing, you'll have to do fewer re-routes in the future.
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Re: Hanson Hills

Postby JonathanGennick » May 22nd, 2012, 11:07 am

Nelg wrote:Bench cutting is pretty much out of the question and all your hill climbs will need to be long and very gradual.


How do you handle trail that is routed across steep side slopes? Do you just ride it on a tilt?

What about humpy ground? There's a good bit that we have raked that we can ride as-is. But there are some bad humps in places that need to be knocked down and smoothed over. Any issues there?
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Re: Hanson Hills

Postby Nelg » May 24th, 2012, 8:26 am

JonathanGennick wrote:
Nelg wrote:Bench cutting is pretty much out of the question and all your hill climbs will need to be long and very gradual.


How do you handle trail that is routed across steep side slopes? Do you just ride it on a tilt?

What about humpy ground? There's a good bit that we have raked that we can ride as-is. But there are some bad humps in places that need to be knocked down and smoothed over. Any issues there?


Typically we avoid steep slopes. On the ones we can't avoid we do the same treatment, no bench cutting, just rip the vegetation off with the trimmer and ride it in. Eventually it forms a narrow flat trail with some use. The bumps and humps we just roll over so they stay in one piece. You can try stripping the soil layer carefully, knocking down the hump and replacing the soil on top, but it usually breaks apart and becomes a sand bowl, especially if it's in an area exposed to sun.

If you keep it in the woods in the shade, avoid quick elevation changes and make all the turns swoopy and wide to prevent panic braking and skidding you can still make some fun trail.
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Re: Hanson Hills

Postby Wheel_Works » June 25th, 2012, 12:16 pm

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