Morris County - Tourne County Park

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Morris County - Tourne County Park

Postby jorbanorm » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:09 pm

As identified in the meeting minutes from the Morris County Park Commission ( MCPC), off road cycling in the Tourne was being perceived as having a negative impact. The quoted excerpt from the minutes is as follows: "Acknowledging that off‐road bicycling is beginning to have a negative effect on the trails at the Tourne County Park" ( refer to the link below). The fact that this statement was recorded indicates that there was a unanimous agreement within the committee. ... eeting.pdf

In response, JORBA met with representatives of the MCPC to find out what the negative effects were. While the representatives recognized that all users have some impact, and trail design plays a role, they did not like the proliferation of rogue trails located on the top of the Tourne. It was observed by MCPC employees that these trails were largely used by and made by off road cyclists, and that cyclists were exiting these trails onto the designated trail system in an unsafe manner. The representatives emphasized that only the Ogden Trail was open to biking, yet all trails were being used, and while they have been tolerant up to this point, the safety concerns and environmental impacts would prompt them to take action.

As a preemptive measure to avoid closure of the entire park to off road cycling, JORBA offered to help assess the design and routing of the rogue trails, and mitigate as needed. Another meeting, on site, was held in which both JORBA and MCPC representatives observed first hand, the rogue trails. It was clearly evident by the 20 foot long skid marks in the gravel, that the trails were routed too steeply and at the wrong angle to exit into the gravel pathway. It was also observed that the routing followed the “fall line” and did not meet IMBA standards. As a result, the trails could not be adopted into the trail system.

The future of riding at the Tourne depends on the actions of the cycling community. We suggest that riders visit this park with the intention of enjoying a convenient, cross county trail experience, where interactions with hikers, joggers and dog walkers can be expected.

With your support, JORBA can work to influence trail policy and expand riding opportunities in the Tourne.
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