There’s a new trail being developed at South Mountain Emmaus. VMB member Mark Bowman is working with the Wildlands Conservancy and local volunteers to make it happen. We pulled him off the trail and made him answer a few questions to get the details on the rocky, swervy new singletrack.
New trail. Sweet! Where is it?
Top of the Wildlands Conservancy South Mountain Preserve (what we call South Mountain Emmaus/SME) on the east side of the power line, across from existing Mountain Top trail (yellow blazes).
Part of this trail will replace the Log trail. Is that going away?
Log trail has existed for at least 10 years (part of it is a road that is at least 100 years old) but was never on the actual map because we were aware that part of it left the Conservancy's property. That property owner is now about to harvest timber, which means that the existing log trail will soon dead end in the middle of the woods.
I met with the Conservancy to discuss rerouting it, both to keep it on their property and to expand its length. We were able to keep about half of the existing log trail, including the "expert" downhill part that was the signature of the existing trail. Then we created a new beginner/intermediate segment to bypass the expert section (this part is already completed) to allow better access for all riders as well as make the loop rideable in both directions.
There is a band of rocks (the new trail goes above and below it) that is about 30 to 40 yards wide by 200 yards long which should be a great new feature in the Lehigh Valley.
So the Wildlands Conservancy has supported this?
They have been involved with every step of this and have supported it since day one.
So how long is the new trail?
I think it will end up at about 1.8 miles.
If you had to describe it in a tweet, what would you write?
The new log trail sticks to the flavor of the existing trail system - fast and twisty with lots of rocks and lips to pop off of, with some seriously technical rock gardens.
What everyone wants to know is, when will it be completed?
I guess that depends on how much snow we get this winter. One or two more build days with a good crew will probably finish most of the heavy work.
When does the closure of old log start?
As soon as the new log trail is finished, or sooner if the log harvest begins.
How can people help?
Keep your eyes peeled here for the next build day.