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  • VanHo

    Anybody have any inside info on what the end game is with the new section of the VanHo trail near Marcy dam? I don't remember the old trail being all that bad, and the work around is quickly becoming very Seward-like. Yesterday afternoon a lot of it was ankle deep mud and there's already spur paths developing around it.
    “Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.” - Ed Viesturs

  • #2
    ​The new trail runs beside the old one which looks like a brook-bed. It was rerouted after Tropical Storm Irene (2011) from the VanHoevenberg/AvalanchePass junction to about 2/3 of the way to the high-water bridge (the last third has some nice turnpiking). It was bone-dry last Wednesday; compacted earth and partially exposed roots. It was muddier earlier in the season but nothing worse than the Van Hoevenberg from the Loj.

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    • FlyFishingandBeer
      FlyFishingandBeer commented
      Editing a comment
      Oh man. You're going to love it. A lot of it was cut along a slope on very soft soil and it appears to be bypassing a section that wasn't that bad to begin with.

      This is why I'm wondering if there's any future development planned for it.

    • Hear the Footsteps
      Hear the Footsteps commented
      Editing a comment
      Like Trail Boss, I take the Squirrel-crossing. Much better 90% of the time. The 10% is at high water, bad ice, or spring melt.
      Don

    • FlyFishingandBeer
      FlyFishingandBeer commented
      Editing a comment
      Normally I would too, but I was taking my older dog on a loop around the park (no peaks) and she's becoming a little clumsy at negotiating certain obstacles, like rock hopping.

  • #3
    Was perfect on Thursday of last week. No mud at all.
    HPHikingmoo

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    • #4
      It was a total mess earlier this month. Took a while to figure out the squirrel-crossing reference. But I found a couple of articles from September 2011 that cleared it up. I'll definitely check it out next time through.

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      • Trail Boss
        Trail Boss commented
        Editing a comment
        Hmm. The photo in the blog post shows a blue trail marker and an incline on the far side. I don't know where that was taken but the "squirrel-crossing" I've used is unmarked. In addition, the only noticeable incline is the western bank and that photo doesn't look like it (to me). Odd.

      • sendtomaz
        sendtomaz commented
        Editing a comment
        I assumed the sign was there temporarily until the bridge was built. The first article mentions an island crossing 1.8 miles from the Loj which seems to be referring to this area (https://ridewithgps.com/routes/24484067).

        The second article mentions "two sections separated by a little spot of land" so they both seem to be referring to the same crossing. Don't know if the picture is accurate but as you state it shows a blue sign on the far bank which seems to suggest it was taken at the 2011 temporary crossing.

      • Trail Boss
        Trail Boss commented
        Editing a comment
        That must be the case because the island is part of the squirrel-crossing I know. Definitely no sign or markers since they built the bridge a year after Irene.

    • #5
      Apparently there's more work scheduled for that area in September, but no clues as to what yet. Hopefully this new work-around is one of their focal points or its going to become another sub-alpine bog within a couple of years.

      http://adk46er.org/trail-crew.html
      “Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.” - Ed Viesturs

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      • Trail Boss
        Trail Boss commented
        Editing a comment
        OK, if they've diverted traffic away from the stairs then maybe they plan to rebuild them?

      • FlyFishingandBeer
        FlyFishingandBeer commented
        Editing a comment
        This was my initial thought when I came to the closed section of trail, but they've really put a pretty substantial (in some spots) amount of effort into the new section for a temporary re-route. My other wild and crazy idea was that this section is a temporary re-route but will eventually be home to a relocated campsite or two.

      • Natlife
        Natlife commented
        Editing a comment
        Not only that, but they dismantled all stairs on the old section and put some efforts in turning over some sizeable rocks and roll them a little bit everywhere in the path.

    • #6
      I would love to see them close the Van Ho for 1+ years to let it recover somewhat.
      46er #9404
      Pics: https://www.flickr.com/photos/145945713@N02/
      http://www.athikerpictures.org/syste...jpg
      https://smokebeard.wordpress.com/

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      • FlyFishingandBeer
        FlyFishingandBeer commented
        Editing a comment
        I rarely take it anymore. While its a little longer, the walk to the dam from the S. Meadows trailhead always feels faster and its wide enough to never have to worry about traffic jams. I used to enjoy all the energy and "prepping for battle" feeling around the HPIC in the morning, but lately I've preferred the reverent quiet at the truck trail TH.

    • #7
      Originally posted by All Downhill From Here View Post
      I would love to see them close the Van Ho for 1+ years to let it recover somewhat.
      ​You're not the first person who has mused about "vacations" for trails. However, there's plenty of evidence indicating one year is far too short for tangible results.

      ​One example is the short section of the Van Hoevenberg east of Marcy Dam. It's a new trail that was created not long after Irene (2011). It's now 2017 and the old trail remains visible and largely unchanged (a brook-bed) since it was brushed in.

      ​Best bet is to harden the existing trails. Turnpiking, boardwalks, steps, etc whatever is needed to keep people on the straight and narrow to discourage then from making wider and wider detours around perceived hurdles (like mud/slabs/ledges).




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