Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,660 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just read an article pointing out the damage trail braiding (going around a trail obstacle) does to most of our off road trails. The writer ended by saying "if you can't go through an obstacle stay home".
OK I think thats a bit harsh, over time and use some obstacles become impassable. Mud holes turn into great places to make an FJ disappear, small rock gardens turn into rock hell holes only passable by insanely modified 4x4's.
But the fact remains they damage trails and make us look bad to hikers etc... so what to do? The most obvious answer is to try your best to go through the obstacle, drive slowly into water on the trail, going fast is fun but just digs that hole deeper and use an spotter. when ever needed.
I know that here in the east the State Forest service will once a year maintain the trails, but with misuse a trail can get trashed surprisingly fast. Would be interested in what people/clubs have done to address this problem.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,204 Posts
The guys I run with call these social trails & they do get completely out of hand sometimes & make the place look a mess. We 95% of the time go right through the middle. The same applies when I back pack . I will go straight through the middle. I have been at the site of a down tree or mud hole that looks like you drove 150 trucks all over to get around the obstacle. As to the other 5% of the time if there is a well worn existing social trail I will choose it over a 5 foot deep mud hole. I think its as you said use some common sense & be respectful of the outdoors. There are many out there that would love nothing more than to close down our sport & roads we use. Lets not give them any more reasons.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,409 Posts
A) Try not to be the first to do it. Once you start, it's like an automatic okay for everyone else to do it. Don't be that guy.
B) If with a group, communicate that beforehand. Unless it's impossible, stay the trail.
C) With really popular trails (like the Rubicon at places like Miller Lake), sponsor clubs have been building obstacles and blockades to go off-trail.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,688 Posts
There's a big difference between going around a decaying obstacle that has become impassable, and some more-beer-than-gas wheeler in a purpose-built buggy out there looking to tear up as much Earth as they can before their truck breaks down (and it will break, that's half the point).

In Colorado we see this when the hikers get mad if a trail is wider than one person's walking path. Not only does that discriminate against bicycles -- two of them can't possibly pass each other on a trail 24 inches wide without one of them touching a blade of grass -- but it also discriminates against any traffic walking the other direction. If the mountain can survive a 24 inch wide trail, it can survive a 48 inch one. A hundred million years from now, they'll both be rivers anyway.

Point being, the people who really really hate the trail being 2 trucks wide in a spot to avoid an obstacle most likely hate the fact that the trail is even 1 truck wide anyway. In many cases I've run a trail again a year later only to see that the Forest Service has jackhammer'd out the obstacle and put it back to normal. And then the trail goes back to one lane, gladly.

I know it's a little subjective to judge the whole thing on intent/malice, but in the FJ community I've much more often seen someone over-react to running over a blade of grass than someone else maliciously start doing donuts on permafrost. While I'm sure it happens, my experience has been that people who take care of their vehicles tend to take care of nature too. Or, at least, minimize their damage to it.

The "if you can't go through an obstacle stay home" concept would apply as trail leader when somebody shows up with an under-prepared truck on a very hard trail. But I'd more likely sell it as "you'll damage your truck" to convince them to leave.
 

·
Admin
Joined
·
6,588 Posts
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top