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Thread: What has happened to Puriton Creek?

  1. #1

    Default What has happened to Puriton Creek?

    Been ten years since riding this trail and i must say things have changed. This used to be one of my favorite riding areas, i realized they built a new parking lot etc. So we headed up there for the first time this year. Anyhow we didnt drive more than 1 mile or so and reached the first mudhole which seemed almost impassible. We spent a better part of 3o minutes piecing together logs to try and make some sort of bridge. I got off the machines and walked thru the mud holes to check for depth, firmness and overall just busting thru them, I was shocked when i went almost up to the top of my hipwaders in total muck, keep in mind i am 75 inches tall so that is saying something.

    We made it past this mudhole only to find another mudhole about 3/4 of a mile down the trail that looked longer and worse than the last one. This is where the wife and kids said lets go somewhere else.

    Now here is the questions, What happened to this great riding area. I remember years ago this was almost like a highway and there was even a time when i met a geo tracker riding on this trail picking blueberries, no way in hell i would survive out there now. Has this trail gotten worse thru the years? Did i pick a bad time to ride it?

    Final thought would anyone be interested in meeting out their for a weekend and bringing chainsaws, cables, etc and simply building some decent bridge crossing across these bad areas. I really wanted to make it back to bolder creek but there was no way of doing it. Some other guys met us at the mudholes and couldnt believe themselves how bad it was. One guy wanted to build a ramp and jump across it but was talked out of it by his buddies. So would anyone be interested in getting together and building some wooden bridges in these bad areas? Thanks and look forward to hearing others imput. Also one final note, i am sure if i wanted to trailbreak new muck trails across more of the swamp one could eventually do that, but at what cost? I mean these mudholes where torn up something fierce so why keep expanding them?

  2. #2
    Member EagleRiverDee's Avatar
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    If you had gotten past the second mudhole you would have found most of the rest of the trail to have been fine. Puritan has the two mudholes in the beginning, then no real mud until just before Boulder Creek where it gets pretty swampy. There is a sweet spot in the first mudhole that actually runs pretty much diagonally through the middle of it, usually can make it first try if you know it's there. The second mudhole never gave us any trouble, but it has been exceptionally rainy this past June so I imagine that had an impact. The mudhole before Boulder is particularly challenging after it's been really rainy, but everything in between is usually pretty good.

    Puritan remains one of my favorite places to ride.

    There is already someone trying to get a permit to put in the bridge you are proposing. Permitting is required and I think all of us would love to see it happen.
    "If snowmachiners would adopt the habits of riding one at a time and not parking at the base of avalanche prone slopes, the number of fatalities would likely be whittled by at least a third, if not by half." ~ Jill Fredston, in the book Snowstruck, In The Grip Of Avalanches.

  3. #3

    Default Thanks dee

    I think it would be worthwhile for us to build a bridge across those two areas. Here is why, there is enough dead timber around there that cutting it down wouldnt require a permit to do. YOu are able to cut dead timber pretty much any place. i have also spoken to a gentlemen at the matsu trail board a while ago and he pretty much told me that if we wanted to construct something in regards to trail improvement it isnt a problem and they would be willing to help us out. I would be more than willing to get this all lined up if others want to come and donate some sweat.

    As far as bolder creek is concerned i wish i would have known about the second mud hole being pretty much the last. you are correct on the sweet spot, we bridged the middle and traveled across this with not to much of a problem. One guy had a souped up motocross atv and we helped him make it across a 2 wheel drive version at that. When we all made it to the second mud hole everyone pretty much said "f" this and headed back. Out thoughts was it will only get worse from here sort of thing. Next time we will push one but what is your take on the building?

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    Member EagleRiverDee's Avatar
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    So far as laying down dead timber I don't see any problem but what the other person (I forget who it is, off the top of my head) was looking at was a permit to put in a permanent bridge. My understanding is the permit is required in order to put a permanent structure in there and that there is some sort of a snag. There's several mentions of it in threads here...a search would probably yield info on who it is that is trying to get the permit and what the snag is.
    "If snowmachiners would adopt the habits of riding one at a time and not parking at the base of avalanche prone slopes, the number of fatalities would likely be whittled by at least a third, if not by half." ~ Jill Fredston, in the book Snowstruck, In The Grip Of Avalanches.

  5. #5

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    It was me, and I am still getting no response from the MSB. If anyone knows Bruce Paulson at the Borough, could you put a bug in his ear to return the calls from Tim Escher about the easement recording issue?

    As far as a temporary structure, go for it. Be aware, however, that the trail is a fav of large jeeps and other mud buggies that will tear most anything up. They tore up our temporary plank road we put in last summer after a couple of weeks.

  6. #6
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    If you start from the old trailhead by the bridge, you will skip those two mud holes. Its private property, but the trail is an easement.

  7. #7

    Default how is that part of the trail

    I see people parked there but i dont see where the trail is. Could you give me some more insight on this part of the trail. In other words are you simply breaking trail across a bunch of rocks, is it a rough ride, how many miles to the main river bottom etc. thanks i would appreciate any insight you might have on this.

  8. #8
    Member Rich_in_AK's Avatar
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    The trail connection from the easement near Puriton Creek bridge is very easy. Just keep going north up the hill , it will take you over one ridge then up on another ridge where it intersects with the main trail to Boulder. Go left there.

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    To maybe shed a little light on this matter. I met and talked to the man who owns the land near the Puritan Creek bridge. He was out walking his property that day. He has the land for sale and has it posted as private. He was not aware of any trail easement, so those using the property are trespassing. It seemed he was concerned about liability issues, as well as trying to sell the land, and wanted people to use the large trail head up the road.

  10. #10
    Member EagleRiverDee's Avatar
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    My understanding was the State built the new parking lot so that crossing the private land by the bridge would be unnecessary. I don't think "prescriptive easement" applies when another route exists that is legal to use. Landowners in that area are frustrated as it is with trespassers.
    "If snowmachiners would adopt the habits of riding one at a time and not parking at the base of avalanche prone slopes, the number of fatalities would likely be whittled by at least a third, if not by half." ~ Jill Fredston, in the book Snowstruck, In The Grip Of Avalanches.

  11. #11
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    Some friends and I looked into buying that piece of land a few years ago, the trail easement thing was an issue then. I guess its not now. Better use the new trailhead.

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