Trail Maintenance Q – draining a semi-permanant puddle

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  • Trail Maintenance Q – draining a semi-permanant puddle
  • towzer
    Member

    can you put boardwalk over it (or chicken wired plank etc)

    can you divert the feed of water that feeds the puddle (?? water bars in track etc)

    Murray
    Member

    How deep wouuld the trench be?

    Could you re-profile the area round the puddle so that it slopes downhill (at right angles to the trai?) rather than being a low spot with a trench.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    I add hardcore on the main ‘line’ through if possible for a more permanent solution – any ditch is just going to get clogged up.

    z1ppy
    Member

    If drainage won’t work, I found simply filling puddles with small(ish) branches, obviously laying them across the path & filling the hole if possible, is seemingly the best option.

    Spent some time doing this on particularly muddy patches to good & long term affect.

    Pukeko
    Member

    Bandito; I’m thinking drainage trench and then some branches like z1ppy suggests…

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    given it isn’t your land and therefore a larger scale mod isn’t really for you to decide, I’d go for the lowest impact solution first, and try putting a drainage channel in.

    It will probably block, but equally shouldn’t take much to keep clearing out every few weeks

    Premier Icon ChrisL
    Subscriber

    As others have already said, any drainage channel will eventually silt up. Making its trailside “mouth” much wider than you’d think and avoiding giving the channel steep sides will minimise this but it will still need clearing occasionally.

    Is water flowing down the track to this point or is it coming from off-trail?

    Premier Icon ads678
    Subscriber

    How big is the puddle? i.e. How wide? could you not just take out the ‘low point’ with some dug out material from round the edges of the trail, and force the puddle to one or both sides of the trail?

    Pukeko
    Member

    The ‘puddle’ is about 1m wide (same width as track) and about 3m – 4m long. We do not want to widen the track, but that is what is starting to happen as other riders in the area look at options to push around during winter.

    It is a general low spot in the trail with run in from the high side.

    We’ll give trench a go… Prob only option at this stage…

    Premier Icon ir_bandito
    Subscriber

    Cheers

    The puddle is perhaps 10′ long, about 2′ wide and gets to about hub-deep in the depths of winter. Approach is fairly soggy.
    There’s no obvious stream into it, it just fills from water seeping through the hillside. I presume there must be some sort fo small stream forming down the hill. Certainly a tral parrallel and about 50 yards down the hill crosses a few small streams.

    Due to the trees around it, there’s not really any option of diverting the trail.

    Pukeko – That’s probably the best option. Thought I’d open the question up on here to see what suggestions arise. Might also be worth shifting a few rocks up from further down the hill, to reinforce it.

    ninfan
    Member

    Why is it a puddle? is it because the its the lowest point and the surrounding trail is draining into it, or is the water coming from off the trail – if you can do something to divert the water that is filling it up, for example by creating a grade reversal upstream of it, then thats going to help

    otherwise, options in order:

    drainage channel
    dig it out on one side to shed water ‘like tipping a spoon’
    wheelbarrow full of hoggin

    Pukeko
    Member

    Shifting rocks?!?! sounds like another recovery session at pub then… 😀

    Have a look at “rolling grade dips” or “knicks” in BUilding Better Trails by IMBA. Might be of use.

    Premier Icon ir_bandito
    Subscriber

    So, one of the trails on my local patch features a fairly large semi-permanant puddle. The path goes through a slight low patch in the land on an other-wise gently sloping hillside. This summer, for the first time in 3 years, the puddle dried out, but as of last night its back, 6″ deep already. At the moment the ground underneath is still firm, but it won’t be long until its a gloop fest killing the flow of some otherwise excellent singletrack.

    So how best to remedy it?
    The obvious solution is to dig a small trench from the puddle, through to the open hillside so the water can go somewhere. But how can it be “reinforced” to ensure it stays like that? Any suggestions?

    For what its worth, the land is private, but there are a few paths through and its common knowledge that the landowner lets people use it for recreation.

    Premier Icon Sandwich
    Subscriber

    French Drain, line the trench (all 4 sides) with geo-textile fabric first to stop silting of the fill and it should go well.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Most people doing drains build a narrow ditch, and they tend to silt, especially if there’s not a good flow (whuch there won’t be in this case)

    So, depending on the ground, might work to relieve the whole side of the puddle so that it’s no longer a low point, essentially remove the entire problem rather than trying to drain it. Takes more work and looks a bit more destructive in the short term but will be permanent (don’t throw the spoil into the hole, it’s tempting but it’ll not work, it’ll just make mud.)

    Van Halen
    Member

    not many experienced trail builders here.!

    Fill in puddles don’t drain them. Otherwise They just get worse.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Nah. Filling in wet puddles without a good base is pretty much the worst option here.

    Premier Icon Trekster
    Subscriber

    This;

    Was turned into;

    By creating a sump on the upside, digging a trench and sinking some drainage pipe to run water to down side of trail;

    Appreciate you will not have the luxury of the equipment we had access to and you are limited being on private ground. I would suggest being careful with what you do, landowner may be OK with you riding on his land but they can take a dislike to this if you start digging. Is he approachable?

    What we have done in the past on our “secret/cheeky” trails is to dig out the silt from the boggy bit, find some rocks for bottoming and then some good soil for topping which was then “tamped/whacked” hard by a home made “tamper” fashioned from the style of a roadmans tool ie piece of 6in/sq x 1/2in thick steel plate!!

    carlphillips
    Member

    Massive kicker just before the puddle…. No need to thank me 🙂

    core
    Member

    Depending what you’re allowed to do I’d agree, dig out/remove silt/soggy mud, get some bigger stones & rocks in the bottom, then top with finer gravel/soil & compact.

    Premier Icon Trekster
    Subscriber

    Massive kicker just before the puddle…. No need to thank me

    😆
    That started off as a wee puddle about 15yrs ago and matured into a pond! The trench method had been applied over the years but it just got deeper and deeper as riders skidded round it in summer(on a corner)and then rode round it in winter!

    Fixed this time last yr…

    That hole and a few yards of trail before it swallowed up 20tonnes of material 😮

    Edric 64
    Member

    I would leave the puddle it`s a feature of your trail .In some woods near us someone kept filling in a rooty wet hole that was a challenge to ride without a dab and every time we returned it to its challenging state .The shitty wet bits are features of mountain biking !!

    Van Halen
    Member

    northwind. you have to keep adding material. if it sinks you need to add more. its a lot of effort and time consuming but its the best way. if its really porridgey at the base you may need to dig it out first. but shedloads of material is the only good way forward.

    with treksters problem above they should have left it off camber to drain better. off camber is not a bad thing. tricky yes but necessary and part and parcel of mtb riding.

    Premier Icon Kona TC
    Subscriber

    Dig a small drainage trench, when its silts up/or next time you there and there is a puddle use a stick or similar to unblock the puddle.

    Low impact approach that nobody will be worried or get concerned about

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Van Halen – Member

    northwind. you have to keep adding material. if it sinks you need to add more. its a lot of effort and time consuming but its the best way.

    Nah, lots of work over a longer term, invasive, and won’t neccesarily fix the problem if it’s seeps rather than water running onto the trail. It’s a viable option if you’ve no lower ground to drain to but it’d be about the last approach we’d use.

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