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Welcome to Berm Creek. Here’s the berm. And here’s the creek you’ll end up in if you don’t use it.

For the past few weeks I’ve been building trails at Berm Creek, or I’ve been doing my best to. If you want to build good trails—sustainable trails, Berm Creek could be a case study in what not to do.

Take and gander, and you’ll find half baked retaining walls, poor drainage, and singletrack so skinny that your pedals hit the sides. Still, I’m learning fast, and with a little luck Berm Creek will have vastly improved by the Fall. Let me show you what I’ve built so far.

This is the first trail, aptly named Berm Creek. You start on this steep descent which throws you right into a tiny berm. You can really lean into it and it’s a lot of fun.

An optional line would be this rock garden, but I’ll only use that on special occasions.

After the berm is a little detour up the hill, a turn around this tree and finally a fork in the trail.

Right of the fork is Coax Climb. It’s too muddy to ride now.

To the left is a detour called Goodman Ledge. It has a switchback so tight that I’m not even sure it can be ridden. When it dries we’ll find out.

Either path takes you back to the trailhead.

This area after the berm is right next to a drainage pipe, so I need to do something about that. We’ll call it a creek crossing.

I’ve always had respect and appreciation for trail builders, but now it runs deeper. The more dirt I move here, the more bummed out I get about tire ruts and all the damage that occurs when the trails are ridden wet. I can only imagine what it’s like to have hundreds of other people riding my trails, without any regard for who maintains the place.

Of course I won’t need to worry about that. You may have figured out by now that Berm Creek is in my backyard. Still, I always seem to get lost here. Like every good trail system, Berm Creek needs a trail map.

The map doesn’t have elevation profiles or data, but it’s still pretty awesome. Awesome enough to have a permanent spot at the trailhead. For this, I’m cobbling something together out of wooden planks. To cut acrylic you need to score it with a blade, but I didn’t have much luck with that. The jigsaw was worse. Eventually I figured it out.

Now we’re in business.

These brown fiberglas markers are just like the ones in Pisgah. I got these stickers online too.

These trails are designed for bikes, and trail dogs. Nothing against ATV’s or Horses, but I don’t have the space or resources to deal with that. Tomorrow I’ll install my trail markers, and hopefully it will dry up enough to do some riding.

My markers are installed, but it rained again last night. According to the weather it’ll rain again today, but dry up by tomorrow afternoon. By then, I’ll have some visitors to ride the trails with.

My friends Brian and Alexander came by and helped me break in the trail. We had a lot of fun, and even encountered some challenges. I almost flew into the creek.

Now that the trails are worn in there are some things I’d like to change, and add, but all in all I think Berm Creek is off to a good start.

The real purpose of these trails is for testing. When making adjustments to a bike, I can have a quick romp to make sure everything feels right. You could say that these trails are just an extension of my shop.

What do you guys think? Have any of you built something like this in your yard? Do you maintain trails in your community? Let me know in the comments, and give me some insight into what to do next. Thanks for riding with me today and I’ll see you next time.

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