Blue Hills Trail CONDITIONS
Good fall color. Good hiking and biking throughout the trail system. A small segment of the East Side trails still needs mowing (look at the mowing report below). As of September 1st, THE ENTIRE TRAIL SYSTEM has been cleared of downed trees resulting from the devastating December 2022 ice storm. Click here for maps showing the open trails. Trails involved in logging this past year have a dirt surface rather than grass (see logging notes under 'Important Updates').
Insect activity is low.
1-Logging on the West Side between intersections Y & Z is done for now.
2-Autumn 2022, loggers cut a large timber sale on the East Side. It's probably wise to avoid hiking those trails in all but very dry weather. Click here for a map showing the involved trails.
April 30: damp leaf top dusting
grooming & MOWING
Rusk County Trail Association
April 27, 1999 8:00 PM
Meeting called to order
by Jan Paulsen, president
Officers: Carolyn Chatterton, Craig Henson, Jan Paulsen.
Members: Dave Borman, Howard Chatterton, Dick Gralewicz, Dave Olsen, Pete Olson, Tom Paulsen, John Ziemer.
Non-members: Andy Albarado (Rusk County Economic Developer).
- Old Business: website report
- New Business: rate for reimbursement for grooming
- Review status of committee projects
- Election of officers
Tom Paulsen plans to continue with the management of the website, and at no cost to the club. He reported that initially we were receiving about 10 visitors/day, this leveled off at about 20 visitors/day, but during peak ski season it reached 150 visitors per day just prior to our race. Email comments have been received from distant locations (California, Idaho, Missouri) and have been very complimentary re: the trail system.
Tom managed to solicit five annual web-page subscribers this year: AmericInn (Ladysmith), AmericInn (Rice Lake), Blue Hills Inn Supper Club (Weyerhaeuser), Riverbrook Bike & Ski Shop (Spooner), and Tee-Away (Ladysmith). For each business he designed a web-page at the RCTA address, or placed a link to their already existing website. Visitors of the RCTA homepage may link to these pages looking for lodging, gear or restaurants. Pete Olson suggested a money-making opportunity that may be available through Amazon.com. Tom agreed he would look into that as an option. It was also stated that information related to the Log Jam bike race would be posted on the RCTA homepage when available from Dave Borman.
Reimbursement for our grooming services: Jim Kurz submitted a request to increase the hourly rate from $10 per hour to $12 per hour. After brief discussion a motion was made and approved by all present to grant this request.
Blue Hills Ascent Committee
In general, John Ziemer reported the race to be a success this year despite the weather. There was discussion about changing the race course for several reasons. One idea was to make it simpler to attract more skiers. It was all mentioned that we consider making it a longer race. The distance of the High School race was also discussed. No changes were decided, yet. There are some extra shirts from this year's race and will be used next year.
Blue Hills Trail Committee
- The Warming House is complete and was a huge success this winter. There were many nice comments in the guest book from around the state, country and abroad. The heating worked very well and was of reasonable cost. There are a few needs and wants relative to the Warming House: screens, sanding, donor sign, landscaping, additional tables, additional grills, and a hand-made wooden door from Lee Westlund.
- The pit toilets need some minor maintenance. They may need to be pumped out this summer. The women's toilet house needs: painting on the inside, vents, and a front door window. Both men's and women's probably should be painted outside.
- The parking area needs some signage and gravel. It was suggested that the bulletin board be moved to make a better view of the Warming House. Additional parking is needed at the West-side trailhead.
- The trail needs include dozing and bridges. Seven areas on the East-side were reviewed by Carolyn Chatterton as needing bridges and all present voted in favor of building these bridges. The RCTA will purchase the supplies, Jump River Electric has generously donated poles, and we will solicit Paul Teska and the Wisconsin Conservation Corps to do the construction (soon). Other trail needs include water diversion, seeding, signage and maps. These will be worked on throughout the summer by members.
High School Trails Committee
The Ladysmith High School Trails were successfully lighted this year beginning the 18th of December, concluding the 17th of March. Pete Olson and others felt that the current lighting was plenty sufficient and that addition of more was unnecessary. The sodium vapor lights all survived the winter weather, and the poles showed little evidence of frost heave. The needs for the High School Trails include some leveling and spreading of bark. In speaking with Pete, Jackie Pederson expressed interest in organizing youth skiing. Pete mentioned the need to recognize sponsors/donors of the lighted loop with signs. The High School is considering logging of the trails area.
Log Jam Race Committee
- Dave Borman reported the date of this year's race to be Sunday, the 13th of June. The race will be financed and managed in conjunction with the Ladysmith Jaycees again this year. Again, the race will be part of W.O.R.S. as the 3rd in the series this year. New this year, Dave plans to have Saturday evening and Sunday morning registration.
- One of the biggest problems last year was housing for the racers. This was mostly due to occupancy by pipeline workers and shouldn't be as much of a problem this year. Mt. Senario has agreed to allow rustic camping on their property again this year. Dave also suggested we may be able to allow camping in the fields near the finish line if these field aren't used for farming.
- Dave has purchased insurance for the race already. He suggested that the club consider using the same company for the Blue Hills Ascent. Dave has decided to delete the solicitation of race sponsors this year.
- Last year there were 720 racers and we plan to see at least as many this year. This is one of the larger races in the W.O.R.S. In order to prepare for the race, Dave plans to organize several work days. Help from members will be solicited via e-mail and phone contact, and those interested in helping are encouraged to contact him. The chairs for the race are going to be the same: John Ziemer, Kids race; Pete Olson, Course manpower; Lisa Borman, Registration; and Jim Kurz, Finish Line. There are plans to change the course a bit by adding some new trails. Also, there is hope to move the finish line depending on the use of the fields for farming.
Sisters' Farm Trails Committee
The City of Ladysmith has hired Bill Dixon to widen the trails. The Bombi worked well this winter for grooming. Some new single track trails have been added by area riders, but Dave Borman urges riders to use caution due to the technical requirements of these additions. A power brusher has been purchased to help keep the trails clear for bike riding this summer. Other hand equipment is needed and Dave suggested that the club purchase a rotary-mower to pull behind a four-wheeler. This could be used for the High School Trails, Sisters' Farm Trails and the Blue Hills Trails. All present agreed this would be useful, and Dave will look into cost and compile a list of other needed hand tools. The need for restrictions on horse use in the winter was voiced.
Election of of New President & Vice President
Craig Henson resigned as Secretary/Treasurer. Lori Larsen of Ladysmith has already expressed interest in taking this position. A nomination for her was unanimously accepted. Jan Paulsen was again voted in as President (unopposed) and Carolyn Chatterton was also again voted in as Vice President (unopposed).
A Listing of Active Committees
- Banquet Committee
- Blue Hills Ascent Committee
- Blue Hills Trail Committee
- Equipment Committee
- High School Trail Committee
- Log Jam Committee
- Sisters' Farm Trails Committee