Public Service Announcement-
White Mountain National Forest: Rumney
Justin Preisendorfer, Recreation Manager;
“Construction on the parking lot connector trail has begun.”.
The White Mountain National Forest (WMNF) is happy to announce that construction has begun on the Rumney Rocks parking lot connector trail. This project has been in the works for a number of years and when completed will address the longstanding issue of foot traffic on Buffalo Road. Fees collected at WMNF parking areas such as Rumney Rocks are being used to fund the majority of the project cost and the contractor will begin mobilizing equipment within the week. Tree removal will immediately follow and once vegetation has been removed from the alignment the crew will begin constructing the trail surface. This will require rock removal via drilling and blasting in the areas where ledge extends close to the road surface. All work is scheduled to occur on weekdays and we’ll be making every effort to minimize the project’s impacts on climbers. Here are a couple things you can do to help the project and your experience at the crags go smoothly:
Check the WMNF and Rumney Climbers Association (RCA) websites regularly if you’re planning on visiting the area. We’ll be working with the RCA to post updates in advance of any changes or project milestones.
Respect all closures because they’re in place for your safety. While tree removal is occurring there may be short duration closures in the area of the Meadows directly above where crews are working. During this window (currently scheduled for the weeks of October 6-10 and 13-17) it’s best to head to one of the other crags and leave potential issues behind. There will also be closures of both parking lots and all crags within ¼ mile of the lots when the crew is conducting the blasting. We’re hoping that this will be limited to just a few days and we’ll know well in advance so we can spread the word. Stay tuned to the websites for updates.
Be efficient when driving and parking. We all know that the parking lots get maxed out most sunny October weekends. With construction equipment staged in a portion of the big lot space will be more limited than ever. Carpool with your partners and park like every vehicle counts because they do. And it probably doesn’t need to be said but don’t park anywhere other than the lots or you risk being towed!
Careful while you’re on the road. Buffalo Road will be reduced to one lane between the parking lots for much of the project and there will be numerous days when this section is closed to all traffic. When the road is closed it will be posted as such at both ends (by the library/town common and at the junction with Sand Hill Road). This doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t be able to access the climbing, just that the road between the lots is closed. Anticipate this issue and plan your approach/escape with it in mind. If you park in the big lot and want to climb at any crag other than the Meadows or Parking Lot Wall you’ll need to walk the perimeter of the construction area. At times this will be straightforward while other times you may need to wait until the crew says it’s safe to pass through. Expect delays if you’re planning on walking or driving and be extra careful when on foot due to the narrowed roadway.
Spread the word. Not everyone who will visit the crags over the next month will know what’s going on. Give them the skinny and encourage them to visit the RCA’s website for updates on this project and other area issues.
This morning at the preconstruction meeting there were attendees from the Rumney selectboard, emergency services, and road department. Everyone was very complimentary of the RCA and the climbing community in general. Let’s help preserve the reputation that has been well-earned! Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.
Justin Preisendorfer, Recreation Manager
White Mountain National Forest
> October 14th, 2014
FYI- Parking Lot Connector Trail Update: Further tree removal will be occurring this week. Anticipate possible lane closures while trees are being felled. There will likely be a safety zone around the cutting area. The Forest Service advises that pedestrians try and make eye contact with a contractor before crossing through any area under active construction so the workers are aware of your presence, and so they can guide or warn the operators as needed. Initial work will start from the main parking lot and will progress towards the small lot. Thank you!
> October 20th, 2014
Construction on the connector trail project has been delayed. However, the Forest Service expects work to resume soon with continued focus on the tree removal phase. The Forest Service doesn’t expect any lot closures for a while.
> October 29th, 2014
Connector Trail Update: This Friday the contractor will have a tree company working with a crane to perform additional tree removal. They will close a segment of Buffalo Road while this is going on. During this activity the parking lots and climbing areas will remain open. However, there will be obvious hazards to pedestrians, and we are being asked to avoid walking between the two lots while trees are being removed.
> October 30th, 2014
Important Message From Officer Brett Miller of the Rumney Police Department this morning — Buffalo Road will be closed between the two Rumney Rocks parking areas on Friday, October 31st between 8:00am – 5:00pm. The road will be closed for tree cutting in the White Mountain National Forest. This is part of the project to build a connector trail between the two parking areas to correct the safety issue of pedestrians walking along Buffalo Road.
> November 5th, 2014
Trail work update: Mechanical removal of rock is currently taking place on the trail. Temporary road closures should continue to be expected. Rumney is open to climbing but access to parking may be restricted. The area will be closed to climbing during blasting operations. We will post information on blasting related closures as soon as we receive word. Thank you!
> December 1st, 2014
USFS Connector Lot Trail Update: Climbing areas are open right now but are expected to close again when blasting resumes. Currently, blasting is expected to resume on Monday, December 8th. Stay tuned and thank you for your patience!
> December 13th, 2014
The contractor has made the decision to forego any future blasting on the trail. Recent project delays we, 2014re a combination of drilling rig mechanics and weather related issues. They’ve continued on with mechanical rock removal with good success.
Current restrictions that will be put in place for the duration of the trail project will include lane closures on the road and restricted access to the construction site. This will include the area immediately above the trail.
> December 2014
We now have a new connector trail from the large parking lot below the Parking Lot wall that leads under The Meadows and over to the small parking lot below the Main Cliff and Orange Crush trails!