fastest way to make singletrack?


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I was out exploring the acreage behind my house today on my trials bike, i'm assuming there's 5,000+ acres there (8 square miles at least according to google maps). it's a variety of scrub/trees/overgrown briars/some open sections/some marshes, and a bunch of ponds. should i just go back and walk out a few miles of trails with a machete? or is there a faster way? i thought if i just went back and rode every day a consistent path it would probably make a nice trail, but i can't get through many sections on anything but a trials bike as of now..i tried to follow deer trails where i could, but they all kinda deadend in briar patches where they sleep...

Now you're speaking my language. My best experience building trail involves a good set of hiking boots and a roll of loggers ribbon. Hang a nice long 12-18" strip of ribbon from trees or bushes where you can see it. I generally walk out in a direction that will be passable by a bike when the bushes are gone, or cut back. Once you hang your ribbon come back with loppers and a machete and get rid of the junk in your way. Then come on back with your bike and see if you can get through and run it in. It usually takes a good day to burn in a 1 mile chunk of trail. It is a ton of work, so you need friends to help if you want to make much headway. Having 8 square miles of turf to build trail on sounds like a great opportunity though!
machete or ditch/kaiser blade? i would think the long reach of the kaiser blade would help - i'm gonna route around anything more than 2" around or so. alot of the hillsides are super loose right now from all the detritus, and the trials bike is not good for burning in since it leaves almost no footprint. nice for stealth, but not good for leaving a trail..
you might take a look at one of those 12 inch folding saws too. good for taking down small branches and stuff.
I'm doing the same thing in our property in Roanoke rapids NC. 240 acres some farmed ,a mix of different size trees and super thick brush in some places.

were using machetes ,loppers , chainsaws , and I bought a Husqvarna brush cutter/clearing saw . Even at this its slow going ,mainly because I'm doing most of it alone , goes much faster with a couple people helping . One cut the big stuff ,someone follow to cut high branches & vines that seem to tie six trees together once you cut them , and another person to get the junk out the trail.

heres a video of what I bought
Step 1. Make a path while you are on your bike.
Step 2. Follow the path once again while you are on your bike.
I've put on enduro's , trail lay out is tiring work but lots of fun when your done.Loggers ribbon (pink) and a set of good lopers. Walk it trim it ride then trim again trust me you will think it is perfect walking but once on the bike it can get pretty tight.It does take a while took me 2 months working almost every night to lay out 25 miles of trail.It was very thick lots of trimming involved.Get miles of new trail laid out and we will come help you burn it in.:D
The best way we found is you really need two or more people. Three is the best.

Once agreed on the path to be taken 1st guy ties ribbon, next guy has a set of sharp loppers and the third guy comes along with these.

We also carry these in our camel pacs for maintenance of the trail.

Leave the ribbon up. Just cuz you cut a new trail on foot doesn't mean you really remember it once you ride it.

Keep it tight so no quads can use it....
No true easy way to cut but well worth all the sweat and blisters.
I've cut in my fair share of trails over the years and found a machete to be the best tool for the job, keep a file handy so you can keep it sharp.
when cutting concentrate on clearing the insides of the turns and face slappers.
Keep it tight because it all opens up when ridden.

I usually try to cut for a couple three hours then ride it in then repeat it doubles as a killer work out and if you do it long enough say bye bye to arm pump when race day comes.
ummmm ... who owns the land??? do they know your out there?? Government owned ... go for!! Private .... might be a bit different in any case if its not yours I'd be a bit hesitant to have the trail lead right to my house. some landowner/forester will stumble on it eventually .. an old timer told me the fastest way to burn in trail was to get on your bike and ride it where it will naturally go. Go at a decent clip and start looking for "holes" in the woods. Go for bit than go back and trim it ride repeat. Years ago I had a thing for bootleg mtb trails. You might want to check into some of the resources about building mtb trails. the appalachian mountain club had a nice book about trail building. My personal advice is to stay on the high ground and "ridgelines". stay out of the "gullies", "valleys" and "drain ways" If water has a natural tendency to want to gravitate to where your trail is going to be don't put it there. you'll end up with erosion isssues and gullly washouts. Never go straight up hill if it can be avoided, always go up on the contour. makes for a more interesting trail and avoids the washouts. Seriously ... read a few books about it ... and be prepared to spend a lot of time at it!!
government owned. much of this area is strip mine reclamation, and the area i'm talking about is being used currently to move mine run off water from a mine about 2 miles away. they've constructed giant 3 tier pools that they fill with run off.

for what it's worth, i regularly ride on mine/utility/water/energy company etc. land. if it's posted with a private owners name, i stay off it. if it's says 'consol energy' or the like, i ride on it like it's mine.

it's pretty rural here...and atv's are as common as cars, due to the way the laws are setup here, there's trails everywhere. most of the regular trails i ride are within a mile of my house, but it would be nice to have a solid chuck of single track in the backyard.

i'll have to slap the video cam back on the helmet and go for a spin.
we use machetes, but lopers work equally well. Better hide your entrances/exits or the qwads will have made an interstate hwy out of it no time. They like to get on ours and ride it backwards, making spears out of the saplings. Nothing makes me madder than a qwad on the singletrack, ruining all the work.
paintball gun to mark trail?

i bought one of these:

and cleared some test track for a couple hours this morning. no need to exercise today - that is a workout. gonna go run over it a few times, and see if i need change distances around - not sure how tight i want it, and walking the track is way different than riding...
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paintball gun to mark trail?

i bought one of these:

and cleared some test track for a couple hours this morning. no need to exercise today - that is a workout. gonna go run over it a few times, and see if i need change distances around - not sure how tight i want it, and walking the track is way different than riding...

I have been cutting single track lately too on some private property. One tool I have found to be awesome is a cordless sawzall with the heaviest wood blade I can find. Makes very quick work of small-med branches and trees. Also if you carry the other blade with you it allows for cutting other materials you may come across (old barbwire fence in my case).