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For those of you that have trails going through your property what do you do to keep them nice. Since moving back out here I have finally gotten some of the old trails through the woods back open after 5 years. They were pretty over grown with brush.







I’d like to find a way to help keep them nice. Has anyone ever tried to plant grass or something and then keep it mowed. I’m thinking like that or wood chips to 1. Keep the trails defined, 2 cut down in the maintenance to keep them decent and 3 make the maintenance I do have to do a little easier over time.

Total distance of them is about 1/2 mile long and 6-7 feet wide. So something cheap would be good too.




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While I don't have trails, you if you had a chipper you could have an endless supply of chips for those trails.
 

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Landscape rake may work. Rotary cutter occasionally and just traveling them often
 

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I agree with WV

Landscape rake may work. Rotary cutter occasionally and just traveling them often
I sprayed 2-4D through the trails to get the raspberry & other inconveniences down, but that only gets part of it done. I don't drive over the trails enough to keep the grass down. After a couple of years the grass in areas is now 2-3' tall. Now I need something to knock the grass down...
 

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I have 2 types of trails, the ones in the woods and the ones in the fields.
The fields I planted a mix of fescue grasses. Took about 2 years to get decent. I mow them maybe every 2-3 weeks. I let it grow fairly long.
The woods I have chipped most of them. Some are still just dirt and the rest I covered with leaves and twigs.
Trouble with the woods is I have lots of rocks in the woods.
Some of the rocks would be a hindrance to a mower.
I have been digging rocks from the trails and using on a rock wall that I am continuously adding to.
My plan is to eventually mow them maybe 2-3 times a year.

I probably have about 1/2 mile of trails in the fields and bout 1 1/2 miles in the woods. This is in 25-26 acres.

How much you use the trails makes a big difference.

I find myself using the woods trails the least with tractors in the summer and the most in the fall and spring when the ground is frozen and there isn't much growing in the woods.
I only drive a lawn tractor on the feild trails when mowing otherwise its walking only.
 

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I have a main trail around most of the property that is driveable with the tractor and Gator and then I have some walking trails.

Cut & cleared the brush. Lightly and carefully treated some of the very low cut stumps.

Since my property is not flat, I have been working at rocking the two tracks (#3) to prevent erosion.

Most of the main trail is around the border of the property, about 10 feet inside the tree line (average). I have cleared all of the briars, brambles, and such between the property line and the trail. I have also cleared some of the inside side of the trail as well. This has let in some light and natural vegetation is developing.

Where I can, I mow a couple times a year with the bush hog.

Where I cannot get to with the bush hog and on the walking trails, I keep them cut with the weedeater.

The only thing I spray for is kudzu and posion ivy. I use Crossbow which only effects brushy/woody plants and does not effect the natural grasses.
 

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For me the best way to keep the trails good is to use them, I try to run my ATV or tractor through on a regular basis. I tried wood chips on part of my trail and didn't work too well. Made the trail feel pretty lumpy and the ground too soft for my comfort when running a tractor over it as I couldn't get the chips to lay down smooth like you can dirt. I do have a lot of left over dirt from my construction that I have been using to fill holes etc and that works well just tedious to go from the dirt pile to spot you need to dump it. I just bought a rotary cutter for the trail down at the bottom of my property because it's near a stream and nature is doing its best to reclaim it. That made a huge difference. For my upper trails I run a land place through it a couple times a year. Sometimes I get hung up on roots but it's not normally a big deal. My biggest problem is I get dead fall after a big storm and I also need to cut back some limbs that always seem to be eye level on a tractor.
 
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We have one main trail and several branch trails at the deer camp. We affectionately call it the Landing Strip because the property is a very long pie shape. There is always someone there camping or fishing, and everyone has an ATV. We've all got a 6 foot piece of girder or something like it attached to the rear of the ATV's by lengths of chain and when we travel the trails they get groomed. Funny thing is the deer tend to use the groomed trails too because they are easier to travel and because there's no leaves or branches on them, so you have to keep an eye on them 'cause the deer will sneak up on you or past you.
 

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There is about 1.2 miles of trails I have built in our neighborhood's common property and I mow and maintain them. Two biggest challenges for me are keeping the trees and other growth from narrowing the trails and then keeping them cleared of trees and large limbs and debris as it falls. This past fall and winter, we had a total of 4 trees come down across the trails which were each 2' in diameter. It took some time, but I got them cut up and cleared away......

I mow with the zero turn now that I have the trails cleared of all dangers to it. I use the rear mower on the edges to cut up brush and growth. I know if I didn't cut the edges back, in a year, I would lose enough trail area to make them half their width in some areas.

The pictures showing before and after mowing were taken last week. It had been a month since I mowed that section of the trail as it was very wet. You can see how rapidly it grew.

The other pictures show the access road to get down to the lower common area. I am working on this road as we speak and it involves 130 tons of crushed aggregate to rebuilt a proper road. It turns out the place everyone is driving is not on the common property and I need to return the road to its proper right of way, which is what I am now doing.......

I also spray the trails now for broad leaf control and also for tick, mosquito and other such insect control as this is a area along the river and it gets pretty intense without the spray. In fact, I always smoke a big cigar when cutting it with my mower to keep the insects away from my face and from swarming around me.

Here are some pictures of the trail areas....
 

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There is about 1.2 miles of trails I have built in our neighborhood's common property and I mow and maintain them. Two biggest challenges for me are keeping the trees and other growth from narrowing the trails and then keeping them cleared of trees and large limbs and debris as it falls. This past fall and winter, we had a total of 4 trees come down across the trails which were each 2' in diameter. It took some time, but I got them cut up and cleared away......

I mow with the zero turn now that I have the trails cleared of all dangers to it. I use the rear mower on the edges to cut up brush and growth. I know if I didn't cut the edges back, in a year, I would lose enough trail area to make them half their width in some areas.

The pictures showing before and after mowing were taken last week. It had been a month since I mowed that section of the trail as it was very wet. You can see how rapidly it grew.

The other pictures show the access road to get down to the lower common area. I am working on this road as we speak and it involves 130 tons of crushed aggregate to rebuilt a proper road. It turns out the place everyone is driving is not on the common property and I need to return the road to its proper right of way, which is what I am now doing.......

I also spray the trails now for broad leaf control and also for tick, mosquito and other such insect control as this is a area along the river and it gets pretty intense without the spray. In fact, I always smoke a big cigar when cutting it with my mower to keep the insects away from my face and from swarming around me.

Here are some pictures of the trail areas....
So, if you don't mind me asking, what mower did you use on the trail? I see in your signature the rotary cutter. Is this what you used? If so, does it handle that tall grass okay? Thanks
 

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So, if you don't mind me asking, what mower did you use on the trail? I see in your signature the rotary cutter. Is this what you used? If so, does it handle that tall grass okay? Thanks
I began the process when clearing the trails with the rear RC2048 Frontier mower. Now, I cut the main part of the trails with my ExMark Commercial Zero Turn because its so much faster and I am charging by the hour. I cut the edge back first with the 1025r and Frontier mower and then cut the center section with the Exmark as it really chops up the clippings.

As far as tall grass, Look at these photos for recent mowing.....Dense vines and tall grass as tall as 7 feet tall. What you see in the photo is one pass cutting, which considering what I am cutting, I think it does a great job. Have to pay close attention because when you are cutting that much material in volume, it builds up under the mower and can bog it down, so you need to listen closely and keep one eye on the digital tach, one eye on the temp gauge, one eye on the front, one eye on the rear view monitor.....one eye....oh wait, I am out of eyes...........
 

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one eye....oh wait, I am out of eyes...........
You still have ears don't you?

Eye's on where you are going and an occasional look at the temp.

Your ears will tell you if you are bogging the engine.
 
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