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Old 09-04-2012, 07:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Fordyce Area - Historical Maps

As some of you know, the ATV guys really love the Switchback trail to the top of Signal Peak. During the Route Designation, we told TNF that his was the ORIGINAL road up to the signal house. Despite that, TNF labeled it as USER created trail AND deemed it to be "unsustainable".

Well...my friend did some research on historical maps.....and found this map from 1902, and you can clearly see this "user" created trail going to the top. This is why the PLF lawsuit is so important....Arbitrary and Capricious route designation. They didn't "like" it...so they closed it with a BS reason.




This map is from 1891....showing a lot of the area...including English Lake, which no longer exists.



We've found a newer map from 1902, and now English Lake is gone...but Jackson Meadow is still not done.



Here is our last ride on the Switchback trail

Last Legal Ride - Signal Peak Switchback Trail - Part 1 - YouTube

Last Legal Ride - Switchback Trail - Part 2 - YouTube
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Last edited by jethrodeg; 09-08-2012 at 06:52 PM. Reason: Title change w/Ken's Permission
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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nice. i just ran both sides of the of the peak last week for the first time. an awe inspiring view from there to say the least
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I've updated the post....the first large map with English lake was from 1891. A new map is added, from 1902. English Lake now being gone, but Jackson Meadows still not there.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:04 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Ken, are you getting those maps from here...? http://libremap.org/data/state/california/

I was researching the Fordyce trail and how it has been moved over the years and the old maps on that site were great. It can be a bit of a pain in the ass though as they have changed the names of the maps over the years.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Hey Chris, have you ever been able to find the original route on the old maps? Would be cool to post up, as well as hike it someday. Generally speaking of the old trail just past WH1 to where it would meet up with the existing trail just past the 3rd water crossing. Also the original trail 1 wash over from WH3 straight up to WH5

Have flown it on google earth but have never seen an old map.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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So at this point it is to late to present the facts because the decision has been made? I was fortunate enough go down that road prior to the closure. It was a lot of fun.

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Old 09-05-2012, 01:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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So at this point it is to late to present the facts because the decision has been made? I was fortunate enough go down that road prior to the closure. It was a lot of fun.

JW
The route is still open, as they've had difficulty with their maps.

The FEIS was filed....so there are only 2 ways to open it back up....The USFS goes through the nepa process to reopen (doubtful) or the PLF lawsuit is successful.
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Ken, are you getting those maps from here...? http://libremap.org/data/state/california/

I was researching the Fordyce trail and how it has been moved over the years and the old maps on that site were great. It can be a bit of a pain in the ass though as they have changed the names of the maps over the years.
Dave (Hemmingray) said he was the nationalmap.gov....but that link is dead to me. So I've asked him for more details.
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hey Chris, have you ever been able to find the original route on the old maps? Would be cool to post up, as well as hike it someday. Generally speaking of the old trail just past WH1 to where it would meet up with the existing trail just past the 3rd water crossing. Also the original trail 1 wash over from WH3 straight up to WH5

Have flown it on google earth but have never seen an old map.

more details on this would be awesome, never herd of this "original route" or seen it.
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Old 09-06-2012, 03:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Trying to find a way to post up the map I have, working on it. I did find the old trail this summer but did not hike it. It is actually easy to see even after all of these years. I'm wondering why it got moved? Without hiking it the only bad spot I saw was a narrow spot on the ledge of a 50ft drop off to the river near Secret Spot.
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Old 09-06-2012, 03:57 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Lets see if this works?
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Old 09-06-2012, 04:06 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Here You go.
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Old 09-06-2012, 04:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Thanks ,it works.When was the trail changed?Also,what year is that map from?
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:44 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Awesome. Very cool
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:30 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Trying to find a way to post up the map I have, working on it. I did find the old trail this summer but did not hike it. It is actually easy to see even after all of these years. I'm wondering why it got moved? Without hiking it the only bad spot I saw was a narrow spot on the ledge of a 50ft drop off to the river near Secret Spot.
Story has it that a rock slide that came down off of Old Man Mountain wiping out the trail. It made more sense to move the trail than to clear and rebuild it.
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:29 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Thanks ,it works.When was the trail changed?Also,what year is that map from?
It's off a 1955 USGS Topo.
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Old 09-07-2012, 01:43 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Story has it that a rock slide that came down off of Old Man Mountain wiping out the trail. It made more sense to move the trail than to clear and rebuild it.
That's what I heard, too... re-opening the old route would remove two water crossings that put the trail twice as at-risk for unwanted attention. The route is pretty easy to find at the ends, if you're looking.

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Old 09-07-2012, 09:32 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Thats interesting. My Garmin still show the old route as the only route. I guess using the most modern maps was too much for the guys at Garmin.
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:37 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Thanks guys for adding to the history.

My first Sierra Trek on the Fordyce was August 1980. We definitely crossed the 2nd and 3rd then....so the slide had to be 60's or 70's.
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:40 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Might be worthy of a new thread with these old maps.

Here is what the trail was like before Winch Hill 4 was there. Once you got past WH3 you would head up the hill almost straight to WH5.

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Old 09-08-2012, 09:12 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Might be worthy of a new thread with these old maps.
I'm ok with the subject changing to Fordyce Area - Historical Maps
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:28 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I'm ok with the subject changing to Fordyce Area - Historical Maps
Good idea Ken.
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Old 09-08-2012, 10:28 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Here is what the trail was like before Winch Hill 4 was there. Once you got past WH3 you would head up the hill almost straight to WH5.
Do you know when that route changed by chance? 60's? 70's? My first was 80...and it definitely had 5 WH back then. What year was your map?
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Old 09-09-2012, 01:54 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I ran Safety Committee with the South Tahoe Mountainers in the late 70's, and maybe 80 and 81. That was a very long time ago. And actually I do not remember any water crossings. I'm not saying there wasn't any, just don't remember them. I know one year, on Sunday morning, we had to go back down the trial and recover a broken Jeep, we took Committee Road out and really don't remember water being the issue it is now. Certainly during Trek water is not an issue, because PG&E shuts it off for us.
Anyway, do not remember the water crossing being anything like they are now.
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:27 AM   #25 (permalink)
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After looking at Google Earth....it's amazing that 112+ years later....you can still see where English lake was......it still hasn't grown over the basic shape of the lake...and you see both sides of the dam.

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