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New Signs at Grapetree Trailhead to Jack's and Isaac's  

 

Iris Tramm
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August 3, 2012 1:50 pm  

Does anyone have any information about the new signs posted by an unidentified source at both the trailhead to Isaac's and Jack's beach at Grapetree, as well as at the intersection of S. Grapetree and the road up from Divi? They're basically directiing people to use the new, shorter trail that starts out at Udall and ends up at those new stairs at the far eastern end of Isaac's. The pre-existing signs directing people to park at the Grapetree trailhead to get to Jack's and Isaac's are now gone.

Does anyone know who put the new signs up? When? Under what authority?

Many thanks.

ETA: "know" in the last line.


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SunnyCaribe
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August 3, 2012 1:54 pm  

I've wondered the same thing. I happily ignore them, as beach access belongs to all, except for a very few places on STX.


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islandjoan
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August 3, 2012 1:56 pm  

hey Iris

We happened to park at Grapetree side one day when a park ranger guy (not sure if he works for Nature Conservancy or local park service) was putting up the sign. We asked if we could still hike through the Grapetree side and he said we could do so, but that they were trying to encourage people to use the Pt. Udall trail so as to have less impact on the land.


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Iris Tramm
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August 3, 2012 2:01 pm  

hey Iris

We happened to park at Grapetree side one day when a park ranger guy (not sure if he works for Nature Conservancy or local park service) was putting up the sign. We asked if we could still hike through the Grapetree side and he said we could do so, but that they were trying to encourage people to use the Pt. Udall trail so as to have less impact on the land.

Interesting.

The signs don't identify any source of authority for them. They simply identify that they were manufactured by "Allstate Sign and Plaque Corp.", so they appear to be installed by a private source rather than the government.

I'm curious what "impact" he was talking about. That trail has been there historically for, like, what? Forever?

I wonder if the Grapetree Homeowners' Association is involved at all. Remember when we used to be able to park at the end of the road and use that other set of stairs?

Approximately how long ago did this happen that you saw the guy putting up the sign? I was there last week, and they hadn't started rusting yet, so they have to be pretty new.

Thanks.


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islandjoan
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August 3, 2012 2:14 pm  

hey Iris

I think the sign was put up about 2 months ago but I can't remember for sure...maybe it's been less time. We didn't ask the guy where he was from; I just assumed he was associated with the park service or Nature Conservancy (which does own the land).

I also recall reading an article somewhere when the new trail was being worked on, and it did mention something about less impact on the land. I also do remember when you could park at the end of the road and use the stairs.


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stxem
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August 3, 2012 5:20 pm  

It's the Nature Conservancy.


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Jamison
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August 4, 2012 2:30 pm  

The sign is a few months old, you can still use either entrance. Now, tourists aren't walking through and parking on lawns though and people aren't drunkingly stumbling through late at night with large groups either.

I wish there was a way we could sweep up the broken car window glass that is constantly on the ground in the Udell parking spot though.


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Iris Tramm
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August 7, 2012 3:12 pm  

The sign is a few months old, you can still use either entrance. Now, tourists aren't walking through and parking on lawns though and people aren't drunkingly stumbling through late at night with large groups either.

I wish there was a way we could sweep up the broken car window glass that is constantly on the ground in the Udell parking spot though.

Ya. Isn't the rampant vandalism at Udall enough to direct tourists to the Grapetree hike?

I question this whole "lesser impact on the land" excuse. The trail at Grapetree is small, simple, easily maintained, and very hikable. I've been using it for a decade. The NEW trail at Udall required substantial earth alteration (the parking lot for one), the actual CREATION of a path, which required assorted water drainage and fencing apparatus to be installed. And then there's the stairs.

Impact on the land? The Udall trail, IMHO, is far more impactful -- in a negative way -- than the Grapetree trail.

Unless of course you have a multimillion dollar house on the shore at Grapetree and want to send the tourists to the vandals up at Udall.

What am I missing?


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Jamison
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August 7, 2012 3:36 pm  

I think you got it.


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stxfoodie
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August 7, 2012 3:38 pm  

I'm holding out for the mariachi band at the top of the stairs to welcome visitiors......rum drinks with parasols anyone?


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Iris Tramm
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August 7, 2012 3:55 pm  

Last time I was there, a tourist from off island asked me if they "sold water down there".

"Not yet," I said. "Not yet."


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blu4u
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August 7, 2012 6:27 pm  

I wish there was a way we could sweep up the broken car window glass that is constantly on the ground in the Udell parking spot though.

How 'bout a new skull and cross bones sign. "DANGER! DANGER! Don't leave ANYTHING in your car. Do leave windows open can car UNLOCKED. "


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Iris Tramm
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August 9, 2012 3:41 pm  

I wish there was a way we could sweep up the broken car window glass that is constantly on the ground in the Udell parking spot though.

How 'bout a new skull and cross bones sign. "DANGER! DANGER! Don't leave ANYTHING in your car. Do leave windows open can car UNLOCKED. "

If you want to be REALLY servicey you could include a suggestion that they strew the contents of their glovebox and center console around the front seat so it looks as though someone's already been through it and taken the good stuff.


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SunnyCaribe
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August 9, 2012 4:01 pm  

I question this whole "lesser impact on the land" excuse. The trail at Grapetree is small, simple, easily maintained, and very hikable. I've been using it for a decade. The NEW trail at Udall required substantial earth alteration (the parking lot for one), the actual CREATION of a path, which required assorted water drainage and fencing apparatus to be installed. And then there's the stairs.

Impact on the land? The Udall trail, IMHO, is far more impactful -- in a negative way -- than the Grapetree trail.

Just for the record, the Udall trail is about more than just access. It was designed and installed after a series of pretty rigorous runoff and siltation studies throughout the entire watershed across a variety of weather patterns. The point of it all is to minimize runoff into the EEMP at East End Bay while continuing to afford access. The new trail helps prevent erosion and takes traffic pressure off the old gut, where everyone walked before, to allow it to grow over and mitigate it as a source of silt runoff. Also, it's pretty nice.

I don't blame the Grapetree folks for encouraging people to use the other trail. While I seldom encounter anyone else on the Grapetree trail, I have shared it more than once with some pretty rowdy tourists. Their signage reads like a suggestion, and I take it as such.


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Iris Tramm
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August 9, 2012 4:43 pm  

I question this whole "lesser impact on the land" excuse. The trail at Grapetree is small, simple, easily maintained, and very hikable. I've been using it for a decade. The NEW trail at Udall required substantial earth alteration (the parking lot for one), the actual CREATION of a path, which required assorted water drainage and fencing apparatus to be installed. And then there's the stairs.

Impact on the land? The Udall trail, IMHO, is far more impactful -- in a negative way -- than the Grapetree trail.

Just for the record, the Udall trail is about more than just access. It was designed and installed after a series of pretty rigorous runoff and siltation studies throughout the entire watershed across a variety of weather patterns. The point of it all is to minimize runoff into the EEMP at East End Bay while continuing to afford access. The new trail helps prevent erosion and takes traffic pressure off the old gut, where everyone walked before, to allow it to grow over and mitigate it as a source of silt runoff. Also, it's pretty nice.

I don't blame the Grapetree folks for encouraging people to use the other trail. While I seldom encounter anyone else on the Grapetree trail, I have shared it more than once with some pretty rowdy tourists. Their signage reads like a suggestion, and I take it as such.

Interesting. Thanks. So all the Udall work was about redirecting people off the gut onto a trail to avoid impact on the land in that area. Okay. I can buy that. But what about minimizing impact on the land in the area of the original trail from Grapetree? That's what I thought the argument was. That people were being directed to Udall because Grapetree was suffering some adverse impact from the use of that rail.

Never ever had a problem with rowdy tourists. Unleashed dogs and unattended children, yes, but rowdy tourists, no. The leathery naked local guys sort of creep me out, but they seem harmless. Sorry you've had an unfortunate experience. It's one of my favorite hikes on the island, and far more scenic than the Udall trail. I believe someone who doesn't know the history of that area will take those signs as more than suggestion; IMHO, it's outright direction. I just wonder whether it stops now, or we get pushed back even further. It just feels like we're gradually being pushed out of the Grapetree trailhead.


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