View Full Version : Footing ideas for an exercise track

Feb. 8, 2010, 02:21 PM
I'm posting this thread for my BO, as she does not have a computer.

We were hoping to compile ideas for all-weather footing for an exercise track. It is a quarter mile in length and is hilly (half is relatively flat, a quarter uphill, and a quarter downhill - but the incline is gradual and not steep). There are some underground springs in a few spots that can create issues with wetness.

About 10 years ago she put shredded bark down on it. She got the bark from a facility one street over that was cutting down some of their trees, and were processing the trees in such a way that it created softer, shredded material. That is what she used, and it lasted an incredibly long time - I'd say maybe about 7 years of GOOD footing. It is about 10 years old now and the last 3 years it has broken down too much, becoming too wet in winter and tending to be "dead" the rest of the year. Last autumn she had the track razed and now needs ideas for a new surface.

I have never seen spaghetti hogfuel here (long, thin, flat shreds - lies down beautifully like a mattress). I've only seen the chunky hogfuel, which I very much dislike and can take quite a while to break in to a nice useable surface. The spaghetti hogfuel is much nicer, and is plentiful in BC as far as I know. So I suggested that she order some from BC and have it trucked down. Out of the last 3 times the indoor arena footing was done, I think two of those times she had rubber trucked down from BC anyway, so cross-border stuff isn't a hassle. So that is one possibility she is considering.

Any other ideas that we’ve overlooked? We have Equiloft footing in the indoor arena. it is rubber, sand, and threads, and is apparently unsuitable as an outdoor all-weather footing (per the distributor) since it is designed to hold water, plus I suspect there would be issues with migration during rainfall. We need something that will stay put.

What about scraping the track and putting geotextile material down before putting the footing on top? Especially if spaghetti hogfuel was used (much less likely to shift/migrate)? Would that work? I know geotextile can be great for flatter surfaces but have not heard of it being used on hills. The incline on the track is gradual, however.

Here are some photos of the track with the old footing last year:





Here is a photo of some spaghetti hogfuel in BC. It is lovely to ride on, yet I have never seen it down here in WA.

(This photo is the clearest one I could find and shows the spaghetti hog around the front of a barn, not in one of the arenas. So obviously it is not at a depth for riding - usually it is installed quite deep and then packs down within two weeks of activity on it).

Ideas? The goal is year-round use. We are in the Seattle area. TIA!!!

Feb. 8, 2010, 03:12 PM
No good footing ideas, but I just wanted to ask what this beautiful facility is called?

Feb. 9, 2010, 12:23 PM
PMed you, and bumping up for the Tuesday crowd. :)