View Full Version : Slippery Trail Bridges

Jun. 10, 2010, 07:26 PM
I belong to a riding club that maintains the trails, shared by riders and hikers, on conservation land. Last year we installed four new bridges across creeks made of treated wood (same as the stuff used for decking). We've found, this wet spring, that the bridges in the woods that aren't able to dry out have become dangerously slick (me and my horse actually ice skated across one last weekend). We are investigating options on how to remedy it and have some good ideas (foremost right now is to put a layer of oak boards on top, since the old bridges were oak and no one seems to remember them being slippery), but I thought I'd come here to this big ol' group of trail riders and see if you all have any affordable suggestions. And I stress affordable suggestions. :)

Jun. 10, 2010, 08:55 PM
Could you nail down a layer of indoor/out door carpeting??

Jun. 10, 2010, 09:26 PM
Hmm. I guess we'd have to know that it wouldn't retain water. And that it wouldn't catch on shoes or boots. But I'll add it to my list of possibilities to investigate. Thanks!

Jun. 10, 2010, 09:33 PM
What about those grips that you put down on your bathtub so you don't slip?

Jun. 10, 2010, 10:23 PM
Perhaps you can get ahold of some used stall mats.

Jun. 11, 2010, 09:56 AM
what about that sandpapery grip tape? You could probably buy a big roll of it and stick it wherever you need it, and then use nails or a staple gun to make sure it stays put...

Jun. 11, 2010, 10:58 AM
try some of the new rubber skins they invented to coat dog agility equipment. I'm thinking of putting some on the slippery bridges here. No maintenance, should be totally weather-resistant and provide good traction in any conditions, couple minutes to apply, keep people off for 24 hours and your good to go.

Auventera Two
Jun. 11, 2010, 11:12 AM
All the horse bridges around here have textured rubber matting bolted to the top. We have ridden across these bridges in the rain many times and never lost traction. They look like old conveyor belts. You have to countersink the bolt heads so they aren't a sole puncture danger though.

Jun. 11, 2010, 12:08 PM
All great suggestions guys, thanks! We looked into the tape idea, but it was so expensive to cover four bridges (that tape ain't cheap!) that we decided it may make sense to look at covering it with some sort of rubber matting or oak boards that would be more permanent.

If any of you have a link to rubber matting you think is good, it would be great for you to share!

But keep the ideas coming! We're still in the pondering stage...

Bank of Dad
Jun. 11, 2010, 05:46 PM
What about some kind of paint or varnish that you could add a lot of sand to? That would add traction.

Jun. 12, 2010, 12:07 AM
Thanks everyone! I've passed on your assorted suggestions. There's a meeting tomorrow morning to make a decision on what to do -- I'm going to miss it because I'll be out on the trail :D. But I'll let you know what they've decided, FYI. Thanks again!