Illinois Trails Face Resistance, $22M for Parks and Trails, and new Skills Parks

Trail building in Illinois faces a wall, $22M in federal money available for parks and trails, and new parks open in Tennessee and Idaho.

Trail Flow is a roundup of all the mountain bike trail related news of the week including new trail builds, advocacy, and planning. Do you have trail news? Email [email protected] for possible inclusion.

Photo: Pend Orielle Pedalers Facebook

New bike skills park brings MTB into town

Sandpoint, Idaho

A bike skills park in Sandpoint, Idaho has been renovated after years of falling to the wayside. According to the Bonner County Daily Bee, the park had become overgrown with branches and underbrush and it had poor drainage. The park has been rebuilt with five trails and wooden features.

Progressive pump track opens

Kingsport, Tennessee

Kingsport, Tennessee unveiled a new pump track built by Velosolutions USA and the American Ramp Company. Former Red Bull Downhill World Cup commentator Claudio Calouri had a hand in designing the park also, according to WJHL.

The park has a familiar looking Velosolutions asphalt pump track, black with red borders, but also adds wooden wall rides to the tops of some berms. The project cost is $1.3 million and facility has parking, seating, and lighting.

Interior Dept. will put $22 million toward parks and outdoor access

The Department of Interior (DOI) announced last week that the agency will distribute $21.9 million in funding through the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership program for new local parks in several states throughout the U.S., providing money for mountain bike trail development.

According to the news release, Russian Jack Springs Park in Anchorage, Alaska, for example, will get over $600,000 for mountain bike trails, a sledding hill, and other park amenities.

Environmental groups concerned about Illinois MTB trails

Oakwood, Illinois

A trio of environmental groups in Illinois, including the Prairie Rivers Network, the Illinois Sierra Club and the Middlefork Audubon have objected to plans for the expansion of a mountain bike trail at Kickapoo State Park. The groups say the trail should be moved elsewhere to prevent environmental damage.

The trails are said to potentially damage endangered species populations and habitat in the area, though the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has approved of the project, according to The News Gazette. The local mountain biking club has tried to make concessions, but the opposing groups “essentially don’t want anything built up there.”

14km of new trails planned

Isle of Man, UK

The Isle of Man Economic Strategy Board recently approved plans to construct 14km of trails to connect 50km of existing trails for a more cohesive trail network. Second phase plans call for a visitor’s center and bike-related services.

New trails open, more coming to Minnesota town

Winona, Minnesota

Two new multi-use trails — Chickadee Circuit and Danger Noodle — opened at Bluffside park in Winona recently, and more trails are on the way. In addition to the soon-to-be open trails, a new parking lot is planned as well.