Volunteers building new mountain bike trail in Bear Creek Regional Park
Construction has begun on the new mountain bike trail in El Paso County's Bear Creek Regional Park.
Initially at least, the trail is being roughed in by volunteers with Medicine Wheel, a non-profit bicycle group that works on area trails. Volunteers are getting together at 8:30 most Saturday mornings this summer at the park. To confirm workdays, call Jim Schwerin of Medicine Wheel at 633-0025.
Cyclists call the trail a “singletrack.” Approved by County Parks officials, it will be a roughly two-mile loop that will cross, but not take in, an existing east-west multiuse trail through a hilly Bear Creek area south of the Dog Park/Loop and north of Argus Boulevard west of 21st Street.
According to Schwerin, workers have cleared vegetation from about 1,200 feet of trail at this point. Creation of actual trail tread is still to come.
No public funds are being used to build the trail. Private assistance has come from bicycle shops and the the non-profit Pikes Peak Trails & Open Space Coalition.
Grants are being sought (one has come in so far) to contract with a professional trail builder on the more technical sections, Schwerin said.
Medicine Wheel worked with County Parks on the design. Two areas of concern were ensuring the trail will not cause erosion damage to the park and have as little impact as possible on people living nearby. Parks Planner Brian Kay said in a recent interview that he is continuing to talk to neighbors, but “I think the overall layout we came up with is very sustainable and shouldn't create any issues out there.”
Eventual Medicine Wheel plans call for a trail with optional trick features, such as jumps, dips and rock steps. The mountain bikers are also hopeful the trail could be used for races.
Beyond that, the Medicine Wheel website suggests the Bear Creek singletrack might be “the first phase of a larger singletrack trail system in the park which will eventually connect with Section 16, Palmer Trail, and the trails in Cheyenne Canon.”
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