Mitchell to get mountain-bike trailsStrap on your helmets and prepare to get muddy, mountain bikers. Mitchell will soon have its first system of mountain-biking trails.
By: Chris Huber, The Daily Republic
Strap on your helmets and prepare to get muddy, mountain bikers. Mitchell will soon have its first system of mountain-biking trails.
The trails will start at Kiwanis Woodlot Park near the south end of Lake Mitchell and will stretch nearly two miles in total length.
Mark Puetz, chairman of the Lake Mitchell Advisory Committee, sees the new trail system as a way for Mitchell residents to enjoy the outdoors while getting some exercise.
“The trails will be made up of multiple loops so people can ride all day if they want to,” said Puetz, who is a mountain biker. “It’s on a stacked system so some trails will have you riding along the lake, while others will take you through trees.”
The trailhead will be at Kiwanis Woodlot Park with trails looping around an 11-acre area between the park and the lake. Trails will be marked by difficulty.
“Think of it like a ski slope: You will have beginner trails, and then some with steeper inclines and turns for your more advance riders,” Puetz said.
The trail system will be single-track, meaning it will be made of dirt and between 2 and 3 feet wide.
“If you look around Mitchell, you see a whole lot of mountain bikes on the street,” Puetz said. “We want to think of this like a culture change that can happen in Mitchell. These bikes were designed for rough terrain, not just sidewalks, so we want to give people the right terrain to ride them on.”
The design calls for about a half-mile of existing, unmarked trail to be used for the system, with the other trails to be built by volunteers.
According to Puetz, the trail system will be as non-invasive as possible so habitat in the wooded area is not disrupted.
“We want to do this with very little money, so we are asking for any help from volunteers to help build the trails,” Puetz said.
Puetz hopes the project will be done in two years, or sooner depending on the level of volunteer help.
The trail system was designed by International Mountain Bicycling Association designer Chris Kehmeier. The design fee was $5,000, which was paid mostly with Tour de Corn proceeds donated by the Palace City Pedalers.
The IMBA will provide a trail-building class to volunteers at 9 a.m. Oct. 1 in the amphitheater at the Mitchell Technical Institute Technology Center, with a build at the lake to follow.
Anyone interested in helping build the trails should contact Puetz at 770-4947.