McCullough Park is in Jeff Docken’s district and he seemed intrigued about the possibility of having mountain bike trails on the large tract of park property across from the newly remodeled campground on Shields Lake.
Here are a few photos from Aug. 21 when Marty, Jeremy and I did a walk-through of McCullough. As you can see, the property has both a large sloping prairie and many ravines, making it ideal for mtb trails of all ability levels. And being adjacent to a trail head on a lake with a campground, picnic shelter, rest rooms, showers, boat access, etc, one could imagine McCullough becoming a destination mountain bike park someday.
We’ve expressed our preference for creating beginner-to-advanced mtb trails at Caron Park first. It’s situated half way between Faribault and Northfield, a more convenient (15-minute drive) for CROCT trail workers from both cities who would be investing hundreds of volunteer hours in constructing trails there. And after gaining a season’s worth of experience with trail-building at Caron, we would be in a better position to assess what we could accomplish at McCullough, a more demanding venue.
The next step will likely be for this to be an agenda item on an upcoming meeting of the Rice County Board’s Parks and Facilities committee before it goes to the full Board. The wheels of government don’t always move quickly but it’s possible that we could be authorized to dig at Caron Park this year.
The 1.5 hour hike of about 3 miles (from the cul-de-sac behind Walgreen’s to the far pavilion and back) was a little challenging, as the temperature hovered around the zero degrees F mark with gusty northwest winds.
Marty and I wanted to give them a first-hand look at what CROCT volunteers have accomplished in Sechler Park since we got approval from the City to construct a mountain bike trail there last year. We’d like to add extensions and features to the trail this year, as well as install one or more trail head kiosks. And we’re interested in discussing the possibilities of adding off-road trails and bike park features like pump tracks to other City of Northfield parks. (For example, see the CROCT blog posts about the Meadows Park community planning meetings.)
We’re not yet sure if Dave and Dale were impressed with what they saw, but given the weather conditions, it’s likely they’ll remember the experience. 😉
We will also be doing tours every 90 minutes led by fat tire experts from some of our sponsors. Tours will include biking on some of the best trails at River Bend, a brief history of the grounds, and scenic views. Sponsors will also have booths in the Interpretive Center showcasing their businesses, fat tire bikes, and other biking equipment. The general public is encouraged to come learn about this new and engaging sport. Demo bikes will be provided for short lessons on fat tire biking. If you have your own fat tire bike stop into the Nature Center that day for your riding pass.
CROCT will have a table in the RBNC Interpretive Center where club members will be informing attendees about mountain biking in the area, handing out our new CROCT brochures, and inviting them to become IMBA/CROCT members via our online membership page.
Last week, Marty Larson and I made a short presentation to BikeNorthfield‘s 2nd Annual Soup & Cycles community meeting. We reviewed our progress in 2014 and previewed our activities for 2015. Many CROCT members attended, as did CROCT board members Galen Murray, Curtis Ness, & Scott Koehler.