Northfield Park & Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB) chair Dale Gehring devoted a paragraph to CROCT’s Sechler Park mtb trail in this weekend’s Northfield News ‘park of the month’ column. It’s titled, Sechler Park offers much more than just baseball and softball. Here’s an excerpt:
One of the things the Northfield Park & Recreation Advisory Board is trying to move toward is making our community’s parks less seasonal. One example of this is Sechler Park… Our local mountain biking chapter called “Cannon River Offroad Cycling & Trails” (CROCT) has now developed a wonderful MTB trail network throughout the wooded portion of the park, ranging from beginner to expert level. The MTB trails can be accessed from Laurel Court behind Walgreens, entering the woods just to the right of the walking bridge. Folks can also enter behind the pavilion in the center of the park. We are currently working on signage that will be coming soon.
City of Northfield Ward 2 Councilor David DeLong and Park & Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB) Chair Dale Gehring walked the the Sechler Park mtb trail this afternoon, accompanied by yours truly and CROCT board chair Marty Larson.
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. 😉
And on related note, Councilor Dave took a few spins around the River Bend Nature Center parking lot last Saturday on a fat bike during the RBNC Fat Bike Event. In case you missed the photos of him in the blog post/photo album:
CROCT member Dave Berglund and I attended the second Meadows Park community planning on Wednesday night at the Northfield Middle School. (For background, see my blog post on the first meeting back in November titled Could mountain biking be part of Northfield’s new Meadows Park?
The good news: All three of the proposed concept plans presented by the consultants would accommodate a mountain bike trail around the perimeter of the park:
When the consultants asked for programming suggestions, I mentioned that a mountain bike XC trail there would provide:
- a venue for members of the local high school/middle school mountain bike team to practice
- another trail for us to host our Community Services Monday nights summer group rides for youth
The schedule calls for City Council approval of the park’s master plan by summer.
More photos from the meeting:
Back in the summer of 2013, I blogged on Locally Grown Northfield about the mountain biking-related possibilities for Northfield’s new Meadows Park. So it was pretty cool to attend the City of Northfield‘s Meadows Park community planning meeting at the Northfield Middle School on Wednesday night and have mountain biking be mentioned by the consultants (Paul Miller Design and SRF Consulting) as one of the possibilities under consideration.
Even better, there was some support for it from citizens at the small group discussions, helped along by participation from fellow CROCT members Marty Larson and Scott Klein.
After the meeting, we had some informal discussions with Ward 2 Councilor David DeLong, At-Large Councilor Rhonda Pownell, and PRAB Chair Dale Gehring, as well as City Administrator Nick Haggenmiller, Community Planning and Development Director Chris Heineman, and Interim Public Works Director/City Engineer Brian Erickson.
The CROCT Board has not taken an official position on what we’d like to see in the way of mountain biking for the park. But in our comments, we talked about the advantages of having:
- a beginner/intermediate-level singletrack (multi-use) trail around the perimeter of the park
- a bike park in one corner, with features like pump tracks, dirt jumps, and a skills course, all serving a range of abilities (progression) including a tot area
- a pavilion area with bathrooms, changing facilities, picnic tables, grills, water fountains. See the West Trailhead facilities page for Dakota County’s Lebanon Hills MTB Park for a good example.
The next Meadows Park community meeting will be on Jan. 21.
Want more information about Meadows Park? See these documents that I extracted from the Nov. 20 PRAB meeting agenda packet: