New Mountain Bike Trails in Glenwood, MN
By Jan Lasar
The smell of freshly turned dirt is in the air right now at Barsness Park in Glenwood, MN. Local volunteers have already built some singletrack here, but a Legacy Grant has enabled the city to hire a professional crew to bring the total up to about six miles. I visited the construction site and had a chance to speak with Cody Wilkins, director and project coordinator of Sensus Rad Trails, whose crew has been working at the park since the beginning of October.
You’ve been here a couple of weeks now. How much were you able to get done?
We were supposed to start in August, but with all jobs, there’s some slight delays, nothing bad at all. We had an archeological survey that put us on hold for a month, so we’ve been here since October 2, building. We probably have about a mile and a half new trail and our goal is to get about two to two and a half miles done this fall. And then we’ll be back, probably in April, when the snow melts and we’ll do the rest of the three to four miles of trail, then.
Are the trails closed and off-limits because of the ongoing construction?
We do have a couple of new sections of trail open on the south side of [Park Road]. It’s only about a mile of new trail that will be open to the public. And then, come spring, everything else will be running.
When do you expect this project to be wrapped up and the trails to be completely open?
Very weather dependent, but we’ll be done by middle to end of May, depending on snow melt. It shouldn’t be too much longer, honestly if we had slightly more time this fall we would have planned on it, but it’ll be pretty easy to get things done by June.
Did you run into any surprises?
No, the dirt’s been pretty good here, it drains really well, so it allows us to build some really cool stuff and build really quickly. There’s not a lot of rocks, so it’s going really smoothly. So, no surprises, it’s gone amazingly well.
What’ll be waiting for someone who’s going to ride these trails?
We’re introducing the first generation of what I call progressive mountain bike trails. A lot of berms and rollers, we’ll have some technical features with some of the great, big rocks we found in the area, some wood features. We’re just kinda introducing this community to modern trail building. I want to put in some jumps where you can come in and work on your skill set, but it’s really just enhancing this park-we’re getting singletrack into areas of the park that haven’t ever had traffic in them. All the new trail is in an area that doesn’t have old trail. It’s really just utilizing the unused space in Barsness.