Evangeline Colarossi and Danny Mooers–Staff Writer
A new project in Oak Grove Regional Park will excite local bike enthusiasts. Sioux County residents have been working to create several mountain biking trails in the park for all ages.
Derek Buteyn and Eric Tudor, are two cyclists that are part of the Sioux Country Off-Road Cyclists group. Along with several other bikers, they have been working since September of 2017 to design the trails. The cyclists group is made up of a variety of bikers, those who just ride the occasional trail and those who do triathlons and mountain biking.
The trails will be approximately two to three feet in width and will be designed for a variety of ages. The goal is for the trails to be accessible for children riding their bikes, but also give all ages a challenge. This way riders can continue to enjoy the trails while still developing their riding skills.
Construction will take place as soon as the weather allows. The original plan was to begin developing the trails in the beginning of April. Due to the lack of spring and excess of snow, this has not been possible. The current plan is to begin working on the trails as soon as the snow is off of the ground, possibly this week or the next.
“We’re building something that can be enjoyed by a wide variety of people,” Buteyn told the Daily Grind radio show. Members of the cycling group have tramped through the snow during the past months to mark out the intended paths with pink flags. The construction may be delayed, but the idea is continuously developing.
The trails will cover underutilized places within the Oak Grove Nature Center. The trails are to be added northern side of the park, which is mainly forestland. The trails will be eco-friendly, without additional concrete or gravel. They will be dirt trails that can be used for biking, walking and running. Since they will be dirt, this means that they cannot be used when the ground is wet, but this will also keep the ground from eroding and causing lasting damage.
The trails will be built in a simple manner in order to keep the cost down and the rest of the woodland intact. No large machines will be used and the budget is purely based off of volunteer work. If you can handle a shovel, you are capable of helping construct the trails. You can follow the progress on the Sioux Country Off-Road Cyclists group’s Facebook page or contact them if you are interested in helping with the trail development.