Plans for Cody mountain bike park moving forward

2011-09-13T00:00:00Z Plans for Cody mountain bike park moving forward

By MARTIN KIDSTON

Gazette Wyoming Bureau

The Billings Gazette
September 13, 2011 12:00 am  • 

CODY, Wyo. — Plans for a mountain bike park on public lands south of here are moving forward, and a dog park could be in place this fall.

Rick Manchester, director of the Cody Parks Department, said the International Mountain Bike Association has nearly completed designs for the Beck Lake Mountain Bike Park, proposed for property south of town on land owned by the Bureau of Land Management.

The plan calls for several miles of trails, a “pump track,” which is a looped track with numerous bumps and berms, and trails with a series of jumps. It may also include additional walking trails, a disc golf course and a dog park.

“We are near the end of developing the schematic plans, an overhead of what the area would look like,” said Manchester. “IMBA is getting ready to submit its report and I’m working with the BLM to secure our right-of-way applications.”

October goal

Securing the right-of-way could take several weeks, but Manchester said October remains the goal. If the stars align, trail repair and new trail construction could begin next spring.

Manchester said much of the work will be done using volunteer labor. Costs for building the park’s features, including the pump track and jump lines, have yet to be finalized.

“Green River put one in for $75,000 and a lot of volunteer labor,” Manchester said. “Eventually, it’ll go through the budgeting process.”

John Gallagher, a member of the Park County Peddlers, said the park would serve as a community hub within easy reach of area students and adults looking for an after-work activity.

“Mountain biking is great recreation, exercise and pure, clean fun for all ages,” Gallagher said. “As the number of bicyclists continues to grow, we need trails that challenge the pro-level rider as well as nurture those just putting their tires on dirt for the first time.”

Public input

In April 2010, the city began seeking public input on ways to use roughly 500 acres owned by the BLM at Beck Lake State Park south of Cody.

The park offers rolling hills and open spaces, along with existing water features and views of the Absaroka Front.

Gallagher said the state is putting trails into four state parks. Bike parks, like that proposed in Cody, help provide an economic boost to communities willing to promote them, he said.

“Cody is fortunate enough to have public land bordering the city where this is all happening,” Gallagher said. “Kids can pedal over here on their own and adults can tick off a few healthy miles after work.”

Manchester said a dog park has also been proposed for the Beck Lake area. The park could be open to pets as early as this fall, he said.

Contact Martin Kidston at mkidston@billingsgazette.com or 307-527-7250.

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