uman Powered Trails, Inc. is a non-profit organization whose mission is: “To develop and maintain first class sustainable and environmentally correct, human-powered, shared use trails for the La Crosse, WI region."
|The non-trail becoming a bike trail|
|Written by DAN SPRINGER | La Crosse Tribune|
|Friday, 31 May 2002 17:54|
Human Powered Park Inc., which last summer built more than six miles of trails for mountain biking and cross-country skiing, is now turning its attention to finding a safer way for the public to access the 160-acre Human Powered Park that sits on top of scenic Grandad Bluff.
Two weeks ago, the 75 members of Human Powered Park Inc. began renovating an abandoned trail behind Hixon Forest that they have jokingly tabbed "TNT Trail." That's short for "This is not a trail," words once painted on a sign that hung in front of the closed path that leads to the park.
The park will be officially named by the La Crosse Parks Department later this summer.
Ralph Heath, Human Powered Park chief executive officer, said the group of mountain-biking enthusiasts and community volunteers hope to use the abandoned trail as a safe, off-road access to the park.
"Our goal is to get a trail built from the city up to Human Powered Park," Heath said. "Right now, the only way to get to the park is either up Bliss Road or to go around Hwy. 33 and up the back," Heath said. "Bliss Road is very dangerous because there's no bike lane, and in a few weeks it's going to be closed for construction. So, we really feel there's a great safety issue to get this trail built."
Heath said having a designated access road to the trail will help curtail illegal riding through Hixon Forest.
However, he said, there is much that needs to be done to get the trail ready for use.
"The erosion problems on the trail will be repaired through the use of expert trail design and construction techniques to make the trail safe and sustainable," Heath said.
Each Thursday at 6 p.m., volunteers meet in the Milson Court parking lot in Hixon Forest and use shovels, pick axes, rakes and small hand saws to clear and groom the trail.
As the volunteers found out last summer when they worked to build six miles of the biking and skiing trail on top of the bluff, Heath said, the work will not be easy, but it will be enjoyable and satisfying.
"It's pretty back-breaking work, but it really is a good time. I know that sounds strange, but once you get started it is a good time. There's quite a bit of camaraderie involved in a job like this," he said.
Dan Springer can be reached at (608) 791-8269 or at dspringer@@lacrossetribune.com.