City groups rally for new mountain bike trail
A site next to Waterworks Park is being touted as an ideal location for the city’s first mountain bike trail.
Citizens for Active Transportation and Railway City Cycling Club sent representatives Norm Marcoux and Tony Fangeat to a city council meeting Monday to ask for a new mountain biking area.
The proposed location is 30 hectares of city-owned property north of Waterworks Park and west of Dalewood Conservation Area.
“There’s currently some undeveloped trails that are currently used for both hiking and cycling in that area,” Fangeat said.
He said he’s walked the area with city staff and they believe it would be a good area for a mountain bike trail.
“These trails bring in both locals as well as visitors from quite far away,” Fangeat said. “It would be the intention that the trails are fun and enjoyable for all ages, from novice to advanced riders. The area is actually laid out quite well to allow for both intermediate and advanced trails.”
Several people outside of the Railway City Cycling Club have volunteered to help with the project already, Fangeat said.
St. Thomas was designated in the spring as a Bicycle Friendly Community, but it lacks a mountain bike trail area, Marcoux said.
If council is in favour of the proposal, a trail plan committee would be developed to lead the way.
Mayor Heather Jackson said she supports the project.
“I think this is great,” she said. “It is something we definitely need in the community.”
Coun. Mark Tinlin also said he likes the idea, saying that unless there was another purpose for the land it would be an ideal place for a mountain bike trail.
When asked about expenses, Fangeat said the entire concept would be volunteer driven and basically cost-free.
Council directed city staff to work with the group.