Minocqua Town Board Gets Update on Winter Park’s Mountain Bike Trails
With an eye on Minocqua Winter Park & Nordic Center becoming a year-round tourist destination, representatives from there updated the Minocqua town board Wednesday on plans to construct mountain bike trails at the popular cross-country ski facility.
Last February the Ski Touring Foundation received a $5,000 room tax grant from Let’s Minocqua Visitors Bureau/Chamber of Commerce to cover half the cost of a feasibility study with the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) to develop a trail concept plan.
“This plan will be the first of a multi-step process to add world-class mountain bike and fat-tire bike trails to the facility making it a year-round destination,” according to a chamber press release at the time.
Town director of public works Mark Pertile began the update showing a map of four proposed downhill trails: beginner, intermediate, expert and one that’s labeled “Boulder.” A small portion of one trail would cross onto town property, he said.
He said the Lakeland Ski Touring Foundation board, which manages the park on behalf of the town, is stillin the early stages of laying out the trail system. “I don't think the foundation (board) has really fully approved this plan,” noted Pertile.
“No,” replied Winter Park director of operations Mark Stuber. “We wanted to get approval from you guys before we go any further.”
Stuber said trail work would begin this year with completion next spring. While initial construction would result in a trail six feet wide eventually grass would grow back leaving a bike trail of two to three feet wide.
The town board had no objections on what they heard, but no action was scheduled on the agenda. It was also noted that Winter Park is doing a much better job on informing the town of their plans there.
In a related matter, town of Minocqua will be the lead applicant for a state Department of Natural Resources grant to construct a restroom at Winter Park. The Ski Touring Foundation made the request.
If approved by the DNR, the Stewardship grant would likely cover half of the construction costs, Pertile said. The Foundation would pick up the remainder. Pertile threw out a figure in the range of $70,000 for the construction, but plans haven’t been drawn up yet. Pertile said the restrooms would likely be located on the Ski Touring Foundation portion of Winter Park.
Brian Fricke’s motion to approve the town pursuing the grant application was with the understanding the town incurs no cost other than Pertile’s time. There is a May deadline for the application with awards to be announced next fall.