Local cycling enthusiasts have received a conditional greenlight from Council to transform a portion of the Libro Centre property into a mountain bike course that will cater to amateur and expert cyclists alike, providing residents and visitors another fantastic amenity at the Town’s ever-improving recreation centre.
The winding mountain bike trails are proposed for the eastern portion of the hill overlooking the baseball diamonds and football field. They will complement the wide grass pathways already woven into the hill and, of course, the spectacular new Big Creek Trail that starts near the new skate park and winds to where a new dog park will soon open up.
The project, which is being spearheaded by the Windsor Essex Bike Community, calls for three downhill trails measuring 0.7 km in total, a return climbing trail and a 1-km cross country trail loop. Surplus dirt at the Libro, about 90 cubic metres of it, will be used to build out the bumps and contours of the trails. There will be a beginner downhill trail along with an intermediate one and an advanced one.
“These trails will be developed for all ages and skill levels of riders,” says the project proposal on the WEBC website. “Dirt features such as berms, rollers, and jumps will be implemented throughout the trails to create a premier riding experience for local rider to enjoy at the Libro Centre.”
Council gave the project approval conditional on the Windsor Essex Bike Community raising the necessary funds to complete Phase 1, which total about $35,000.
Council also agreed to help transport surplus dirt on the Libro property to the construction site and provide approval for brush cutting, so the group could rough in where the trails would go. Ultimately, the vision is for WEBC to enter into a land stewardship agreement with the Town so the trail can be built using experienced and fully-insured volunteer trail builders.
WEBC volunteers haven’t wasted any time. They were out clearing brush this week to make the outlines of where the trails will go and they’ve launched a Go Fund Me page to raise the money required to get this project across the starting line. They have already raised more than $6,500 and have plans to up those fundraising efforts and promote the project through a series of Open Houses.
They are hosting Open Houses at G.L. Heritage Brewery from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 18 and Sunday, March 19 and they are looking to host Open Houses at the Libro Centre and potentially at North Star High School. Plans are also in the works for a fundraiser at G.L. Heritage Brewery later in April.
I’m a huge supporter of this initiative and believe it will provide a fantastic amenity for youth and cycling enthusiasts in our Town. It will also complement the existing amenities at the Libro Centre, creating a critical mass of recreational infrastructure for residents, especially our youth. I spend a lot of time running in Malden Park in Windsor and have seen just how popular these mountain biking trails can be.
Windsor Essex Bike Community is a registered non-profit organization “that advocates for the development and improvement of cycling trails in Windsor and throughout Essex County.” WEBC has nearly 200 paid members, four partnerships with local bike shops and more than 1,200 followers on Facebook and Instagram. They know how to build a buzz in addition to building trails.
Huge kudos to leadership of the WEBC for all the work they have done so far on this initiative and for working with Town staff to bring this transformational idea to life.