Yesterday I attended a meeting with three staff member from the town, Mayor Pro Tem Ronda Grassi, Director of Parks and Rec Jill Wait, and Trustee Mark Gruber. We had a great discussion about the potential for mountain bike trails and attractions in Erie. Everyone was encouraging of the idea and would like to see it blossom into reality.
Trustee Gruber is concerned about my proposal to put a trail near the Coal Creek because of the riparian habitat there. He wants to preserve the wildlife and ensure the creek is kept pristine for when Erie grows into a larger town. Mayor Pro Tem Grassi was quite excited about the opportunity for a group of volunteers to grab shovels and start enjoying their open space. If we can show enough support for and use of mountain bike trails the city will be behind us in force. Director Wait told me about a few locations that might suit us better as a starting point.
Here are the new locations that floated around in our discussion. After the meeting I took a ride with Mayor Pro Tem Grassi to look them over. I’m very excited about both of these and I think we have the beginnings of a great biking playground in the works.
Location 1: The hillside to the east of City Park
This location is bordered by the railroad tracks to the west and the cemetery off County Road 3 to the east. It slopes downhill to the the west and would make a great location for a variety of slopestyle runs toward the center of town. Additionally, there is a new development of houses going in on the lot above it which would have great access to a fun park that drops them off in town. There are some nice options for parking at the trailhead off Erie Parkway and in downtown Erie. Also, a new tap room is going in downtown which could be a great gathering place after some fun on the trails.
Location 2: The gulley to the north of the closed landfill
This parcel of land was recently purchased by Open Space. There are lots of land undulations which would make for an amazingly flowy trail as riders sweep down and back towards town. County Road 6 runs alongside it to the south and can be accessed from the open space path near Vista Pointe. I can see a small loop being put in to bring riders back to the road for multiple runs down the gulley. It’s worth noting the trail cannot cross the gulley because that’s where the open space ends. There are currently bike lanes being put in on County Road 5 which would make for easy access from Vista Ridge.
I’m interested to know what the residents of Erie think about these locations. Which do you prefer? Where should we focus first? Please comment and let everyone know. The town is paying attention.