We have contracted with Scott Linnenburger & Kay-Linn Enterprises out of Boulder, Colorado to develop a 5-year Mountain Bike Park master plan for Welch Village. Our goal is to turn Welch Village into a premier mountain biking destination for all ages & ability levels. Scott has played significant roles in the development of Trestle/Winter Park, Tamarack, Bike Granby Ranch, Powderhorn Mt and countless other MTB trail systems. Scott will be here in mid-November to design a mountain bike park and trail system for us (approx. 20-25 miles+). We will not construct everything right away. Right now, we are guessing that we will construct 5-6 miles in the first year and go from there. If business warrants, we will keep building.
We have also agreed to hire MN based company Trail Source to build the trail system, skills parks, jump parks, and overall bike park facility. Tim Wegner, founder/owner of Trail Source has played a significant role in either the design or construction of places like Cuyuna Lakes, Lebanon Hills, and Elm Creek as well as several trails in the Duluth Area.
Our mountain bike park will include chairlift-served, gravity-fed, flow trails as well as some cross-country single track. We also plan to offer skills parks, pump tracks, and jump parks. Again, this will all be part of a 5-year plan that still needs to be developed. Right now, the chairlift we are most likely to use will be our newest chairlift, the quad on Lookout.
Our goal is offer our mountain biking guests a "miniature version" of the services that we offer our winter guests. We are talking with local bike shops about offering a variety of full-suspension mountain bikes and fat bikes. And because of our close proximity to the Cannon Valley Bike Trail, our bike retail partner will most likely offer rental bikes for paved trails as well. Right now, the plan is be open Friday-Sunday only.
In addition to bike rental, we will offer some sort of mountain bike instruction services like kids camps, women's camps, and MTB camps for all ages & abilities. We also plan to offer some sort of food & beverage services as well as the occasional live music event here and there. All of these plans are still the very beginning stages. They are more ideas than plans at this point.
I spent most of the summer getting acquainted with mountain biking myself. It didn't take long for me to fall in love with it. My wife and I now both own full-suspension mountain bikes and each of our three daughters have mountain bikes. Our kids enjoy mountain biking almost as much as they enjoy skiing, almost.
We took one weekend mountain bike trip as a family to Detroit Mountain in Detroit Lakes, MN. If you like mountain biking, I suggest you visit. They offer chairlift-served gravity trails, great single track for all ages, and awesome skills parks. Plus, they located in the center of MN lake country and very close to Zorbaz and their super macho nachoz.
Below is a brief photo summary of me and my family's summer of mountain biking. It will give you a glimpse of what to expect when we move forward with mountain biking here at Welch Village. Stay tuned, we will provide updates over the winter.
|The youngest Bailey, age 6, in the Detroit Mt. skills park.|
|Thank you Detroit Mt. GM Jeff Staley(far left) for getting us hooked this summer!|
|Bailey tearing around the rollers of the Detroit Mt. skills park|
|One of the many wooden features of Detroit Mt downhill trails.|
|Loading my bike on the chairlift at Detroit Mt.|
|Yours truly Detroit Mt. skills park|
|My daughter Camryn (10) Memorial Park Red Wing, MN|
|Alexis (8) at Lebanon Hills MTB Trail|
|My wife Jamie riding Memorial Park Red Wing, MN|
|Doing "research" with Nate Lindholm, WV Mountain Ops Manager|
|Banked turns at Carver Lake in Woodbury|
|MN Mountain Bike Series Race at Memorial Park Red Wing, MN|
|Our old NORBA MTB trails made brought back to life thanks to 4k Spartans|
|WV Ski School Manager Troy at Lebanon Hills|
|Fat bike Ride to top of Lookout|
|Fat bikes look good at Welch Village don't they?|
|Yours truly at Carver Lake in Woodbury, MN|